Backup catcher Jason LaRue agrees to $850,000, 1-year deal with Cardinals

Updated: November 19, 2007, 5:15 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- Backup catcher Jason LaRue and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed Monday to an $850,000, one-year contract.

The 33-year-old LaRue, who will play behind starter Yadier Molina, replaces Gary Bennett as the backup.

LaRue is a career .233 hitter with 88 homers and 316 RBIs. He spent his first eight seasons with Cincinnati. The Reds traded him to Kansas City prior to the 2007 season.

In 66 games with the Royals, LaRue hit .148 with four homers and 13 RBIs. His best season was 2005, when he hit .260 with 14 homers for the Reds.

LaRue threw out 33 percent of would-be base stealers last season, seventh among all catchers with at least 50 starts.

In addition to his base salary, he would get a $50,000 bonus for 40 starts, and $100,000 each for 50, 60 and 65 starts.

Also Monday, free-agent pitchers Dewon Brazelton and John Wasdin agreed to minor league contracts.

Brazelton, a 27-year-old right-hander, was the third overall selection by Tampa Bay in the 2001 amateur draft. He last pitched in the major leagues in 2006 with San Diego and has a career record of 8-25.

Wasdin, 35, was 1-1 with a 5.95 ERA in 12 relief appearances last season with Pittsburgh. A right wrist sprain in July ended his season.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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