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Cardinals sign Wieters to compete for backup catcher’s role

Recapping the Cardinals major moves of the 2018-19 offseason

The St. Louis Cardinals resigned Adam Wainwright, traded for Paul Goldschmidt and Drew Robinson, and signed Andrew Miller ahead of the 2019 season.
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The St. Louis Cardinals resigned Adam Wainwright, traded for Paul Goldschmidt and Drew Robinson, and signed Andrew Miller ahead of the 2019 season.

The St. Louis Cardinals announced Wednesday that they have signed free agent catcher Matt Wieters to complete as a backup to starter Yadier Molina.

Wieters, 32, is a 10-year veteran, though he was limited to 72 games with hamstring injuries last season as a member of the Washington Nationals. But in eight seasons in Baltimore, he was a four-time American League All-Star, most recently in 2016. His best season was 2012, when he slashed .249/.329/.435 with 23 home runs, 27 doubles and 83 RBIs and earned his second Gold Glove Award.

The switch hitting Wieters, who has a career .251 batter, will push incumbent backup catcher Francisco Pena, who last season hit .203 with two home runs and eight RBIs in just 133 at bats.

If the Cardinals add him to the 40-man roster, Wieters will receive a one-year contract for $1.5 million.

Molina had offseason knee surgery, but is expected to make his spring training debut in mid-March and be ready for Opening Day.

BND Assigning News Editor Todd Eschman has won numerous state and regional awards for his columns, feature stories and news reporting. He was born and raised in Belleville, attended SIU-Carbondale, and is a member of the BBWAA, SABR and St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame.

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