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Cardinals sign Jason Motte to minor-league deal

Club’s former closer comes back to St. Louis to help add bullpen depth

MLB: Atlanta Braves at San Diego Padres Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals have agreed to sign right-handed pitcher Jason Motte to a minor-league deal, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The deal is pending a physical.

Motte will rejoin the Cardinals organization after spending seven years at the major-league level with them from 2008-14. Drafted in the 19th round in the 2003 MLB Draft, Motte helped the Cardinals win the World Series in 2011, making five saves in the postseason after supplanting Fernando Salas as the team’s closer down the stretch that season. In 2012, He remained the primary closer and went on to save a career-high 42 games — tying for the National League lead that season — while recording 86 strikeouts (10.9 Ks per nine innings) in 72 innings pitched.

Unfortunately, Motte missed the entire 2013 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. In 2014, Motte lost his job to Edward Mujica, who the Cardinals also signed to a minor-league deal this offseason, and only appeared in 29 games that year before being granted free agency.

Since then, he has played with the Cubs, Braves, and Rockies, respectively. When he was with the Cardinals, Motte recorded 54 saves while posting a 3.03 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 285 innings pitched. With the other three clubs, Motte had only six saves, a 3.99 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP in 112 23 innings.