The St. Louis Cardinals and closer Jason Motte have avoided arbitration and agreed to a two-year, $12 million deal, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Rosenthal also notes that the deal includes performance bonuses. The deal will buy out his final years of arbitration, but he still remains on track to hit free agency after the 2014 season.
Motte, 30, was 4-5 with a 2.75 ERA and a league-leading 42 saves in 72 innings pitched in 2012. He also struck out 86 batters, good for a 10.8 K/9. Motte is 17-13 with a 2.87 ERA and 54 saves in his career. The righty has also been solid in the postseason, going 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA and eight saves in 19 career playoff games.
Motte will anchor the Cardinals bullpen along with Mitchell Boggs, Marc Rzepczynski and Fernando Salas.
The Cardinals still have to resolve the arbitration cases for David Freese and Rzepczynski.