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Cardinals ink Laird

The Cardinals have reportedly signed former Detroit starting catcher Gerald Laird to be Yadier Molina's backup behind the plate.

Laird is a pretty good defensive player. But. despite General Manager John Mozeliak's announcement earlier this off-season that he wanted to find a productive offensive player to be Yadi's understudy, Laird has struggled terribly lately at the plate.

He hit only .207 for the Tigers in 2010 in 270 at bats. He hit five homers and drove in 25 runs while striking out 57 times. A .242 hitter through eight seasons, Laird is best known for his work behind the dish. He nailed 34 percent of attempted base thieves last season.

Terms of the deal have not been released. But when they were courting Bengie Molina, the Cardinals said they had about $1 million in the budget for a backup backstop.

Laird turned 31 in November and is a right-handed batter and thrower.