Cardinals Sign Nick Punto

The Cardinals announced that they signed Nick Punto to a one-year deal, according to MLB.com's Matthew Leach (on Twitter). It's a $700K deal, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Agent Charles Schneider represents the longtime Twin.

Punto hit .238/.313/.302 in 288 plate appearances for Minnesota last year. He played second, short and third in 2010, his seventh campaign in a Twins uniform. Punto has never hit more than 4 home runs in a season, but the switch-hitting 33-year-old can steal a base and back up around the infield. He'll presumably play a similar role to the one Brendan Ryan has in the past few seasons.

The Indians and Punto had "meaningful negotiations" earlier in the winter.

Free agent infielders Orlando CabreraWilly AybarDavid Eckstein and Ronnie Belliard remain available, but middle infield options are disappearing, as MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker shows.



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