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Birds ink Wilson Matos to minor league pact

The Cardinals announced Thursday four minor leaguers including reliever Wison Matos who impressed during a workout in the Dominican Republic.

The also signed lefty pitcher Rich Rundles, second baseman Ramon Vazquez and shortstop Ronald Ramirez to minor league pacts.

Matos, who will be 23 in April, was previously in the Marlins and White Sox organizations. He made his professional debut in 2006 and pitched three years in rookie league before moving up to Class A ball in 2009.

According to, Matos is a "classic example of a thrower not a pitcher" who relied almost exclusively on his 93-94 MPH fastball that can sometimes reach as high as 96 MPH. But during his Cardinals workout, the 6-foot-2, 180-lb righty displayed a nice breaking pitch that may be the key to his breakout.

Cardinals farm Director John Vuch said Matos will compete for a bullpen spot with the Class A Quad Cities River Bandits of the Midwest League.