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Red Sox Sign Punto Away from Cards

Utility infielder Nick Punto will not return to the defending champion Cardinals in 2012 after inking two-year, $3.5 million deal with the Boston Red Sox.

Despite his versatility, Punto played just 63 games because of injury in his lone season as a Redbird, hitting .278 with a .388 on-base percentage in 166 plate appearances.

He is expected to occupy the spot vacated by Jed Lowrie on the Boston bench. It was widely suspected that Punto might not return after the Cardinals re-signed Skip Schumaker to a two-year deal, re-signing shortstop Rafael Furcal and picking up infielder Erik Komatsu in the Rule 5 Draft.

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