The Cardinals are closer to shoring up their five-man rotation for next season. The fourth installation is left-hander Mark Mulder who signed a guaranteed two-year deal worth $13 million.

Mulder decided to stay in St. Louis because he wanted to show his teammates that he could be dominant on the mound again like he was with Oakland.

“I had fun here and the one thing that ate at me was that no one in St. Louis – not the coaches, the fans, even some of my teammates – nobody in St. Louis has seen what I’m capable of doing,” Mulder said. “Even in 2005, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what I’m capable of doing. That wasn’t the sole reason for coming back, but it was one of the reasons.”

Mulder has only won 22 games in the two years he’s been with the Redbirds, including a 6-7 record last season. He underwent shoulder surgery in September and is still recovering. He isn’t expected to return to the rotation until midseason.

The Cardinals are looking for a fifth starter to go along with ace Chris Carpenter, Kip Wells, Anthony Reyes, and Adam Wainright.

The Cardinals apparently can’t give up on one-time pitching prospect Rick Ankiel. The pitcher-turned-outfielder signed a minor league contract with the team and has accepted an invite to play in spring training.