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Tag:Cardinals
Posted on: December 14, 2011 3:49 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 10:08 pm
 

Nick Punto signs with Red Sox



By Matt Snyder


The Boston Red Sox have signed utility infielder Nick Punto to a two year contract, the club announced Wednesday night. CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman has learned the contract is worth $3 million and has up to $500,000 in incentives.

Having traded Jed Lowrie to the Astros earlier Wednesday, the Red Sox had an opening as a backup around the diamond, and Punto fills that need. Punto can play second, third or shortstop, just like Lowrie.

Punto, 34, hit .278/.388/.421 for the Cardinals last season, but that was in the small sample of just 166 plate appearances. His career on-base percentage is just .325, though, so signs point to that .388 mark being a bit out of character. Still, he has value in being able to fill in at those three positions, especially with Marco Scutaro (36) getting up there in age and Kevin Youkilis having recently battled injury woes (no more than 136 games played since 2008).

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Posted on: December 12, 2011 4:44 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 12:07 am
 

Cardinals re-sign Skip Schumaker to two-year deal

By Matt Snyder

The deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players was midnight Monday, and Skip Schumaker was one of many players facing the possibility of either arbitration or free agency -- only that did not happen. The Cardinals have re-signed Schumaker to a two-year deal with the second baseman/outfielder, the club announced via press release.

This contract buys out the final year of Schumaker's arbitration eligibility and also his first year of free agency.

Schumaker, 31, hit .283/.333/.351 in 400 plate appearances last season. He can play all three outfield positions and second base. He's played his entire career with the Cardinals and sports a career .290 batting average with a .346 on-base percentage.

Daniel Descalso is slated to open the season as the starting second baseman for the Cardinals, but with Allen Craig's injury, Schumaker could very well be the opening day starter in right field. If not, he provides depth at both positions.

Ryan Theriot has been non-tendered, so he's now a free agent.

Free Agent Tracker

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Posted on: December 12, 2011 4:02 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2011 4:18 pm
 

Pujols' wife defends husband on St. Louis radio

By Matt Snyder

Albert Pujols signed with the Angels last week in a move that shocked the baseball world. We knew that. But his wife, Deidre (or "Dee Dee") says the people don't know the reality of the situation -- which is that the Cardinals' offer didn't come anywhere close to what has been reported, because it was only for five years. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“What I’m saying is it wasn’t a guaranteed situation,” she said. “When you have somebody say, ‘We want you to be a Cardinal for life’ and only offer you a five-year deal ... it kind of confused us. ...

“Well, we got over that insult and felt like Albert had given so much of himself to baseball and into the community that he at least deserved the opportunity to have real life-long -- you know, I tell you what -- we didn’t want to go through this again. Free agency, it’s stressful.”
The Post-Dispatch has reported that the Cardinals' initial offer -- what Dee Dee called an "insult" -- was for five years and $130 million. Of course, the Post-Dispatch is also reporting the offer grew to 10 years and $210 through the course of the negotiations -- which was widely reported during the Winter Meetings last week. On the flip-side, they also report that there was a "significant" portion of the deal in deferred, interest-free, money. So while Mrs. Pujols can say this move wasn't about the money, it's pretty evident it was very much about the money (Pujols signed for 10 years, $254 million and none of that is deferred). Not that I'm blaming them one bit, as $44 million is quite a chunk of change to think about turning down.

Deidre also mentioned that she was surprised Cardinals fans turned on Pujols so quickly upon the news of him signing to play elsewhere. I guess she didn't watch The Decision, huh?

In fairness, we must point out that Mrs. Pujols did say, "we still love St. Louis and always will."

Still, it was 20 minutes of justifications on a radio show in an argument she can't win. With Pujols signing, the fans of St. Louis are going to be angry, and nothing she can say will change that. This goes for free agents leaving places for more money in every sport.

The full interview is available on via Joy FM's website.

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Posted on: December 10, 2011 4:48 pm
 

Albert Pujols introduced in Anaheim

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Considering Andy Messersmith signed with the Braves less than six months after I was born, it shouldn't be a shock to me to see players change uniforms, but I honestly thought I'd ever see Albert Pujols in anything but a Cardinals uniform.

While last week the news came that he was changing teams, it was still weird to see him at the Angels' pep rally on Saturday wearing a red hat with just one letter, instead of three.

Here are a couple of photos from the Angels' press conference introducing Pujols and C.J. Wilson on Saturday:

Albert Pujols

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Posted on: December 10, 2011 2:59 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2011 3:13 pm
 

Cardinals, Furcal agree to 2-year deal

Rafael Furcal

By C. Trent Rosecrans

While the Angels were welcoming Albert Pujols in a pep rally in Anaheim, the Cardinals have agreed to a two-year, $14 million deal with shortstop Rafael Furcal, pending a physical, CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler confirms.

Furcal joined the Cardinals at the trade deadline along with case in return for minor-league outfielder Alex Castellanos. Furcal helped sure up the Cardinals' defense on their way to a World Series title.

The 34-year-old hit .255/.316/.418 in 50 games during the regular season with the Cardinals after hitting just .197/.272/.248 for the Dodgers in the final year of his three-year, $30 million deal with the Dodgers.

