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Report: Nick Punto to Sign With the Boston Red Sox

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Free agent utility infielder Nick Punto has opted to sign with the Boston Red Sox, according to Jon Heyman (now of CBS Sports). Punto signed with the Cardinals as a free agent last offseason on a one-year contract for $750,000. Injuries cut down on Punto's playing time as a Cardinal and an injury to his throwing arm restricted him to playing only second base. Punto is known primarily as a plus glove man at three infield positions. In additional to bringing sterling defensive play to the Cardinals last season, Punto also had his best offensive season by posting a line of .278/.388/.421 for a .350 wOBA. His combination of defense and offense led him to a 1.8-WAR season in 2011. Punto is also known as "The Shredder" for ripping dress shirts and jerseys off of his teammates (and even Jim Hayes of Fox Sports Midwest, if I'm not mistaken). Unlike Skip Schumaker, Punto's excellent defense at three positions and great batting eye made him a valuable utility man. He will be missed in St. Louis.