Motte, Cardinals agree on final two arb years

Closer Jason Motte and the St. Louis Cardinals have settled on a two-year contract, avoiding arbitration.

On Tuesday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that they have agreed to terms with pitcher Jason Motte on a two-year contract for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. This avoids salary arbitration for the next two years and settles his pay in his final pre-free agent season in 2014.

The two-year deal is for $12 million plus incentive bonuses, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. In last Friday's filing, the midpoint between the Cardinals and Motte's proposals for 2013 was $5 million. The 30-year-old made $2 million in 2012 in a deal that included three small incentives for games finished.

Update: According to the AP, the details of Motte's contract are as follows. He receives a $1 million signing bonus up front, with salaries of $4 million in 2013 and $7 million in 2014. In 2014 only, Motte can earn an additional $500,000 in bonuses: $250,000 each for 50 and 60 games finished.

In 2012, Motte tied for the National League lead with a career-high 42 saves and became the first Cardinal in franchise history to record every save during the season. The right-hander ranked ninth among NL relievers last season with a career-best 86 strikeouts, eighth with a .191 opponent's batting average and also ranked second in the league with 58 games finished.

Motte made his Major League debut with the Cardinals in 2008 and since that time has a 17-13 career record with 54 saves. His 54 saves rank 11th all-time among Cardinals relievers, and his 42 saves in 2012 marked the sixth-highest total in a single season. He became just the fourth Cardinal in franchise history to reach the 40-save plateau in a season (along with Bruce Sutter, Lee Smith and Jason Isringhausen).

Motte's deal leaves two arbitration eligible players left unsigned: third baseman David Freese and left handed relief pitcher Marc Rzepczynski. To compare their filing amounts with the team's as well as to understand the next steps in the arbitration process, refer to this article at The Cardinal Nation blog, "Arbitration filing amounts by Cardinals Freese, Rzepczynski and Motte".

The Cardinals now have the contracts of Motte as well as his seventh and eighth-inning set up men resolved for 2013. Four days ago, the other two arbitration-eligible Cardinals, right-handed relievers Edward Mujica and Mitchell Boggs, came to terms with the club on their 2013 contracts. Details here: "Cardinals Boggs and Mujica avoid arbitration".

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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