FEBRUARY 24th: Villanueva will earn $2MM if he reaches the majors, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
FEBRUARY 4th: The Cardinals have reached a minor league pact with righty Carlos Villanueva, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports on Twitter. Villanueva will receive an invitation to big league camp.
The 31-year-old swingman spent the past two seasons with the Cubs, working to a cumulative 4.27 ERA over 206 1/3 innings (including twenty starts) with 7.6 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9. Though he was hit hard when working from the rotation last year, Villanueva held opposing hitters to a .226/.284/.364 slash in 237 plate appearances when pitching from the bullpen.
Villanueva looks to be a solid depth addition to a Cardinals staff that has plenty of talent, but also some important questions. It seems unlikely that he will crack the rotation out of camp, but could have a reasonable claim to a long-man/spot-starter role.