Cards ink Vazquez to Minor League deal

Cards ink Vazquez to Minor League deal

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals completed a deal to bolster the depth on the left side of their infield. Veteran Ramon Vazquez is now in the fold, adding another candidate to compete for the club's two open backup infielder spots. Vazquez received a Minor League deal with a non-roster invitation to Spring Training.

Jose Oquendo, the club's infield coach, said on Saturday at the annual Winter Warm-Up that he had heard that a deal was in place. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Saturday afternoon that a Minor League contract is done, something general manager John Mozeliak later confirmed.

Vazquez will compete with Tyler Greene and Daniel Descalso for a utility infield job -- and all three players will join Allen Craig as potential fallback options at third base in the event that David Freese's recovery from ankle surgery goes worse than expected.

"I'm a little concerned about the backup role, who's going to back [Freese] up," Oquendo said.

Vazquez, 34, last played in the Major Leagues in 2009, when he batted .230 with a .335 on-base percentage and a .279 slugging percentage in 239 plate appearances with the Pirates. For his career, he has a .254/.328/.350 line in 696 games with the Mariners, Padres, Red Sox, Indians, Rangers and Pirates.