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Gerald Laird, St. Louis Cardinals Nearing Agreement, Apparently

This one was official late last night and unofficial even later last night: The Cardinals are apparently close to an agreement with Gerald Laird, who does not exactly fit the "offensive-minded backup catcher" description John Mozeliak's been talking up for the last few weeks.

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Laird is an upgrade on the usual Cardinals backup catcher—he's younger than Jason LaRue or Gary Bennett, and he's a better defensive player. But in his two-year stint with the Detroit Tigers he hit a collective .218/.289/.313, which is almost identical to what Jason LaRue's been doing for the last three years. In terms of value it looks like the Cardinals have lashed themselves to more of the same backup catching they've had since Yadier Molina replaced Mike Matheny. 

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What this might do, if you're looking for good news, is give Tony La Russa a license to play Molina a little less frequently, which means he won't be so gassed in September and October. In 2009 LaRue took just 104 at-bats; that kind of thing is not good for a catcher who the Cardinals appear to plan on keeping around for a while. 

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But I have to ask this one more time: If the Cardinals really want an offensive-minded backup catcher, why can't they just stop jerking around Bryan Anderson?

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