Two middle relief transactions...
Given that he spent 2008 in the minors, I'm a little surprised that the Athletics gave Schroder a major league deal. That's not an indictment on Schroder's talent, but rather seemingly a form of overpaying, or perhaps bidding against yourself. Two similar moves I can recall are Scott Dohmann in 2007 (with the Rays) and Randy Choate (2008 with the Brewers.) Dohmann pitched for the Rays Triple-A team in most of his time with the organization, and Choate was a Triple-A mainstay last year.
Neither of those situations will affect Schroder though. A 30 year old, Schroder has spent his career in the Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos organization and appeared in more than 60 games for the big league club. Schroder gets a good amount of swinging strikes and groundballs, both pluses. Schroder hasn't recorded a tRA over 3 at a level with more than 10 IP since 2006, his initial trip to the majors. Schroder throws primarily fastballs along with a slider and change-up.
Moving forward, Schroder's probably going to look a lot better than some alternatives on the free agent market.
Miller was better last year than his mass numbers will indicate. A move back to the National League Central should give Miller's swinging strikes a bounce to his Houston numbers. Coming from someone who saw most of Miller's 2008 appearances let me stress this to the Cardinals:
DO. NOT. PITCH. HIM. VERSUS. RIGHTIES. EVEN. IN. LOW. LEVERAGE. SITUATIONS. See, that's much better. Miller throws a mid-80's fastball, a slider, and a change. His stuff doesn't play well to righties at all (you wouldn't have guessed otherwise) so as a LOOGY he'll be fine.
Miller was a Type-B free agent, so the Rays will receive a supplemental pick.
The Cardinals also signed Ian Ostlund to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Ostlund was one of my "F.A.T: LOOGY" profiles so kudos to the Cardinals, no risk, potential reward move there.