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Rumor mill: Cardinals to sign Lopez (finally)

Reports out of Florida are that the Cardinals are close to a deal to sign Felipe Lopez. And it is about freaking time.

The Birds have been linked to their former utilityman for months but had been unable to hammer out a deal as they played coy while Lopez held out for a starting job.

According to ESPN, the contract is for $2 million and incentives, which means the Cardinals, who had $92.6 million worth of players in a $100-million budget before the deal, still have about five million bucks to work with... And that isn't including the $7 million or so that Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter and Matt Holliday have deferred from their current pacts.

Lopez should be a tremendous addition to the Cardinals both because of his versatility in the field and because he could be the second place hitter -- a .310 batter last year with good pop in his bat -- that the team has been looking for... Of course, he might not play the same position two days in a row. But what difference does that make?