Cedeno to enter middle infield mix

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Seeking a veteran middle infielder to provide depth and insurance behind shortstop Rafael Furcal, the Cardinals, after sifting through a thin free-agent market, have signed Ronny Cedeno to fill that hole. A source confirmed the agreement, which is expected to be officially announced by the Cardinals later Monday afternoon.

Cedeno will likely jump Pete Kozma in the depth chart, putting him in position to play the shortstop position should Furcal have lingering health issues. Though the Cardinals have expressed satisfaction with Furcal’s recovery from a season-ending elbow injury, no one is sure how his arm will respond when he returns to games this spring.

Of Cedeno’s 615 career starts, 531 of them have come at short.

Cedeno could also work himself into the mix for playing time at second base, a position the Cardinals plan to sort out during Spring Training. General manager John Mozeliak said a week ago that second base remains Daniel Descalso’s “job to lose,” but the Cardinals are leaving a window open for someone else to make a push for the job.

Cedeno is plenty familiar with playing in the National League Central. He was with the Cubs from 2005-08 and then joined the Pirates at the ’09 Trade Deadline after a brief stint with Seattle. Cedeno remained in Pittsburgh through the 2011 season, after which he signed with the Mets.

The Pirates utilized Cedeno as an everyday shortstop, though Cedeno took on a backup role with New York last season. He hit .259 with a .332 on-base percentage in 186 plate appearances. Over his eight-year career, Cedeno has a .247 batting average and .290 on-base percentage.

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1 Comment

Poor Pete Kozma-he gets no love. Sure hope he proves these skeptics wrong.

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