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Cardinals Sign Lefty J.C. Romero

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Relief pitcher J.C. Romero #32 of the Colorado Rockies works against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field on September 5, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Relief pitcher J.C. Romero #32 of the Colorado Rockies works against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field on September 5, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — The Cardinals announced Thursday that they have signed left-handed relief pitcher J.C. Romero to a one-year contract for the upcoming 2012 season. The 35-year-old free-agent has 11-plus years of service in the majors with five Major League clubs.

“Romero is a proven lefty specialist, who has been a valuable bullpen piece for winning teams throughout his career” said Cardinals’ Senior Vice President John Mozeliak. “We felt that it was important to maintain versatility and depth within our bullpen and we feel that J.C will be a solid addition.”

During his big-league career, Romero has compiled a 34-28 won-loss mark with seven saves in 664 games and a 4.07 ERA. He leads Major League lefthanders in games pitched from 2002-2011 with 633, while his 517.0 innings pitched during that time span ranks 2nd among lefty relievers. His .208 opp. BA (177-for-852) against left-handed batters is the lowest among all Major League lefties (min. 800 AB’s) since 2002, as are his 11 home runs allowed.

Two of Romero’s top seasons came in 2007 and 2008. With Boston and Philadelphia in 2007 he pitched a combined 74 games, allowing just 12 ER over 56.1 IP (1.92 ERA). In 2008 he pitched in a career high 81 games for the World Champion Phillies and surrendered just 18 runs over 59.0 IP for a 2.75 ERA.

Romero has made six career postseason appearances, three with the Minnesota Twins and three with Philadelphia, and he pitched for Puerto Rico in both the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics.

Romero ended the 2011 season with Colorado after beginning the year with Philadelphia. He also saw action in the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees minor league systems last season.

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