Cardinals Sign Encarnacion and Spivey

The St. Louis Cardinals announced this afternoon that they have agreed to terms with a pair of free agents, outfielder Juan Encarnacion and second baseman Junior Spivey. Encarnacion has agreed to a three-year deal and Spivey to a one-year pact.

"We have had Encarnacion at the top of our list among free agent outfielders this off-season," stated Cardinals Senior Vice President/General Manager Walt Jocketty. "Spivey is someone we have expressed interest in for the past two or three seasons. He will be a strong candidate in what we envision to be a quality competition for playing time at second base."

Encarnacion, 30, batted .287 with 16 home runs and 76 RBI for the Florida Marlins last season, ranking third on the team in homers, RBI, steals and slugging pct. (.447). He has posted a career batting mark of .268 with 128 HRs and 541 RBI in seven-plus seasons with Detroit (1997-2001), Cincinnati (2002), Florida (2002-2005) & Los Angeles (2004).

"We like his (Encarnacion's) all-around make-up," said Jocketty. "He hits for power, runs very well and plays a solid outfield. His addition helps us in getting a little younger in the outfield, yet he's still a player who has significant playing time and production at the major league level."

The 6-3, 215-pound Encarnacion has swiped 119 bases, including a career-high 33 for the Tigers in 1999. He's hit 15 or more homers in five of his seven full seasons with a career-best 24 in 2002 when he split playing time with Cincinnati and Florida. The right-handed hitting Encarnacion fanned 104 times last season, but has kept his strikeout totals under 100 in all but three seasons.

Spivey, 30, split the 2005 season between Milwaukee and Washington, batting a combined .232 with seven homers and 24 RBI in 77 games. He was the Brewers' Opening Day second baseman for a second-straight season in 2005, appearing in 49 games before being dealt to the Nationals on June 10 for pitcher Tomo Ohka.

The 6-0, 201-pound Spivey missed 63 games due to a freak injury when he suffered a right radius fracture on July 9 in pre-game batting practice. He wasn't reinstated to the active roster until Sept. 17.

"With Spivey, (Aaron) Miles, and (Deivi) Cruz, joining our team this off-season, we feel that we have a number of strong candidates not only for second base, but also for needed depth off the bench," said Jocketty.

Spivey, a native of Oklahoma City, Okla., owns a career batting mark of .270 with 48 HRs and 201 RBI in five seasons with Arizona (2001-03), Milwaukee (2004-05) and Washington (2005). He hit a career-best .301 with 16 homers and 78 RBI for the Diamondbacks in 2002, earning selection to National League All-Star team.

Both deals will require the successful completion of a physical exam before receiving final approval.

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