The Chicago Cubs continued their efforts to makeover their roster by claiming Adrian Cardenas from the Oakland A's and designating Blake DeWitt for assignment.
Cardenas, who ranked as high as #74 on Baseball America's 2009 Top 100 prospect list, is no longer considered a top prospect. However, at age 24, he still has some upside and is a career .303/.368/.413 hitter in the minors.
I alluded to the possibility of the Cubs claiming Cardenas a little over a week ago. He has a better overall track record in the minors that incumbent second baseman Darwin Barney, and could battle him for the starting job.
DeWitt was acquired from the Dodgers in 2010 along with Brett Wallach and Kyle Smit for Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot. He was once considered the heir apparent at second base before he was beat out by Barney in Spring Training last year.
Overall I like this move. Cardenas is a low-risk option at second and I could see him beating out Barney for the starting job. I am a little surprised that the Cubs DFA'd DeWitt, after signing him to a $1.1 million contract for 2012. DeWitt is a decent utility player, but its likely that Barney could end up in that role, which many in the Cubs organization think he is better suited for.
In any case, it should provide at least one interesting position battle to watch during Spring Training.