The Cardinals signed two arbitration-eligible players to contracts Friday, neared a deal with closer Jason Motte and got a clearer view of what it will take to lock in the remaining two arbitration-eligible players for the 2013 season.
Setup relievers Mitchell Boggs and Edward Mujica agreed to one-year contracts with the Cardinals to avoid an arbitration hearing. Third baseman David Freese, Motte and lefty Marc Rzepczynski exchanged salary figures with the Cardinals.
There appears to be momentum for a deal with Motte, though an agreement was not finalized Friday evening. The deadline to exchange figures spurred agreements throughout baseball, and the Cardinals had deals with Boggs and Mujica finalized before having to submit the salary suggestions.
"The process picks up when there is a deadline," general manager John Mozeliak said.
The salary figures submitted for Motte, who tied for the league lead with 42 saves, on Friday were $4.5 million from the Cardinals and $5.5 million from the righthander's representatives. Such figures are often the guidelines the sides need to arrive at an agreement at the midpoint or close to it.
The widest gap for the Cardinals is with Freese. The 2011 World Series MVP's agent submitted a suggested salary of $3.75 million for his client's first crack at arbitration. The club filed a salary offer of $2.4 million. Freese's agent's request is 56.3 percent more, a sizable difference.
Freese's salary request is the highest of any position player in his first year of arbitration rights, and the only first-time eligible player who submitted a higher salary figure was Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mat Latos, at $4.7 million.
Either would be a significant raise from the $518,000 Freese made this past season, his first on the big-league active roster for the entire year.
Wide gap between Cards' offer, Freese's request
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Jan 19