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Cardinals Sign Randy Winn

Back in the days when the Matt Holliday signing was an open question a cheap, defensive-minded platoon involving Randy Winn was one of a number of unpalatable solutions, though it paled in my estimation next to the Jack Cust/Allen Craig Defensive Nightmare Platoon. Now the erstwhile Devil Ray all-star and managerial trading partner is the Cardinals' new fourth outfielder

The St. Louis Cardinals signed outfielder Randy Winn, who was designated for assignment by the New York Yankees late last month, and the outfielder is expected to join the team today at Busch Stadium, a club official confirmed this morning to The Post-Dispatch.

Will be active for the game and wear No. 44.

To make room on the active roster the team optioned Jon Jay to Class AAA Memphis. The Cardinals made room on the 40-man roster for Winn by place Kyle Lohse on the 60-day disabled list.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this move is the Cardinals have actually used the 60-day disabled list, something they've occasionally seemed reluctant to do. The optimistic Lohse timeline has always been two months, so this isn't quite news, but it does make his late-season comeback seem that much more remote. 

This is bad timing—we're still dealing with the Aaron Miles move, and this newly enfeebled bench is not going to be a lot of fun to watch. While Jay hasn't yet had more than a successful month in AAA, the case for needing to play every day is harder to make for him than it was for fellow bench outcasts Tyler Greene, Allen Craig, and Joe Mather. Jay is 25, his upside is defensive-minded fourth outfielder, and the thing that makes him a less-than-perfect fit on the Cardinals—his left-handedness—isn't something he can change. 

Which is not to say that Winn won't make the Cardinals infinitesimally better in 2010. He's an excellent defensive outfielder who as recently as two years ago was also a fine hitter in the Skip Schumaker mold, and as a switch-hitter he's a more conventional backup for Colby Rasmus (who did just homer off a left-hander last night.) He was off to a poor start with the Yankees, but it's not at all clear that he's done. I'd rather have Jay up, as a matter of principle, but used judiciously Winn could be a helpful change of pace, which is more than can be said for the Cardinals' last bench move.