Grudzielanek agrees to deal with Cardinals

Updated: January 7, 2005, 9:55 AM ET
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- Free-agent second baseman Mark Grudzielanek agreed Thursday to a $1 million, one-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Grudzielanek, who can earn up to $500,000 in performance bonuses, will replace Tony Womack, who played one season batting leadoff for the Cardinals before signing last month with the New York Yankees.

St. Louis signed David Eckstein to replace shortstop Edgar Renteria, who signed with Boston. Eckstein, who helped Anaheim win the 2002 World Series, got a $10.25 million, three-year deal.

Grudzielanek, 34, batted .307 with six home runs and 23 RBIs in 81 games for the Chicago Cubs last season despite missing more than two months because of an inflamed Achilles' tendon.

In 1,299 games over his 10-year major league career, Grudzielanek has a .287 batting average with 66 home runs and 443 RBIss. He led the NL in doubles (54) in 1999 with the Dodgers.

"We've been trying to identify infielders to handle a variety of roles for us," Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty said. "Grudzielanek offers us versatility with both the bat and in the field. He's a proven veteran who should fit nicely into our everyday lineup."

Grudzielanek has played for Montreal (1995-98), Los Angeles (1998-2002) and the Chicago Cubs (2003-04).

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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