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Cardinals ink veteran Wigginton for two years

Cardinals ink veteran Wigginton for two years

Cardinals ink veteran Wigginton for two years play video for Cardinals ink veteran Wigginton for two years
ST. LOUIS -- Desiring to add a versatile right-handed hitting veteran player to the 2013 club, the Cardinals found a fit in Ty Wigginton, whom the club signed to a two-year contract on Friday. The club made the signing official after Wigginton traveled to St. Louis to undergo a team physical.

Wigginton, 35, has played all four infield positions and both corner-outfield spots during his 11-year career, which began with the Mets in 2002. Most recently, his playing time has come primarily as a corner infielder/outfielder. He spent the 2012 season in Philadelphia, where he hit .235 with 11 homers and 43 RBIs in 360 plate appearances.

"Whenever I played St. Louis, I've always respected the way they played the game and how they went about playing their game," Wigginton said on Friday, shortly before boarding a flight back to his home in North Carolina. "Obviously, all the winning over the years in St. Louis makes this a special place."

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Wigginton said he weighed offers from about four teams before settling on signing with the Cardinals, who contacted him early in the free-agent process and maintained a dialogue throughout.

The addition of Wigginton will give the Cards' bench both some experience and a right-handed bat with power potential. Both were areas in which the club was deficient last season, as Shane Robinson and Tony Cruz were the team's best right-handed hitting options off the bench for the majority of the campaign.

General manager John Mozeliak entered the offseason specific in noting his intentions to upgrade the bench with a right-handed bat.

Wigginton's career has taken him to New York (2002-04), Pittsburgh (04-05), Tampa Bay (06-07), Houston (07-08), Baltimore (09-10), Colorado ('11) and Philadelphia en route to St. Louis. He has finished with at least 15 home runs in six different seasons and has a career .263 batting average.

As a pinch-hitter, Wigginton went 5-for-33 with three RBIs in 2012. Over his career, he has a .233 batting average in 103 pinch-hit opportunities.

"Early in my career when I pinch-hit, it was usually because I had an off-day," Wigginton said. "But last year, more than anything, I started to realize it's kind of a fun, new challenge. I look forward to that challenge and getting better at it."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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