Report: Cards release Taguchi to open spot for Rule 5 draft pick

Updated: December 6, 2007, 10:32 AM ET

Outfielder So Taguchi has been released by the St. Louis Cardinals after six seasons with the team, according to

So Taguchi


Center Field
St. Louis Cardinals


2007 Season Stats
130 3 30 48 .350 .290
By cutting the 38-year-old Taguchi, the Cardinals made room on their 40-man roster to allow them to make a selection in Thursday's Rule 5 draft at the winter meetings in Nashville.

Taguchi, who signed with the Cards before the 2002 season after a successful career in Japan, established himself as a valuable member of the club in 2004 when he appeared in 109 games.

In parts of six seasons with the Cardinals, Taguchi batted .283 with a .336 on-base percentage and became a fan favorite for his hustling style and performance in the 2006 postseason.

Taguchi, not noted for power hitting, struck a tie-breaking home run in Game 2 of the 2006 National League Championship Series -- a solo shot off Billy Wagner in the ninth inning that began a three-run rally in the Cardinals' 9-6 win.

St. Louis went on to win the NLCS in seven games and beat the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.