Royals acquire catcher Cruz from Cardinals
KC deals Minor League infielder Martinez to St. Louis
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals acquired catcher Tony Cruz from the Cardinals on Wednesday in exchange for Minor League infielder Jose Martinez.
That is not the same Jose Martinez who hit .384 and won the Pacific Coast League batting title last year for Triple-A Omaha. This Martinez, 19, spent a majority of the year at Burlington (Rookie), hitting .243 with four doubles, a homer and 24 RBIs in 57 games.
To make room for Cruz on the 40-man roster, the Royals designated catcher Francisco Pena for assignment, then traded him to the Orioles for cash.
Cruz, 29, played in 69 games for the Cardinals last season and hit .204 with two homers and 11 RBIs. He is arbitration-eligible, and the deadline to tender contracts is tonight at 10:59 CT. Cruz avoided arbitration last season, signing a one-year deal for $775,000.
The Royals also have catcher Drew Butera, also arbitration-eligible. He avoided arbitration last year with the Angels, signing a one-year deal for $987,500 before being designated for assignment in May. The Royals traded infielder Ryan Jackson to acquire him.