ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 18: Brendan Ryan #13 of the St. Louis Cardinals fields a ground ball against the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium on September 18 2010 in St. Louis Missouri. The Padres beat the Cardinals 8-4. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Brendan Ryan Traded To Mariners For Maikel Cleto

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Brendan Ryan Traded To Mariners For Maikel Cleto

Eager to make an upgrade to their infield, the Seattle Mariners have traded for Brendan Ryan, sending prospect Maikel Cleto to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange.

The Cardinals have had Ryan on the block for much of the offseason, but only now pulled the trigger on a deal. The 28-year-old Ryan batted just .223 a year ago and doesn't hit for much power, but he has a career average of .259 and is regarded as one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball. In Seattle, it's expected that he will begin the year at second base before sliding either to the bench or to short once top prospect Dustin Ackley is called up. Jack Wilson is the current Mariners shortstop, but he has been plagued by injuries and ineffectiveness.

In return for Ryan, the Cardinals pick up Maikel Cleto, a 21-year-old righty with a big arm. Cleto is able to reach the high-90s with his fastball, but last year struggled in advanced A-ball, and his future seems to be in the bullpen. His arm does give him the potential to rise quickly.

For more on the trade, be sure to check out Lookout Landing and Viva El Birdos.

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