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Minor League Free Agent Signings Update
11/13/2012 2:29 PM ET
Last Update: December 20, 2012

The following players have been signed to 2013 minor league contracts or acquired via trade or waivers by the St. Louis Cardinals and could be members of the Redbirds roster this season:

INF - Matthew Cerda - Cerda, 22, was claimed off waivers by the Cardinals off the Double-A Tennessee roster of the Chicago Cubs in the first round of the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft in December. The left-handed third baseman split the 2012 season between Advanced-A Daytona Beach and Double-A Tennessee, hitting a combined .241 (83-for-259) with three homers and 24 RBIs in 111 games. Cerda was originally selected by the Cubs in the 4th round of the June 2008 draft out of Oceanside (Calif.) High School.


OF - Justin Christian - Christian signed a minor league deal with the Cardinals in November and received an invite to Major League spring training in 2013. The outfielder spent the previous two seasons in the Giants organization and earned a 2012 World Series ring. In 52 big league games with San Francisco, Christian batted.184 (19-for-103) with five stolen bases and six RBIs, but excelled with Triple-A Fresno to hit .341 (184-for-540) with 17 home runs, 74 RBIs, and 48 stolen bases in 136 contests. The speedster leads all active minor league players with a .863 career stolen base percentage and ranks 4th with 308 stolen bases over his minor league career. The Nebraska native attended Auburn University and Southeast Missouri State University before beginning his professional career with the independent River City Rascals in O'Fallon, Missouri.


C - Rob Johnson - Johnson signed a minor league deal with the Cardinals in November and received an invite to Major League spring training in 2013. The 30-year-old backstop has compiled a career .201 batting average (141-for-701) with eight home runs and 62 RBIs in 245 Major League contests games with the Mariners (2008-10), Padres (2011), and Mets (2012) in his career. Last season, Johnson hit .207 (34-for-164) with four homers and 15 RBIs in 45 games from behind the dish with Triple-A Buffalo, and also spent some time with New York (N). The Montana native was named the 2008 PCL Catcher of the Year with the Triple-A Tacoma and originally selected by the Mariners in the 4th round of the June 2004 draft out of the University of Houston.


INF- Jake Lemmerman - Lemmerman, 23, joined the Cardinals organization in December after being traded by the Dodgers for former Redbird Skip Shumaker. The right-handed infielder batted .233 (87-for-373) with seven home runs and 46 RBIs in in 116 games for Double-A affiliate Chattanooga in 2012 and was a Mid-Season All-Star for Advanced-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2011. Originally selected by Los Angeles (N) in the 5th round of the 2010 June draft out of Duke University, Lemmerman recently joined the Israeli national team this past fall during the World Baseball Classic's qualifiers.


C - J.R. Towles - Towles (pronounced TOLES) signed a minor league deal with the Cardinals in December and received an invite to Major League spring training in 2013. The 28-year-old spent the 2012 campaign with Triple-A Rochester, hitting .214 (36-for-168) with one homer and 10 RBIs in 52 games. The backstop spent the first seven years in the Astros organization, where he made his Major League debut in 2007 and set a Astros' franchise-record with eight RBIs in a single game against the Cardinals. Towles has appeared in 155 games for the Astros (124 starts at catcher) from 2007-11, batting a combined .187 (80-for-428) with 11 home runs and 50 RBIs. He was originally selected in the 20th round of the 2004 June draft out of North Central Texas College and was Houston's top prospect entering the 2008 season, according to Baseball America.


LHP - Jay Voss - Voss, 25, was claimed off waivers by the Cardinals off the Double-A Erie roster of the Detroit Tigers in the second round of the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft in December. Originally selected by the Marlins in the 8th round of the June 2007 draft out of Kaskaskia Junior College in Centralia, Ill., Voss was traded to the Tigers for former Redbirds pitcher Nate Robertson and cash considerations in 2010. The Breese, Ill., native underwent Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his left elbow in May last season after going 0-3 with a 6.10 ERA (7er/10.1ip) and eight strikeouts in three April starts at Erie.

Members of the 2012 Redbirds team who remain in the St. Louis Cardinals organization for the 2013 season (including potential free agents who re-signed with the club) is available in the "Where Have Former Redbirds Signed?" link above.


This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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