As expected, Adrian Cardenas will be the guy shipped off the 25-man roster to make room for Anthony Rizzo’s arrival today. I’m sure it’s a downer for Cardenas, but, looking over the roster, and given the ability to option Cardenas to Iowa without risking losing him, it’s the right move.
Cardenas, 24, leaves his first big league stint with an ugly 189/.231/.324 (some of that was bad luck – he had a .241 BABIP, whereas his career minor league number is closer to .320), and without much of a chance to have establish himself. Cardenas was called on May 7 up from AAA, where he was killing the ball (Rizzo famously called Cardenas the best hitter on the team), and drew just six starts in the following month and a half. I’m really not sure why he didn’t get a look at third base when Ian Stewart went down, but I can understand him not seeing much time at second – Darwin Barney played quite well over that month and a half (and was hitting righties better than lefties).
Cardenas will now get regular at bats at AAA, and we’ll probably see him again later this year. Long-term, given his age, Cardenas still has some time to get another shot to establish himself in the big leagues, at least as a utility player.
I have to believe, given the positional equivalencies, the Cubs probably would have preferred to have moved Jeff Baker. But, if you hope to get *any* value in trade for a bench guy like Baker, you can’t trade him when everyone knows you’re very much trying to trade him (especially in June). So, Cardenas had options, and he got optioned.