Show Me State swap: Royals acquire Cruz from Cardinals

Tony Cruz is just a .220 career hitter.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Royals have acquired backup catcher Tony Cruz from the St. Louis Cardinals for minor-league infielder Jose Martinez while designating catcher Francisco Pena for assignment.

The teams announced the trade Wednesday.

Cruz hit .204 with two homers and 11 RBI in 69 games for the Cardinals in 2015. The 29-year-old, who can also play third base, could compete with Drew Butera for the backup catcher job behind Salvador Perez.


Butera is eligible for arbitration after arriving in Kansas City in a trade this past season. Cruz also is arbitration eligible.

The 19-year-old Martinez spent most of last season at rookie-level Burlington, hitting .243 with four doubles, a homer and 24 RBI in 57 games.