The Cardinals have agreed to terms with free agent infielder Nick Punto on a 1 year deal that I’ve seen is for $750,000.
The 33 year old Punto has spent the last 7 years of his career with the Minnesota Twins in a utility type role, making starts around the infield. He’s a switch hitter, which should greatly help his playing time in a Tony LaRussa system.
Last season he hit .238 with 1 HR in 288 plate appearances for Minnesota. His career line is .247 average and a .321 on base percentage.
This is the first real move of the offseason that I like. He isn’t anything impressive with the bat, but he’s solid. He has defensive experience around the infield and in the outfield.
Joe Strauss said on Twitter that he sees it as bad news for Daniel Descalso. That’s true, but hopefully it also means bad news for Tyler Greene. Sorry, I’ve just not been impressed with Greene by anything. He struggles at the plate and he’s not that great in the field.
I would definitely slot Punto in as the primary utility guy. He also has experience in center field, so you could see him starting out there too against lefties, perhaps? As a switch hitter he is a pretty even split. against lefties he’s hit .256 with 2 HR in 883 plate appearances versus .242 with 11 HR in 1913 plate appearances against righties. Perhaps even more hopeful is that he hits .268 with a .333 on base percentage in games with a left handed starter. I expect him to definitely see time at both second base and center field this season. (At least I hope to)