Thursday, April 01, 2010

David Freese gets 3B job, Lugo traded

With only a few days to go before the regular season starts, we now who our fith starter is along with our starting third baseman.

Jaime Garcia is the fifth starter.

David Freese is the starting third baseman.

Julio Lugo has been dealt from the Cardinals to the Orioles for cash or a player to be named later.
Heading into Spring Training, Lugo was set to be the Cardinals' backup infielder. But the acquisition of Felipe Lopez in late February meant Lugo didn't have an identified role off the bench.

Before he walked out the door on Thursday morning, though, Lugo had nothing but good things to say about the Cardinals.

"They were honest to me," said Lugo, who added that he never requested a trade. "They did everything they told me they were going to do. It didn't work out here. They told me if I get a better situation, they were going to trade me. I'm happy they did it.

"I have a lot of respect for those guys, and I loved it here. I wish I could come back. I really liked it over here. This is one of the best places I've been."

With Lugo gone, the Cardinals' 25-man roster -- barring injuries -- is set.

Allen Craig, Nick Stavinoha and Joe Mather -- who were competing for the final two reserve spots -- will all make the team. Craig and Mather each has experience as corner infielders and could be the second backup to Lopez, who could end up getting 400 to 500 at-bats this season.[...]

Lugo is owed $9 million this season, and he has a $9 million vesting option for 2011 that's unreachable because he hasn't compiled the necessary plate appearances since 2007. The Red Sox are on the hook for all of Lugo's 2010 salary.

Acquired from Boston in exchange for Chris Duncan in late July, Lugo batted .280 with three homers and 21 RBIs in 88 games this past season.

In spring, he battled a groin injury and hit .242 in 10 games.

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