Cards acquire reliever Mujica
The Cardinals’ attempts to fortify their bullpen for the season’s final two months has led them to right-hander Edward Mujica, who the club acquired from the Marlins shortly before Tuesday’s 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline. In exchange, the Cardinals sent former first-round Draft pick Zack Cox to Miami.
Mujica, 28, has a 4.38 ERA in 41 appearances this year, his second with the Marlins. In seven big-league seasons, Mujica has posted a 4.42 ERA. He has allowed 50 home runs in 348 1/3 innings and has a career 283 strikeouts. Mujica will be under team control for the rest of this season, as well as 2013.
The Cardinals will be responsible for paying Mujica the rest of the $1.625 million he is owed this year.
The addition of Mujica is likely to signal a return to the Minors for one of the Cardinals’ two current bullpen rookies – Trevor Rosenthal or Barret Browning. Which one goes is likely to hinge on whether the Cardinals prefer to move forward with two or three left-handers in the ‘pen.
The cost for Mujica was Cox, the 25th overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. Cox’s stock has fallen as he’s climbed through the Minors, and he was not considered an above-average defender at his natural position – third base. In 84 games with Triple-A Memphis this season, Cox hit .254 with a .294 on-base percentage.
With David Freese expected to be the Cardinals’ third base for the foreseeable future, Cox was seen as an expendable piece in St. Louis’ system. He entered 2012 ranked by MLB.com as the sixth-best prospect in the organization.
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