|Born: February 2, 1983
Height: 6′ 0″
Signed: Int. FA, Chicago Cubs, 1999
How Acquired: Trade (for Jack Wilson/Ian Snell)
High School: Carabobo (Carabobo, VE)
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|The Pirates acquired Cedeno from Seattle, along with C/1B Jeff Clement and RHPs Aaron Pribanic, Brett Lorin and Nathan Adcock, in exchange for SS Jack Wilson and RHP Ian Snell. The obvious purpose in getting Cedeno was to keep shortstop warm for the time being, until one of their middle infield prospects develops or they’re able to trade for a SS prospect. Cedeno has the natural ability to play short, with good range and a strong arm. He also has some hitting ability, but has constantly been undermined by bad strike zone judgment, except for some reason in AAA, where he’s hit a ton. He’s a frustrating, erratic player because his concentration seems to come and go.
Hit very well in rookie ball, then not so much in a brief stretch in low A. He had 20 errors at short in just 57 games, leading to an .891 fielding percentage.
Cedeno spent most of the season in low A and struggled, with poor plate discipline. The Cubs sent him down to short-season ball for 29 games and he didn’t hit there, either. He spent about a quarter of his time at second.
Cedeno’s struggles continued in high A. He again spent about a quarter of his time at second.
In AA, Cedeno suddenly started hitting, although his plate discipline remained poor. He played shortstop solely, greatly reducing his error rate.
Cedeno tore up AAA for 65 games, with his plate discipline improving significantly. He spent 41 games with the Cubs, hitting well.
Cedeno played his only season as a regular until he came to Pittsburgh, hitting poorly. His strike zone judgment disappeared. He played a little at second, but 134 games at short, where he was slightly below average according to UZR.
After starting the season in the majors, Cedeno was sent to AAA at the beginning of May. He returned in late July, but played only sporadically. He spent the rest of the time in AAA and hammered the ball there again.
Cedeno spent the season with the Cubs as a utility player and bounced back somewhat. The Cubs traded him to Seattle in the off-season.
Fell off a cliff with the Mariners. He played mostly short, with some games at second and a few in left. After the trade, the Pirates made him their regular shortstop. He rebounded at the plate and showed surprising power at times. Defensively, UZR had him as around average and +/- as a little below.
The Pirates signed Bobby Crosby in the off-season, but eventually made it clear Cedeno would start at SS. Crosby never challenged for job, not hitting at all and showing he couldn’t play short any more. Cedeno was benched for about a week in June due to miserable slump. He hit 121/136/121 for the month, then rebounded to hit 329/373/543 in July. His hitting came and went every other month:
Mar/Apr: .553 OPS
On defense, Cedeno rated as a little below average by UZR and well below by +/-. He made outstanding plays at times, but would botch more routine plays, and his range was inconsistent. The Pirates showed concern at times during season over Cedeno’s tendency to get down on himself when he wasn’t playing well. It didn’t even necessarily carry over between the plate and the field. Late in the season, Cedeno committed errors in five straight games, yet hit well during the same stretch.
The Pirates were expected to look for a new shortstop in the off-season, in large part because Cedeno’s defensive lapses added to the already daunting problems with their pitching staff in 2010. It’s not clear how much of an effort they made, though, although they did fail to beat a very modest off that landed the Orioles J.J. Hardy. Cedeno returned and had a substantially better season defensively. UZR had him improving to above average, +/- to near the top among all shortstops. He largely eliminated the puzzling lapses, finishing 5th in the NL in fielding percentage. At the plate, he had almost exactly the same season as 2010, except that his walk rate improved slightly and his HR power disappeared. He got off to a terrible start, posting just a .485 OPS in April, but he had a strong May (.773) and a solid June (.694). Unfortunately, he got hurt at the beginning of July and was out almost a month. He had a solid August (.692 OPS), but he stopped hitting in September, with a .479 OPS, as his playing time became sporadic while the Pirates got looks at Chase d’Arnaud and Pedro Ciriaco.
The Pirates don’t have any internal candidate to replace Cedeno just yet, as d’Arnaud showed he wasn’t ready offensively or defensively. They’re also unlikely to be able to acquire anybody any better. Surpisingly, though, the Pirates declined Cedeno’s $3M 2012 option, which will likely lead to a downgrade at shortstop. With the team already downgrading at catcher and in the rotation by declining Ryan Doumit’s and Paul Maholm’s options, it’s very difficult to see how they’ll be competitive in 2012.
|1 year/$2.050 M contract with 2012 option (signed December 2010, avoided arbitration)
2012: $3,000,000 club option ($200,000 buyout)
2010: $1,125,000 (avoided arbitration)
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2001
MLB Debut: 4/23/2005
MLB FA Eligible: 2012
Added to 40-Man: 11/19/2003
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2004, 2005, 2007)
MLB Service Time: 6.029
|August 27, 1999: Signed by the Chicago Cubs as an international free agent.
April 23, 2005: Contract purchased by the Chicago Cubs.
January 28, 2009: Acquired by the Seattle Mariners from the Chicago Cubs along with Garrett Olson in exchange for Aaron Heilman.
July 29, 2009: Acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Seattle Mariners along with Jeff Clement, Brett Lorin, Aaron Pribanic, and Nathan Adcock in exchange for Jack Wilson and Ian Snell.
October 31, 2011: Filed for free agency.