Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Cards sign Adam Kennedy, Kip Wells

The AP reports that the St. Louis Cardinals signed former first round draft pick Adam Kennedy to replace Ronnie Belliard at second base. The Cards picked up Kip Wells, another has-been pitcher, whose career record is 57-74. In addition, Gary Bennett has re-signed for a one year deal and Eli Marrero rejoins the Cards with a minor league contract.
The Cardinals made their first big moves since winning the World Series, agreeing Tuesday to a $10 million, three-year contract with second baseman Adam Kennedy and a $4 million, one-year deal with right-hander Kip Wells.

The Cardinals also agreed to a $900,000, one-year contract with backup catcher Gary Bennett and a minor league contract with Eli Marrero, once their starting catcher.

Kennedy, selected by the Cardinals in the first round of the 1997 amateur draft, was considered the Cardinals' second baseman of the future before he was traded to the Anaheim Angels in 2000, a deal that brought Jim Edmonds to St. Louis. Kennedy now replaces Ronnie Belliard, who was acquired from Cleveland last summer and became a free agent.

The 30-year-old Kennedy hit .273 with 55 RBIs and 16 stolen bases last season for the Angels. He has a career batting average of .280 with 52 homers and 123 stolen bases.

His contract calls for salaries of $2.5 million next year, $3.5 million in 2008 and $4 million in 2009. He made $3.38 million this year in the final season of a three-year contract.

The 29-year-old Wells could fill one of three vacancies in the rotation created when Jeff Suppan, Jeff Weaver and Jason Marquis became free agents.

Wells was 1-5 with a 6.69 ERA for the Pittsburgh Pirates, then was traded to Texas on July 31 and went 1-0 in two starts with the Rangers. He finished the season on the 15-day disabled list with a foot injury.

For his career, Wells is 57-74 with a 4.46 ERA.

Wells led major league pitchers with 18 losses in 2005 and missed the first half of the 2006 season following surgery, performed in St. Louis, to repair a blocked artery near his right shoulder.[...]

[Bennett] gets $850,000 next season, and the Cardinals hold a $900,000 option for 2008 with a $50,000 buyout. If St. Louis exercises the option, Bennett could void the option but would lose the buyout.

Earlier in the offseason, the Cardinals agreed to two-year contracts with Edmonds ($19 million) and utilityman Scott Spiezio ($4.5 million).
I like all the signings except for Kip Wells. It's a definite project for Dave Duncan.

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