Cardinals sign Motte to one-year contract

Cardinals sign Motte to one-year contract

ST. LOUIS -- Compromise can be a beautiful thing. Jason Motte and the Cardinals reached agreement Wednesday on a one-year contract for 2012, avoiding arbitration.

The deal is worth $1.95 million, according to CBSSports.com, which would be exactly halfway between the figures the two sides submitted in advance of a potential arbitration hearing.

General manager John Mozeliak confirmed that an agreement is in place, but as a matter of policy, the Cardinals do not disclose contract terms. Motte, who emerged as the club's closer late in 2011, requested $2.4 million when figures were exchanged. The club offered $1.5 million. In his last year prior to arbitration eligibility, Motte made $435,000.

In his third full season in the Major Leagues, Motte had his most effective campaign to date in 2011. He was 5-2 with career bests in saves (nine), innings (68), strikeouts (63), and strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.94). Motte appeared in 78 games in the regular season and 12 in the Cardinals' run to the World Series, allowing three earned runs in 12 1/3 October innings with five saves.

Motte was the only unsigned arbitration-eligible Cardinal. As a result, the team will avoid arbitration for the 13th straight winter. The team has not gone to a hearing since 1999, when it won its case against left-hander Darren Oliver.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.