Theriot, Cardinals Settle on 2011 Contract

Shortstop Ryan Theriot celebrates his 31st birthday by coming to terms with the Cardinals on a contract for the upcoming season, his first with St. Louis.

The St. Louis Cardinals and recently-acquired shortstop Ryan Theriot have come to terms on a one-year contract for the 2011 season, avoiding arbitration. Last week, the club tendered him, keeping the player under team control for what will be his fifth major league season.

The amount of the deal has not yet been confirmed, but this article will be updated when that information becomes available. estimates the contract is for $3.3 million.

Theriot's situation this year is much different than last. Since then, he has been traded twice, from the Chicago Cubs to Los Angeles Dodgers to St. Louis (the latter deal in exchange for pitcher Blake Hawksworth on November 30), and is in the process of re-building his market value. Theriot, who turned 31 years of age today, Tuesday, December 7, will be eligible for free agency after the 2012 season.

One year ago, Theriot took the Cubs to an arbitration hearing when the two sides could not agree on his 2010 salary. The player requested a raise from $500,000 in 2009, his second season as the club's starting shortstop, to $3.4 million. The Cubs countered with $2.6 million and their case convinced the three-person panel. Theriot had been just one of 128 players eligible who did not settle prior to a hearing last spring.

The man Theriot replaces in the Cardinals starting lineup, Brendan Ryan, and reliever Kyle McClellan are the other two arbitration-eligible players on the club's roster. Ryan is currently on the trade block.

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