Report: Cards release Taguchi to open spot for Rule 5 draft pick

Outfielder So Taguchi
has been released by the St. Louis Cardinals after six seasons with the team, according to MLB.com.

By cutting the 38-year-old Taguchi, the Cardinals made room
on their 40-man roster to allow them to make a selection in
Thursday's Rule 5 draft at the winter meetings in Nashville.

Taguchi, who signed with the Cards before the 2002 season
after a successful career in Japan, established himself as a
valuable member of the club in 2004 when he
appeared in 109 games.

In parts of six seasons with the Cardinals, Taguchi batted
.283 with a .336 on-base percentage and became a fan favorite
for his hustling style and performance in the 2006 postseason.

Taguchi, not noted for power hitting, struck a tie-breaking
home run in Game 2 of the 2006 National League Championship
Series -- a solo shot off Billy Wagner in the ninth
inning that began a three-run rally in the Cardinals' 9-6 win.

St. Louis went on to win the NLCS in seven games and beat the
Detroit Tigers in the World Series.