Once hot prospect Reyes dealt to Tribe
Cards receive Minor League reliever and cash from Indians
NEW YORK -- In a move that has likely been coming for quite a long time, the Cardinals parted ways with Anthony Reyes on Saturday. The right-hander was dealt to the Indians for Minor League reliever Luis Perdomo and cash.
Reyes, once considered the top prospect in the St. Louis organization, never established himself as a Major League starter. Both he and the organization were frustrated that Reyes never consistently turned his promise into performance, and it became clear in 2008 that he did not play a large role in the Cardinals' vision of their future.
"We felt like we were getting to a point with Reyes where a change of scenery would probably do him well," general manager John Mozeliak said Saturday. "So we just looked at is as an opportunity where if we continued to wait, we didn't know what would be around the corner.
"We just felt like he wasn't someone that was going to play a part in our future. It made a lot of sense to start pursuing all our options with him."
In parts of four seasons in St. Louis, Reyes went 10-24 with a 5.38 ERA. He made a sensational debut in 2005, pitching 6 1/3 strong innings for a win over the Brewers, but big league highlights didn't come often after that. Reyes did turn in an outstanding performance in Game 1 of the 2006 World Series, though, pitching eight innings of two-run ball in the Cardinals' win.
But he followed that up with a 2-14 campaign in 2007, and it was clear that the struggles weighed on Reyes. Additionally, he didn't always see eye-to-eye with the coaching staff, though both Reyes and the club consistently played down perceptions of a rift.
"I regret some of the nonsense that became a distraction about [how] his style of pitching doesn't match," manager Tony La Russa said. "That definitely didn't work on his behalf. You don't need distractions.
"[Pitching coach] Dave Duncan gives every pitcher that comes here his absolute best shot, which has been proven over time to be as good a shot as anybody. The little storyline kept getting pushed that he wasn't Dave's kind of pitcher. No."
Either way, Reyes is changing leagues, and there was little dispute that the time had come.
"I think it's good for him," said Skip Schumaker, a teammate of Reyes' dating as far back as 2004 at Double-A Tennessee. "I think he needs a change of scenery. I didn't think it was working out real well for him towards the end here.
"I think he kind of voiced that a little bit, that maybe it would be better for him if he moved on. Obviously, both sides wanted it to fit. I'm happy for him."
In return, the Cardinals bring in Perdomo, a big-armed reliever who began the year at high Class A Kinston before being promoted to Double-A Akron. For the year, Perdomo has a 5-1 record, a 1.66 ERA, 60 strikeouts, 24 walks and one home run allowed in 54 1/3 innings.
"He'll go right into our [Double-A] Springfield club," Mozeliak said. "We definitely think he's got some upside in terms of he could be used as a closer there. And I think he profiles out to be somebody who could be a quality setup man in the big leagues."
Perdomo, 24, throws a fastball in the mid-90s, a slider and a changeup. The right-hander has spent his entire career in the Indians organization.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.