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Astros ink infielder Ronny Cedeno to one-year contract

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The Houston Astros have signed infielder Ronny Cedeno to a one-year contract.

General manager Jeff Luhnow announced the deal Sunday.

Cedeno, 30, hit the free-agent market this past Tuesday after being released by the St. Louis Cardinals.

St. Louis had signed Cedeno to a one-year, $1.15 million deal, which included incentives, Jan. 28.

It didn't take long for Cedeno to make an impact with the Astros.

He tripled in his first game Sunday with the ballclub in a 4-1 rain-shortened win over the Miami Marlins.

Cedeno also found out that he'll likely begin the 2013 regular season as the club's starter at shortstop.

Projected starter Tyler Greene received word Sunday that he will not make the Opening Day roster, according to the Houston Chronicle.

“Ronny is a veteran player at a premium position that will stabilize our infield,” Luhnow said in a released statement. “He gives our young pitching staff a quality defender behind them.”

Cedeno hit .259 with four homers, 22 RBI, 11 doubles and a triple over 166 at-bats in 78 games for the New York Mets last season.

He looks forward to a fresh start with Houston.

“I’m very excited to be here,” Cedeno said on Sunday. “This is a good opportunity for me. They have a lot of young guys here that I’m willing to help if they need me.”

Cedeno is hitting .247 with 37 homers and 218 RBI in 779 games over eight career major league seasons with the Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners, Pittsburgh Pirates and Mets.

He was the Cubs' starter at shortstop in 2006, as well as Pittsburgh's regular starter throughout the 2010-11 seasons.

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