Cards agree to deal with veteran lefty Rhodes

Cards agree to deal with veteran lefty Rhodes

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals agreed to a deal with free-agent left-hander Arthur Rhodes, who was released earlier this week by the Rangers. Rhodes, 41, will join the club today in time for St. Louis' game against the Rockies.

General manager John Mozeliak acknowledged that a deal had been reached on Thursday, and a formal announcement came from the club Friday. The Cardinals optioned catcher Tony Cruz to Triple-A Memphis to make room on the 25-man roster and designated Memphis pitcher Raul Valdes for assignment to make room for Rhodes on its 40-man roster.

Rhodes went 3-3 with a 4.81 ERA for Texas in 2011, but he remained effective against left-handed hitters -- especially away from the Rangers' hitter-friendly home ballpark. He held lefties to a .216 batting average with a .310 on-base percentage and a .405 slugging percentage for Texas. Left-handers are just 3-for-17 against him away from Arlington in 2011.

He adds left-handed depth to a bullpen that has gone with one lefty for quite some time. Rhodes projects as a specialist, which would allow Marc Rzepczynski to be freed from that role a little bit.

"Given our bullpen, I think it will be a nice lift to have that second lefty," Mozeliak said. "So yeah, I think it's an important guy to bring in. We've always had interest in him and just never been able to get a deal. So having him be a part of our bullpen, I think, will make sense and be a help."