The St. Louis Cardinals have signed infielder Dean Anna to a Major League deal, according to Chad Jennings of LoHud.com (h/t MLBTR). Anna was claimed by the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 2014 season, after spending some time in the majors with the New York Yankees. He can play shortstop, second, and third base, and has received good grades for his defense. He also has good numbers in his time at Triple-A, posting a .296/.385/.432 line.
Anna was eligible as a minor league free agent this off-season, after being outrighted off the Pirates’ 40-man roster. They have since added two utility players in Justin Sellers (acquired for cash) and Jake Elmore (waiver claim). It will be interesting to see how Anna compares to those two infielders this year. He does have two option years remaining, so there’s no guarantee he will play in the majors, even with the MLB deal. The significance of the deal is that it gives him a spot on the 40-man roster, which is rare for a minor league free agent to receive.