Infielder Ronny Cedeno has agreed to a $1.15 million, one-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, giving them insurance in case shortstop Rafael Furcal has problems returning from an elbow injury that sidelined him late last season.
Cedeno can earn an additional $850,000 in performance bonuses under Monday's deal: $170,000 each for 200, 250, 300, 250 and 400 plate appearances.
The 29-year-old Cedeno batted .259 with four homers and 22 RBIs last year for the New York Mets. An eight-year big league veteran, he has a .247 career average for the Chicago Cubs, Seattle, Pittsburgh and the Mets and was the Pirates' starting shortstop in 2010 and 2011.
At the team's fan festival last week, both general manager John Mozeliak and manager Mike Matheny said they thought the team would enter spring training with no serious health issues. Rookie Pete Kozma started at shortstop the final month of the season and in the post-season.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Cardinals designated left-handed pitcher Barret Browning for assignment.
St. Louis also agreed to minor league contracts with catchers Rob Johnson and J.R. Towles and outfielder Justin Christian, and hired former catcher Bengie Molina as assistant hitting coach. He is the older brother of Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
The Cardinals invited 16 non-roster players to training camp, including outfielder Oscar Taveras and right-hander Seth Maness, their minor league player and pitcher of the year. Pitchers and catchers report to Jupiter, Fla., on Feb. 11, with the first full-squad workout Feb. 15.
Phillies close to deal with reliever Durbin
Looking to fortify their bullpen, the Philadelphia Phillies turned to a familiar face.
A person familiar with the deals says the Phillies have agreed with veteran reliever Chad Durbin on a one-year contract. Durbin returns to Philadelphia where he played a key role in the bullpen on the 2008 World Series championship team.
The deal reached on Monday is pending a physical, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team didn't make an official announcement.
Durbin was 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA in a career-high 76 games for Atlanta last season.
The righty was 5-4 with a career-best 2.87 ERA in 71 appearances with the Phillies in '08. He left Philadelphia after the 2010 season and posted a 5.53 ERA in Cleveland in 2011 before returning to the NL with the Braves.
The 34-year-old Durbin is 42-47 with a 4.95 ERA in 440 games over 13 seasons with six teams.
Durbin is expected to pitch in middle relief. The Phillies signed Mike Adams to fill the setup role in front of closer Jonathan Papelbon.
Yankees sign OF Rivera
Juan Rivera has agreed to a minor league contract with the New York Yankees.
The 34-year-old outfielder and first baseman, who played for the Yankees from 2001-03, hit .244 with nine homers and 47 RBIs last year for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
New York planned to announce the agreement later this week along with the deals for Matt Diaz and others who will go to spring training with minor league contracts.