St. Louis Cardinals Sign Dean Anna to Major League Contract


On Tuesday afternoon, the St. Louis Cardinals announced the signing of infielder Dean Anna to a major league contract. The 27-year-old Anna made the New York Yankees’ opening day roster this April and made his major-league debut after having bounced around the minor leagues since 2008.

Anna saw a fair amount of action during his time with the Yankees, making six starts in the infield during the 21 days for which he was on the big-league roster. He also made a pitching appearance in the eighth inning of a 16-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on April 19. However, he was optioned to Triple-A on April 24 and didn’t make it back to the majors during 2014. The Yankees designated him for assignment in early July, and he was claimed by the Pittsburgh Pirates, who kept him at Triple-A for the remainder of the season. Anna’s big-league stat line for the year was a .136/.200/.318 slash line with one homer and three RBI in 22 at-bats.

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The Cardinals could have a bit of a deficit in terms of infield depth going into 2015, as they’ll almost certainly be letting veteran Mark Ellis walk in free agency, while it’s also possible that Daniel Descalso could be non-tendered. Pete Kozma obviously hasn’t been popular enough among management to retain a starting spot or even a consistent space on the major-league roster in recent years, so his status is questionable. Greg Garcia was unspectacular in brief big-league action in 2014, and Aledmys Diaz spent all of the year at Double-A, which means he’ll likely need at least a few months in Triple-A before the Cards feel comfortable bringing him up to the majors.

With that in mind, Anna is a solid depth player who could fill a backup role if necessary. It’s a bit odd to see him signed to a big-league deal considering that he’s spent nearly all of his career in the minors and is too old to be considered a prospect, but obviously there’s enough of a premium for his services that the Cards were willing to pony up.