The Cubs have agreed to sign reliever Jason Motte to a one-year contract, as reported by Bruce Levine of 670TheScore.com. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, Motte will earn $4.5 million in guaranteed money, with additional incentives available based on games finished.
Chicago was known to be on the lookout for bullpen pieces this winter, and will add Motte to a group that already includes Hector Rondon, Blake Parker, Pedro Strop, Justin Grimm and Neil Ramirez. Motte also was linked to the Nationals this offseason after appearing in only 25 innings for the Cardinals last season.
Motte, 32, has spent his entire career with St. Louis, posting a lifetime 18-13 record and 3.03 ERA in 126 career appearances. He was a force out of the team's bullpen from 2010 to 2012, when he posted ERAs of 2.24, 2.25 and 2.75 in each season while saving 42 games as the team's closer in 2012. He missed the entire 2013 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in May, and was less effective in 2014, when he posted a 4.68 ERA in 29 appearances.
If Motte has a strong showing in spring training, he may be in the mix for the Cubs' closer job, as evidenced by the incentives based on games finished. Rondon, who saved 29 games and posted a 2.42 ERA in 2014, was the team's closer last season.