JUPITER, Fla. -- Despite a third day of pitcher and catcher workouts, position players were the hot topic around the Cardinals Complex at Roger Dean Stadium on Saturday as four more arrived and a free agent was signed.
General manager Walt Jocketty made his first move of spring training by signing infielder Scott Spiezio to a minor league contract.
Spiezio, 33, spent the last two seasons recovering from injuries while with the Seattle Mariners following a 2002 World Championship with the Los Angeles Angels. He will wear No. 26, the same number his father Ed wore while a member of the Cardinals from 1964 to 1968.
"I've always admired his competitiveness," said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.
Outfielder Jim Edmonds arrived late Friday afternoon and was joined Saturday by infielders Junior Spivey and Aaron Miles as well as outfielder So Taguchi.
Spivey will be competing with Miles, Deivi Cruz and Hector Luna for the second base position. La Russa said the contenders were excited about the competition.
"It's going to be a fun part of spring watching the infielders go at it," he said.
Last year, Spivey underwent surgery to his right wrist and sported a three-inch scar where doctors put a metal plate. But he said his wrist now feels fine.
The Cardinals signed Spivey as a free agent Dec. 23, following a season that included stops as a member of the Brewers and Nationals.
"This is the first place I wanted to go," Spivey said. "I was originally drafted by the Cardinals out of high school in 1995. I'm from Oklahoma and I grew up a Cardinals fan."
The Cardinals have nine catchers in camp with six nonroster invitees to join Yadier Molina, Gary Bennett and Michel Hernandez from the 40-man roster.
"Every day our program pivots around what our pitching needs that day," La Russa said. "Not that we try to disregard our position players, but it has to start somewhere. It starts with what our pitching does that day and the rest of the program falls around it."
Molina's involvement with the World Baseball Classic continues to be a concern, but one La Russa has come to terms with.
"Our preference, like everyone else's in Major League Baseball, is to have our players in camp," the manager said. "Especially a guy like Yadier, because we have new guys in camp like [reliever Braden] Looper. He needs to catch Looper, but Yadier's going to be in that tournament."
Third base coach Jose Oquendo will manage Molina on the Puerto Rican squad.
Among the six nonroster catchers invited to camp was Bryan Anderson, the Cardinals' 19-year-old, fourth-round selection in the 2005 June amateur draft. Anderson hit .331 with six home runs and 36 RBIs in 40 games at Johnson City (Rookie League) last season.
Scott Rolen made a surprise visit, saying he will return Monday when position players report. Rolen missed all but 56 games last season with a shoulder injury.