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Byrnes signs with Seattle

Former Diamondbacks outfielder Eric Byrnes, a potential low risk high reward solution for the Cardinals fourth outfielder needs, unfortunately will be taking that role with the Mariners instead.

Byrnes, who has had big problems staying healthy over the last couple of seasons and subsequently lost his starting job in Arizona, was released by the Diamondbacks earlier in the month and could have been had in 2010 for the major league minimum.

Who knows how much he has left in the tank. But Byrnes is younger and faster than Jim Edmonds and can play all three outfield positions, so he would have made a nice backup. He's been around the block enough times that he could be a pinch hitter or double switch kind of guy.

It looks like the Cardinals, who have serious questions to answer about their bench, are going to head into spring training with what they have and hope for bargains later. GM John Mozeliak said he doesn't expect to make any deals before then -- although Yahoo Sports reports that the Redburds and Diamondbacks are leading contenders to bring in Felipe Lopez.

The former Cardinal can play second base, third base, left field, right field and shortstop in a pinch.