As first reported last Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals and infielder Ronny Cedeno have come to terms on a contract for the 2013 season. The deal, formally announced on Monday, is a major league contract at a base amount of $1.15 million, according to the AP. Cedeno can earn an additional $850,000 in bonuses: $170,000 each for 200, 250, 300, 350 and 400 plate appearances.
Cedeno, 29, is a veteran of eight seasons in the majors, starting with the Chicago Cubs in 2005. The right-handed hitter gives the Cardinals added veteran depth on the infield, specifically behind Rafael Furcal at short. Cedeno can play second and third as well as his natural shortstop position.
Last season, Cedeno batted .259 with four home runs and 22 RBI in 78 games for the New York Mets. A career .303 (27-for-89) hitter at Busch Stadium, the native Venezuelan served as the Pittsburgh Pirates’ regular shortstop in 2010 and 2011.
In a related transaction, the club has designated left-handed reliever Barret Browning for assignment to make room on its 40-man roster for Cedeno. Within the next 10 days, Browning must be traded, released or, if he clears waivers, assigned to the minor leagues.
Browning, 29, joined the Cardinals in the Triple-A phase of the 2011 Rule 5 Draft from the Angels organization. The Georgia native’s 1.73 earned run average over 41 2/3 innings was best on the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds last season. Browning was promoted to St. Louis on July 1st to make his major league debut. Posting a 5.12 ERA spanning 19 1/3 innings over nearly two months, the southpaw was returned to Memphis in August.
Links to related articles from last Friday:
”Venezuelan reports: Cedeno to join Cardinals”
”Will the Cardinals ride the Ronny Cedeno rollercoaster?”
To see the Cardinals entire 40-man roster, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.
1/31 update: Browning cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Memphis. He will still be participating in major league camp as a non-roster invitee.
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Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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