Cardinals, Jason Motte Agree To Two-Year Deal

4:32pm: The deal is worth $12MM and includes performance bonuses, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).

4:06pm: The Cardinals avoided arbitration with closer Jason Motte, agreeing to a two-year deal, the team announced (on Twitter). ACES represents Motte.

The agreement buys out Motte's two final years of arbitration, but won't delay his path to free agency. He still projects to hit the open market following the 2014 season. Motte had filed for a $5.5MM salary for 2013 and the Cardinals had countered with $4.5MM, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows. The 30-year-old set himself up for a raise from his 2012 salary of $1.95MM by posting a 2.75 ERA with 10.8 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and an NL-best 42 saves this past season.

The Cardinals have yet to resolve the arbitration cases for David Freese and Marc Rzepczynski.

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