November 18, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Former John A. Logan College standout baseball player Dean Anna (2006-2007) will get a second crack at making a Major League roster next spring.

Last week, Anna was signed and added to the St. Louis Cardinals’ 40-man roster. He will contend for a reserve infield spot with the Redbirds.

“I consider this a good opportunity for me to break back into the Big Leagues,” said Anna. “I’m excited to be part of the Cardinals organization, an annual playoff contender, and can’t wait to show what I can do in Spring Training.”

Last winter, Anna was traded by the San Diego Padres to the New York Yankees after leading the Pacific Coast League in batting the summer of 2013 and being voted to the All-Star team in Class AAA. 

Anna made the Yankees team after the team broke camp in Florida and played occasionally alongside future Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter before being sent back down to the Minors. He was eventually dealt to the Pittsburgh Pirates and then later released.

JALC head baseball coach and athletic director Jerry Halstead was ecstatic when learning that Anna had signed with St. Louis.

“Anytime you get a chance to sign a Major League contract and be put on that team’s 40-man roster, it’s pretty special,” Halstead said. “Dean went through the process last year, so he knows what to expect. This is a big break for him. He feels like the Cardinals are really interested in him with everything he brings to the table as a player.”

Halstead said that Anna’s versatility (he can play second, short, third, and a corner outfield position) makes his attractive to the Cardinals.

“Even though Dean didn’t hit as well last season as he is capable, his on-base percentage was still very good. St. Louis’s analytical people really like him. Now, it’s just a matter of him grinding out at bats in Spring Training and showing the Cardinals what all he can do.”

The team is not expected to re-sign reserve infielder Daniel Descalso, a lefthanded-hitting infielder like Anna, as Descalso is expected to make considerably more money through arbitration.

“Descalso is probably pricing himself out of the Cardinals’ plans, which is good news for Dean,” Halstead said. “There is no doubt in my mind that Dean is a Big Leaguer and he will prove that next spring.”