|Nick Punto with son Nash before Nash's|
eye surgery last week. (Photo tweeted
by Natalie Punto).
First, he signed with St. Louis. Then with Boston. Now, with an intervening trade to Los Angeles, he's signed with Oakland.
To be sure, he hasn't gotten the at-bats with these teams that he did with the Twins -- fewer than 700 plate appearances the past three years combined. But he did play in 116 games with the Dodgers last year, filling in around the infield, and in 2011, he was a lineup fixture in the NLCS and World Series as the Cardinals won it all.
Punto's 36 now, and he will never be an offensive force. But he was always a better player than his detractors recognized, and the willingness of some of the sharpest front offices to find space for him on their rosters even in his decline phase speaks to that.