The Cardinals have signed J.R. Towles to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, reports Ken Davidoff of The New York Post (on Twitter). The catcher is represented by Burton Rocks LTD.
Towles, 28, is a career .187/.267/.315 hitter in 484 big league plate appearances with the Astros. He spent last season with the Triple-A affiliate of the Twins, where he hit .214/.280/.315 in 189 plate appearances. Baseball America ranked Towles as the 53rd best prospect in the game prior to the 2008 season, but he was unable to live up to the promise he showed earlier in this career.