Furcal played in just a total of 87 regular-season games in 2011 and has played in more than 100 games in a season just once in the last four years..

With the Cardinals' keeping Furcal, it appears Jimmy Rollins doesn't have any more leverage with other teams and will most likely return to the Phillies. The Cardinals and Brewers were the other spots with shortstop openings and money to spend, but St. Louis went with Furcal and Milwaukee turning to Alex Gonzalez

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Posted on: December 9, 2011 8:13 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 8:13 pm
 

Octavio Dotel to set record with 13th team

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Right-hander Octavio Dotel officially joined the Tigers on Friday, and when he throws his first pitch for Detroit in 2012, he'll set a Major League record having played for his 13th different team.

Dotel, 38, pitched for the Blue Jays and Cardinals last season and the Pirates, Dodgers and Rockies in 2010. He'll break the record of 12 teams he held along with first baseman/DH Matt Stairs and left-hander Ron Villone. Both Villone and Stairs finished their career with the Nationals, one team Dotel hasn't played for, so there's always a chance for 14. If Dotel pitched for two more teams, he'd have played for half the teams in baseball.

"After being all over the place, that's good," Dotel told MLB.com's Jason Beck when asked about the record. "Matt Stairs was the guy. He played [close to] 20 years. I've played a lot fewer years [13]. I'm very happy I've got the record, and I hope to keep going."

Here's a visual of Dotel's 12 previous teams in chronological order:



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Posted on: December 9, 2011 5:40 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 6:41 pm
 

Best free agents left after winter meetings



By C. Trent Rosecrans

The winter meetings are over and some of the biggest names on the free-agent market are off the table, but that doesn't mean the hot stove has died out. So, the day after Albert Pujols and the Angels shocked the baseball world, here's a look at the top five position players and pitchers left on the market:

Postition players

Prince Fielder1. Prince Fielder -- The 27-year-old Fielder is the biggest fish left on the market, averaging more than 38 home runs in his six full seasons in the big leagues and posting a .929 career OPS. Whoever lands Fielder will get a shot to the lineup. The knock is Fielder's weight and the length of a contract.

Possible landing spots: Brewers, Blue Jays, Cubs, Mariners, Marlins

Carlos Beltran2. Carlos Beltran -- Beltran's been a bit of a forgotten name in all the winter meetings talk. Beltran will be 35 in April and just finished a seven-year deal with the Mets. After being limited by injuries in his last two seasons, Beltran had a bounce-back year, hitting .300/.385/.525 with 22 homers and 84 RBI and doing that in two home ballparks not known to be friendly to hitters, Citi Field and AT&T Park. He can still play center field, but is probably better suited on a corner.

Possible landing spots: Cardinals, Nationals, Red Sox, Tigers, Braves, Mariners, Cubs

Aramis Ramirez3. Aramis Ramirez -- Even though he has 14 years in the big leagues under his belt, Ramirez is just 33 and coming off a .306/.361/.510 season with 26 homers and 93 RBI. A two-time All-Star, he's by far the best third baseman on the market -- and it's not even close.

Possible landing spots: Brewers, Phillies, Marlins

Michael Cuddyer4. Michael Cuddyer -- Cuddyer will be 33 in March and can play both the corner outfield and infield spots, offering teams a versatile player. He hit .284/.346/.459 with 20 homers last season and hit 32 homers in 2009 before the Twins moved to spacious Target Field. The Twins have reportedly already offered him a three-year deal, as have the Rockies.

Possible landing spots: Rockies, Twins, Phillies, Giants, Red Sox

Jimmy Rollins5. Jimmy Rollins -- It seems odd to consider the 2007 MVP in anything but a Phillies uniform, but Pujols is now in California, so anything's possible. Rollins' offensive numbers have dropped off since his MVP season, but he still plays a premium position -- and one a couple of teams need to fill. A three-time Gold Glove winner, Rollins turned 33 last month. If he re-signs with the Phillies, it could be his last contract. Rollins is reportedly searching for a five-year contract, a tactic that may scare away every team other than the Phillies.

Possible landing spots: Phillies, Cardinals

Pitchers

Yu Darvish1. Yu Darvish -- The 25-year-old Japanese right-hander will reportedly be posted and has been seen as perhaps the best starter available. There's no shortage of teams that could be interested in Darvish, but the history of recent big-ticket Japanese pitchers could scare off some suitors and keep the posting fee lower than expected. Once his team in Japan, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighers, accept the posting, the winning team still has to negotiate with Darvish. The posting system, though, gives a chance for a surprise team to emerge the winner.

Possible landing spots: Rangers, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees, Nationals, Royals

Hiroki Kuroda2. Hiroki Kuroda -- There's no question of how Kuroda will perform in the big leagues -- he's gone 41-46 with a 3.45 ERA in four seasons with the Dodgers. Kuroda had a 13-16 record in 2011, despite putting up just a 3.07 ERA. He told the team he wouldn't give up his no-trade protection at the trade deadline, but the Dodgers have already found replacements for him in the rotation. He has one offer on the table already from the Hiroshima Carp in Japan, but would make more money in the U.S.

