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Cardinals sign Eugenio Velez to minor league contract

Dec 21, 2011, 7:42 PM EDT

eugenio velez getty Getty Images

From Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch comes word that the Cardinals have inked utilityman Eugenio Velez to a minor league contract. They also signed left-hander R.J. Swindle to a similar deal.

Velez collected no hits in 40 plate appearances this past year for the Dodgers and posted a brutal .164/.246/.309 batting line in 29 games for the Dodgers in 2010. The 29-year-old is not expected to crack the Cardinals’ Opening Day roster and is likely to function merely as organizational depth.

Swindle, 28, has only nine major league relief appearances to his name. He registered a 4.15 ERA and 36/17 K/BB ratio in 34 2/3 innings this past season for the Rays’ Triple-A affiliate in Durham, North Carolina.

  1. okwhitefalcon - Dec 21, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    The off season excitement remains at fever pitch for Cards fans.

  2. westcoastredbird - Dec 21, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    0 for 40. Are you kidding me. Even a blind squirrel can find a nut. Time to drug test the front office!

    • paperlions - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:54 AM

      Of course blind squirrels can find nuts, they locate previously buried nuts by scent, not memory or vision.

  3. spudchukar - Dec 21, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Having watched the Phillies et al, make numerous minor league has-been signings this off-season, the two Cardinal deals today are gambles that have some merit. Swindle’s numbers are impressive and Velez has always been an attractive athlete. I can see both contributing in a positive way in a pinch.

    • cintiphil - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:16 AM

      Does that mean Velez look good in a uniform? The numbers are absolutely horrible.

  4. jwbiii - Dec 21, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    I expected to see Velez’s next transaction here

  5. okwhitefalcon - Dec 21, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    This “new era” of Cardinal baseball has the stench of 1988 -1995 all over it.

    I already feel sorry for Mike Matheny, poor son of bitch.

    • cintiphil - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:19 AM

      We may not be totally informed on this deal. I think Matheny was consulted on the move, or at least did not object to the front office. I would think that if the field manager says no to a deal, it may not go through.

    • paperlions - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:57 AM

      Bitching about this signing is like bitching about a teams 40th round pick. It is irrelevant to anything. It is a minor league deal…..who cares?

      IMO, the Cardinals off-season has been fine so far. They haven’t signed anyone to any dumb contracts (including a declining, prideful 1B that wanted far more than was reasonable for any player his age) or made any dumb trades.

  6. joelgold - Dec 21, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    Actually, his brutal line from 2010 earned him a world series ring with the Giants. He never did get a hit with the Dodgers. Seems fitting to this old Giants fan.

  7. natsattack - Dec 21, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    It takes, umm… shall we say “extreme” skill to go 0-40?

  8. cintiphil - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    Are these guys slated for the minors or the Cardinals? Seems like the same move the Twins are about to make with the signing of Marquis.

  9. spudchukar - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    All true, but they still have about 27 mil to “re-allocate” so the jury is definitely still out. The 27 comes from about 22 saved on Albert, 2 mil saved on manager hire, over a mil on Schumaker, a mil on the catcher position, another mil on the Punto exodus, probably another mil or more on the Carpenter resigning, and 1/2 a mil on the Romero deal. One could say even 30 mil if a cost of living increase were included.

    Yes, since the Pujols debacle all signings appear rational, but they have a long ways to go, and not much time to do it.

    • paperlions - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:49 PM

      True. Signing Beltran will help. Of that “reallocation” money, $7M did go to Furcal. A number of guys are looking at arbitration raises, but nothing dramatic. Still hoping they extend Yadi and Wainwright this offseason. Signing Oswalt or Jackson would be nice…they can figure out what to do with Westbrook later….unless they know something they aren’t saying publicly that makes them think Westy can rebound from his horrible 2011.

      Maybe they are looking down the road and planning on bidding of Votto.

      • spudchukar - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:16 PM

        Perhaps the extra dough helped make the Furcal deal easier and faster, but they indicated long ago that they wanted to resign him, long before Pujols left, so that money was going to be spent regardless.

        I would just as soon keep Westbrook, as Jackson. Westbrook did help in the second half, but his lack of location is troubling, coupled with his implosion potential. He is dominating for about 4 innings, sometimes 5, but then he loses it. What is odd is that it doesn’t appear to be a lack of stuff, but control. He is an enigma, and of course he still has the no-trade clause.

        Extending Yadi would be great, but I am doubtful. Hope I am wrong. He cannot be replaced.

      • cintiphil - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:37 PM

        Votto ain’t going NO WHERE. You guys are dreaming. After we resign him next year, he is a Red for life.

      • paperlions - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:36 PM

        Good luck with that….Votto has made it clear he is going to FA and is going to maximize his earning potential, that is why he won’t even sell out his arbitration years.

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