(KMOV)-- The Cardinals definitely helped themselves by acquiring Ryan Theriot, but the question is how much? It certainly makes sense to add a quality middle infielder. They didn't have to give up much to get him. Blake Hawksworth is a decent pitcher, but right handed middle relievers are probably the easiest commodity to find. General Manager John Mozeliak says he's expecting Theriot to be the everyday shortstop, meaning Brendan Ryan's days in St. Louis are likely over.
It seems unlikely they'd keep Ryan as a utility player, but I think they should. He doesn't carry a big salary, and his best days are still ahead of him. Ryan might still develop into a solid everyday shortstop. I wouldn't give up on him after one bad year at the plate. Theriot and Ryan are actually very similar players. Good defensively, good speed, base stealing threat, not much power. Theriot has proven to be the more consistent offensive player. He carries a career .284 batting average, which isn't too shabby for a shortstop. I would like to see them keep Ryan on the roster, more or less as the new Felipe Lopez kind of utility guy.
Fans in St. Louis will love Theriot. He's a guy who gives 100% all the time, and has an outgoing personality. Hopefully acquiring Theriot isn't the only move the Cardinals make to upgrade the offense. They'll need to do more than this. The next move will likely be for a second baseman with some punch, or a veteran right fielder who could hit behind Pujols and Holliday. The Theriot deal was nice, but it's not enough. They still need at least one more productive bat.