Possible landing spots: Cubs, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Red Sox, Carp

Edwin Jackson3. Edwin Jackson -- The fact that Jackson has already played for six different teams and he's just 28 may raise some flags, but he's also had six teams want him at some point and for good reason. Although Jackson has battled inconsistency, he's still had results at times. He was 12-9 with a 3.79 ERA for the Cardinals and White Sox last season. He's not a No. 1, but he's younger than some of the other second-tier starters on the market, increasing his value.

Possible landing spots: Twins, Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Royals, Nationals, Pirates, Rockies, Orioles

Ryan Madson4. Ryan Madson -- Even though there were reports the right-hander had agreed to return to the Phillies earlier this offseason, the team turned to Jonathan Papelbon instead. The Red Sox, who along with the Reds, are still searching for a closer could end up signing Madson and seem the best fit. In his firs tseason as the Phillies' closer, Madson recorded 32 saves, going 4-2 with a 2.37 ERA, striking out 62 batters in 60 2/3 innings.

Possible landing spots: Red Sox, Reds, Phillies

Francisco Cordero5. Francisco Cordero -- Like Madson, Cordero seems to be on the outside of the closer game of musical chairs. The Red Sox and Reds are the only team left looking for a closer. The Reds were interested in bringing back Cordero with a discount after declining their $12 million option on the 36-year-old right-hander. Cordero converted 37 saves last season and 150 in four years in Cincinnati.

Possible landing spots: Red Sox, Reds, Twins

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Posted on: December 8, 2011 5:39 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 5:46 pm
 

12 players taken in Rule 5 Draft

By C. Trent Rosecrans
MLB Winter Meetings

You may have missed it -- and for good reasons -- but 12 players were taken in the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday, in what usually signals the end of the winter meetings. It was the fewest number of players taken in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 draft since 2005

The Rule 5 Draft allows teams to take eligible players left unprotected on other teams' 40-man roster for $50,000. A player has to stay on a team's active Major League roster for the entire next season or be offered back to the original club for $25,000. Teams can also work out a trade with their old team to keep the player and send him to the minors. There have been some huge names selected in the Rule 5 Draft, including Josh Hamilton, Jose Bautista and Dan Uggla, but more often than not, players don't even make it out of spring training. Chances are one or two of the 12 selected on Thursday will make it on an opening day roster, but it's unlikely any of them will stick, based on previous numbers.

But hey, it happened today and some teams got some guys -- while the Angels added Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. So, who are the 12? Here we go, listed by their new team and their old team in parentheses:

Astros: RHP Rhiner Cruz (Mets) -- A reliever, Cruz when 5-3 with seven saves and a 3.89 ERA at High-A and Double-A.

Twins: RHP Terry Doyle (White Sox) -- Doyle went 8-10 at High-A and Double-A with a 3.07 ERA in 26 starts, striking out 122 and walking 33 in 173 innings.

Mariners: LHP Lucas Luetge (Brewers) -- In his second year in Double-A, he struck out exactly a batter an inning and finsihed with a 3.13 ERA.

Orioles: 2B Ryan Flaherty (Cubs) -- A former first-rounder, the left-handed hitter hit .305/.384/.523 with 14 homers at Double-A, but then struggled at Triple-A, hitting .237/.277/.399 with five home runs.

Yankees: LHP Cesar Cabral (Red Sox) -- Actually picked by the Royals, but traded to the Yankees for cash, Cabral struck out 70 batters in 55 innings, walking 21. He was 3-4 overall in 36 games in relief with a 2.95 ERA at High-A and Double-A.

Cubs: RHP Lendy Castillo (Phillies) -- A former infielder, Castillo started two of his 21 games at Low-A Lakewood in 2011, going 4-2 with a 2.54 ERA, striking out 46 batters in as many innings.

Pirates: SS Gustavo Nunez (Tigers) -- The switch-hitter hit a combined .276/.333/.386 at High-A and Double-A, but struggled at the higher level.

Braves: LHP Robert Fish (Angels) -- Fish throws 95 mph and struck out 44 batters in 33 1/3 innings in Rookie ball and Double-A. Most of his time was spent at Double-A where he was 1-0 with a 3.26 ERA and two saves.

Cardinals: OF Erik Komatsu (Nationals) -- The Nationals acquired the speedy outfielder in the middle of 2011. He hit a combined .277/.367/.382 with seven home runs and 21 stolen bases between two different Double-A teams. 

Red Sox: SS Marwin Gonzalez (Cubs) -- The switch-hitter hit .288/.343/.400 with 30 doubles between Double-A and Triple-A. 

Diamondbacks: RHP Brett Lorin (Pirates) -- The 24-year-old stands 6-foot-7 and went 7-6 with a 2.84 ERA at High-A Bradenton, striking out 7.6 batters per nine innings.

Yankees: RHP Brad Meyers (Nationals) --  The starter pitched at three different levels in 2011, the majority coming at Triple-A, where he was 6-5 with a 3.48 ERA and struck out 74 in 95 2/3 innings.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com