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Cardinals avoid arbitration with Jay, Bourjos

Center fielders come to terms on one-year deals; Descalso remains unsigned

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ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' outstanding arbitration cases reduced to one on Friday, as the organization agreed to one-year deals with center fielders Jon Jay and Peter Bourjos. The settlements came before the two sides would have publicly exchanged desired salary figures on Friday and eliminate the possibility of a February arbitration hearing for both.

Jay, sources confirmed with MLB.com, will make $3.25 million in 2014. Bourjos will earn a base salary of $1.2 million with a $150,000 bonus available through plate appearance incentives, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

With these two deals now in place, the Cardinals can focus attention on Daniel Descalso, their lone remaining unsigned arbitration-eligible player. Descalso, like Jay and Bourjos, is going through this arbitration process for the first time.

On Friday, it was revealed that Descalso had filed for a $1.65 million salary, while the Cardinals offered $930,000. The two sides, now with a better understanding of how each is positioned, can continue to negotiate a contract until the date of a scheduled hearing in February.

If an arbitration hearing is necessary, one of the two requested salaries will be chosen in a binding decision by a panel. The Cardinals last went to an arbitration hearing in 1999.

Jay, who is coming off a season in which he batted .276 in 157 games, sees his salary rise considerably after making $524,000 in 2013. Bourjos earned $512,500 with the Angels last season before being traded to St. Louis in a four-player, November deal.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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