Rick Hummel's latest update around noon CST on January 27th indicates that Ronny Cedeno may well become a Cardinal to back up the recuperating Rafael Furcal. Citing "reports out of Venezuala":
veteran infielder Ronny Cedeno is heading to the Cardinals, whose regular shortstop Rafael Furcal is coming off a torn elbow ligament.
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said he didn’t comment on potential transactions and he added that "out of respect to the Stan Musial family, we will have no baseball announcements this weekend."
The modern day rumor mill pauses for no man regardless of their greatness, Stan Musial included.
Backing up Rafael Furcal will essentially come down to three players: Pete Kozma, Ryan Jackson & Ronny Cedeno (should he sign). Looking at their ZiPS forcasts, it's unclear what kind of upside Cedeno would represent over Kozma or Jackson.
- Pete Kozma - 2013 ZiPS wOBA: .265
- Ryan Jackson - 2013 ZiPS wOBA: .272
- Ronny Cedeno - 2013 ZiPS wOBA: .269
There's little compelling reason to believe that Cedeno is a better player than Ryan Jackson or Pete Kozma at this point. (Jackson has been well regarded defensively according to scouting reports. Cedeno has been a roughly average fielder according to advanced metrics.)
What makes it more perplexing is that the Cardinals aren't reliant on a single prospect to back up Furcal but rather have two doppelgangers. In case of Rafael Furcal emergency, break the glass to release Ryan Jackson. Should that fail, break the glass to release Pete Kozma.
This has the smell of a "veteran" addition to it and the sad opportunity cost that goes with it. Of course, that may just be some leftover Ty Wigginton that I'm smelling.