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Royals acquire catcher Tony Cruz from Cardinals

Tony Cruz Getty

One day after signing Brayan Pena to be catcher Yadier Molina’s new backup the Cardinals have traded Molina’s old backup, Tony Cruz, to the Royals for minor leaguer Jose Martinez.

Cruz played sparingly as Molina’s understudy, totaling 633 plate appearances in five seasons and topping out at 151 trips to the plate in 2015. He also hit terribly, posting a .220 batting average and .572 OPS while homering just five times and drawing 32 walks compared to 117 strikeouts.

There’s really nothing in Cruz’s track record to suggest he’s anything but a very bad hitter, but he’ll still be an upgrade for the Royals because the man he’s replacing as Salvador Perez’s backup, Drew Butera, is one of the worst hitters in MLB history.

Molina was the most durable, never-on-the-bench catcher in baseball for many years and now Perez holds that title, so say what you will about Cruz but he certainly has a knack for finding homes where he won’t be required to actually play much.

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