Nick Punto's first choice was to re-sign with the Twins, and beyond that, he wanted to make sure he ended up with a contender.

When it became clear this week that the Twins were moving on, Punto struck quickly, signing a one-year, $750,000 deal with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals made the announcement today, with a quick reference for how to pronounce Punto's name (Poon-toh).

The Twins declined Punto's $5 million option, paying him a $500,000 buyout.

Punto, 33, batted .248 with a .323 on-base percentage and .324 slugging percentage over seven seasons with the Twins.

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