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01/14/11 1:33 PM EST
Cards sign Batista, Snell to Minors deals
Right-handers' contracts include invitation to Spring Training
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
The Cardinals announced via their Twitter feed on Friday that veteran right-handers Miguel Batista and Ian Snell had signed Minor League contracts with invitations to big league Spring Training camp.
Batista, 40 next month, and Snell, 29, would earn base salaries in the neighborhood of $750,000 if they win spots on the Major League roster, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The newspaper also reported that Batista can opt for free agency if not assured a job with the Cardinals by the final week of Spring Training and that Snell has a similar option for June 1.
The Cardinals would be Batista's ninth big league team since making a one-game debut for the Pirates in 1992. He has extensive experience both as a starter and a reliever, but pitched almost exclusively in relief over the past two seasons, including a 2010 with the Nationals in which Batista posted a 3.70 ERA in 57 appearances out of the bullpen and one start.
Snell spent 2010 with the Mariners, and it was a forgettable season. He had a 6.41 ERA in eight starts and four relief appearances, the last of which came June 14 against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. He was demoted to the Minor Leagues after that and later was shut down with an elbow injury.
Batista and Snell were among 18 non-roster invitees announced by the Cardinals on Friday. The others are pitchers Brandon Dickson, Joe Kelly, Lance Lynn, Shelby Miller, Adam Ottavino, Kevin Thomas and Raul Valdes, catchers Nick Derba, Steven Hill, Audry Perez and Robert Stock, infielders Matt Carpenter and Donovan Solano and outfielders Amaury Cazana, Shane Robinson and Nick Stavinoha.