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Nick Punto trades red birds for Red Sox

Scratch oft injured infielder Nick Punto off the roster of the 2012 Cardinals.

The versatile free agent has signed a two-year, $3.5 million contract with Boston.

Punto showed just how good he could be during the last few weeks of the season and in the playoffs and World Series when he helped to settle down the St. Louis infield at second base. But the Cardinals seem determined to fill his utility role with low dollar alternative Tyler Greene.

The Cardinals had already parted with Ryan Theriot who started 2011 at shortstop but ended the year in a second base platoon after the Birds landed Rafael Furcal. Skip Schumaker is the only guy from the 2011 second base mix (unless you count Allen Craig) to return for 2012.

Daniel Descalso, who spent most of his playing time last year filling in for the injured David Freese at third base, is expected to get the first shot at second next season.