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Cubs ink Looper

The Northsiders just can't get enough of former Cardinals pitchers these days.

A day after signing former St. Louis hurler Todd Wellemeyer, the Wee Bears announced Wednesday that they have inked Braden Looper to a contract with an invitation to spring training.

The well traveled Looper started baseball life as a Redbirds farmhand but was dealt to the Marlins in exchange for Edgar Renteria. He then made his way to the Mets before returning to St. Louis as an eighth inning guy. But he was converted to a starter when the rotation grew thin. He signed in 2009 with the Brewers but sat out in 2010 when he couldn't find a deal to his liking.

He's 72-65 with a 4.15 ERA over 12 seasons in the major leagues. He's started 97 games and racked up 103 saves in his career.

At the time he left St. Louis, Looper said he enjoyed being a starter more than a bullpenner. But, with the Cubs rotation apparently set, it seems more likely he'd be cast as a reliever if he makes the team. But both Looper and Wellemeyer could serve as a fill in if one of the regular starters in injured -- or if Carlos Zambrano decides to go and get himself suspended again.

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