The two sides were heading toward an arbitration hearing this month in Arizona. Had it been held, a team of arbiters would have been bound to choose either Freese's salary submission of $3.75 million or the Cardinals' amount of $2.4 million. Midpoint would have been $3.075 million.
2013 marks the first of three arbitration-eligible seasons for the soon-to-be 30-year-old. For that reason, some wondered if the two sides might come to terms on a multi-year deal instead of potentially repeating this process in 2014 and 2015.
In 2012, the St. Louis County native played in a career-best 144 games while starting 132. The right-handed hitter batted .293 with career-high totals of 20 home runs and 79 RBI, and he earned his first All-Star Game appearance.
Major League Baseball's arbitration process continues to work as intended with the "one amount or the other" approach encouraging pre-hearing settlements. The Cardinals' current record of not having a hearing since 1999 has now been extended one more year.
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Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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