The Kansas City Royals acquired Tony Cruz from the St-Louis Cardinals for Royals shortstop prospect Jose Martinez. Yadier Molina has been injured in the last few seasons, and it looks like the Cards will go with recently acquired free agent Brayan Pena, who was signed to a $5 million contract spread over the course of 2 seasons, to be his backup. Pena, who has been a consistent backup and a temporary starter with the Reds, is what the Cardinals need as there is always uncertainty with Molina’s health.
After the signing they elected to trade Tony Cruz for an 18 year old shortstop from Venezuela. Kansas City will be certainly happy with the acquisition, Cruz, although not offensively gifted, can give the Royals a defensive edge when Salvador Perez’s rare day off comes around. He has posted a .997 fielding percentage through his 5 year career, which is superb for a backup catcher. He is a low risk acquisition that will be put against other Royals catcher Drew Butera; both backups will be in a heated battle this spring for the backup role, unless a trade occurs that concerns either catcher, this will certainly be a position battle to watch for Royals fans this March.
After the acquisition the Royals designated Francisco Pena for assignment, the 26 year old has appeared in 9 MLB games for the Royals.