Cardinals Sign Catcher Gerald Laird

Veteran American League backstop becomes Yadier Molina's 2011 reserve.

The St. Louis Cardinals announced Tuesday that they have agreed to terms with free-agent catcher Gerald Laird on a one-year contract for the upcoming 2011 season. Financial terms of the deal were not released, but Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reported the deal is worth $1 million plus $300,000 in incentives.

Laird, 31, has played exclusively in the American League with both Texas (2003-08) and Detroit (2009-10), recording a career .242 batting mark with 34 home runs and 192 RBI in 598 games.

The right-handed hitting Laird appeared in 89 games for the Tigers in 2010 and finished third in the American League in catcher's throwing percentage (29.2%), third in base runners caught stealing (24) and third in assists (52).

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Westminster, CA native ranks second among all American League catchers in caught stealing percentage (35.8%) since 2006 and his 142 base runners caught stealing over the past five seasons (2006-10) leads all Major League catchers.

Laird enjoyed his best overall season in 2006 for the Rangers, batting .296 with 20 doubles and seven home runs in 78 games. He's hit at a .331 (60-for-181) career clip against National League teams, including a .298 (34-for-114) mark against N.L. Central clubs.

Detroit did not offer arbitration to Laird, a Type B free agent, so will not receive compensation. With the move, the Cardinals' 40-man roster is at 39. Recommended Stories

  • Peyton Manning emerged alone atop yet another category in the NFL record book tonight vs the Niners, as he tossed touchdown #509 under the national spotlight of Sunday Night Football (NBC). (Photo…

  • Former USC and NFL running back LenDale White added tons of drama to what was a relatively quiet Homecoming weekend for the Trojans.

  • Here’s a way to watch football and improve your golf swing at the same time. In your living room (or on the range), practice the one-minute golf swing, as shown in this video. Set the timer on your…

  • Dr. Roto, like many others, can't believe Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (pictured above) passed for over 300 yards and rushed for over 100 yards in the same game. First time that's ever happened…

  • As soon as those winds fall off, get into the stand! I always tell people you can't kill them if you aren't out, but if you want to try and pick an opportune time – this is it.

Up Next