Ryan hit .223 with a poor .279 on-base percentage and 11 steals in just fewer than 500 plate appearances last season. It was a big drop-off offensively after he batted .292 in 2009, and despite playing well defensively Ryan fell out of favor with the team.
When the Cardinals acquired middle infielder Ryan Theriot from the Dodgers earlier this month, general manager John Mozeliak said Ryan would either be traded or become a utility backup.
The Cardinals get a 21-year-old pitcher who can touch 100 mph. He spent last season in the Class-A California League. He had a 6.16 ERA in 23 appearances, all but two of which were starts. Cleto also pitched in the Arizona Fall League.
"Cleto has a power arm," Mozeliak said. "He's someone that could project as a back-of-the-bullpen talent with additional development and experience."