Cardinals add 2B insurance in Mark Ellis

Veteran infielder joins the St. Louis Cardinals on a one-year contract for 2014.

The St. Louis Cardinals appear to have added the last piece in a successful winter of additions with a tentative agreement to sign free agent second baseman Mark Ellis to a one-year contract. The deal is contingent on a physical and could be announced early this coming week, reports Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch.

Financial terms of the agreement are not yet immediately available. Ellis made $5.25 million with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season.

Ellis, 36, is an 11-year MLB veteran with a steady defensive reputation and a career .720 OPS. He will offer a battle-tested right-handed hitting alternative to still-unproven rookie left-handed hitting Kolten Wong at second base and a RH bat off a Cardinals bench that was projected to be left-handed heavy.

Researcher Mark Simon of ESPN noted via Twitter that the Dodgers were 69-37 when Ellis started at second base last season. They were 23-33 when he did not.

One would have to think that either Daniel Descalso or Pete Kozma will lose his 25-man roster spot as a result of Ellis' arrival. Vote for your preference on how to reshape the 2014 Cardinals bench at The Cardinal Nation message board.

On paper at least, it has been a good winter for Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak. Prior to Ellis, St. Louis added shortstop Jhonny Peralta via free agency and centerfielder Peter Bourjos via trade this off-season without having to surrender any young starting pitchers or forfeit draft picks.

Monday afternoon update: FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports the one-year contract is worth $5.25 million plus over $1 million in incentives.

Also on Monday afternoon, the Cardinals made their official announcement of the signing.

To see the entire Cardinals organization by level and position, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and up to date at The Cardinal Nation blog.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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