The St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent second baseman Mark Ellis, the team announced on Monday. The terms of the deal weren't immediately disclosed, but Cardinals.com reported that the one-year deal will pay Ellis $5.25 million, plus a potential $1 million in incentives.
The 36-year-old Ellis will provide the Cardinals with insurance for rookie Kolten Wong, who is expected to get a chance to start next season. Ellis could also back up other infield positions.
The Cardinals have shuffled around their infield this offseason, amid losing outfielder Carlos Beltran in free agency and trading third baseman David Freese. They signed Jhonny Peralta to start at shortstop, while Matt Adams will start at first and Mark Carpenter will start at third. Allen Craig is expected to move to right field to take over for Beltran.
Ellis has spent the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2013, he hit .270 with six homers, 48 RBI, and a .674 OPS.
#STLCards have signed free-agent infielder Mark Ellis (most recently with the Dodgers) to a one-year contract for the 2014 season.LEMIRE: The best available position players left on the market >
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) December 16, 2013