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Cardinals acquire Pedro Feliz to "upgrade" "third base" "situation", scare quote supplies dangerously low

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So the Cardinals agreed with me: the available third basemen on waivers who I mentioned this morning all suck! Unfortunately, I failed to mention Pedro Feliz, who has a .243 on-base percentage and is now the newest member of the St. Louis Cardinals 25th Mansquad. He was acquired today from the Astros, whom he has apparently cost something like two wins against what, say, Jarrett Hoffpauir would do, in exchange for David Carpenter, number three reliever on the Cardinals' Converted Catcher Power Rankings and the Cardinals' Players Named Carpenter Power Rankings.

The good news: We're probably overreacting about Feliz's defensive collapse. Over the last few years UZR has credited him with 15, 22, 9, and 10 runs on defense; that he's been worth -2.8 this year, part of which is a flukily high error total, could well be noise. Albert Pujols and Colby Rasmus also have negative UZRs this year; it's just not a stat that scales down well to full seasons, let alone partial seasons.

The bad news: We're probably overreacting about Feliz's defensive collapse because his offense is so bad. Feliz has always been a poor offensive player—117 runs below average, according to Baseball-Reference—but his season with the Astros has been excruciating. The power's gone, the batting average is even lower, and he's walking even less; as a result he has a .555 OPS. 

He's 35 years old, so the odds that this is The End are a little higher than usual, but considering his durability and consistency from 2005 to 2009 there's a reasonable chance he gets better from today forward. The problem is the Cardinals already had plenty of guys who could do that who haven't led the league in wins below replacement player to date in 2010.

This is a bad risk for no considerable reward, and a waste of another roster spot in a season that's been marked by both poor bench management and frequent bench utilization. The Cardinals should either have done better or done nothing at all.