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Report: Cardinals agree to sign second baseman Mark Ellis

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Mark Ellis is headed to St. Louis as a bit of an insurance policy.
Mark Ellis is headed to St. Louis as a bit of an insurance policy. (USATSI)

MORE: FA tracker: position players | FA tracker: pitchers

The Cardinals and free agent second baseman Mark Ellis have agreed to a one-year deal, pending a physical, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

With the Cardinals having traded David Freese and seen Carlos Beltran walk via free agency this offseason, they've played a bit of a game of musical chairs in the infield. All-Star first baseman Allen Craig will shift to right field to take over for Beltran, putting Matt Adams in at first. All-Star second baseman Matt Carpenter will move to third base -- taking over for Freese -- leaving second base for Kolten Wong. Newly signed Jhonny Peralta will be the shortstop.

Ellis, 36, provides the Cardinals with a veteran insurance policy for the youngster, Wong, at second base. Ellis hit .270/.323/.351 with 13 doubles, six homers and 48 RBI for the Dodgers last season. The 11-year veteran carries a career line of .265/.330/.390 (94 OPS+).

The 23-year-old Wong hit .153/.194/.169 in 62 plate appearances last season, but he'll still be a rookie in 2014 and he has good upside. He hit .303/.369/.466 with 21 doubles and 10 homers in 107 Triple-A games last season. There is, of course, the possibility he flops, however, which is where the Ellis signing comes in.

Also worth noting: Wong bats left-handed while Ellis is a righty, so a platoon would also be possible.

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