On Sunday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced they have signed infielder Miguel Cairo to a minor league contract, returning the veteran to an organization where he played from 2001 through 2003.
The timing seemed ideal with the Cardinals and Chicago Cubs in the midst of a heated weekend series, as Cairo first came to the Cardinals after having been waived by the Chicagoans. The Cardinals plucked him off the wire on August 10, 2001. He would remain with the club until declaring free agency after the 2003 season.
Cairo signed with the New York Yankees, where he played in 2004, 2006 and 2007, interrupted by a season across town with the 2005 edition of the New York Mets.
Overall, Cairo has hit .267 with a .315 on-base percentage during his 12-year career. Defensively, he has appeared at six different positions, including all four infield stops as well as the corner outfield positions.
This season, the versatile Cairo batted .252 (27-for-107) with seven doubles and 10 RBI in 54 games for the New York Yankees. He was designated for assignment on August 7 and eventually released on Wednesday.
The native of Venezuela was originally signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1990 and made his big-league debut with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1996 at the age of 22. At the time, he was the youngest player in the Majors.
From there, Cairo moved to the Chicago Cubs (1997) and Tampa Bay Devil Rays (1998-2000), before returning to the Cubs for the 2001 season. He also spent time with the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics organzations.
The 33-year-old will report to the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds on Wednesday.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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