Cardinals Sign Percival to Minor League Deal

The former Angels and Tigers closer chose the St. Louis Cardinals on the path of his comeback attempt to the Major Leagues. A stop in Memphis is his next destination.

On Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that they have agreed to terms with right-handed reliever Troy Percival on a minor league contract. The veteran closer will report to Triple-A Memphis where he will continue his attempt at a comeback.

Percival, 37, spent most of his career with the Anaheim Angels before signing with the Detroit Tigers in 2005 as a free agent. He suffered an injury to his right forearm in July of 2005 and, after attempting to return for the 2006 season, retired early that year. He was working as a special assignment pitching instructor for Anaheim until asking for a release from his coaching contract on May 23 so he could attempt a comeback.

Drafted in 1990 by the California Angels as a catcher, Percival was converted to a pitcher and made his Major League Debut on April 26, 1995. He became the regular closer for the Angels the following year and has compiled a 29-38 record with a 2.99 ERA in 586.2 career innings. He holds 324 saves, which ranks 12th on the All-Time Major League saves list and ranks fifth among active Major Leaguers. He collected a career-high 42 saves in 1998 and enjoyed his best season in 2002 with a 4-1 record, 40 saves, 68 strikeouts and just a 1.92 ERA.

A four-time All-Star (1996, 1998, 1999, 2001), Percival went nine-straight seasons with 20 or more saves from 1996-2004, eight of those years with 30+ saves. Troy was a member of the Angels' World Championship team in 2002 in which he collected seven saves and a 2.79 ERA over the course of the postseason.

When he joins the Major League club, Percival will become the sixth former Angel on the Cardinals roster, joining Adam Kennedy, Scott Spiezio, David Eckstein, Jim Edmonds and Russ Springer.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at

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