Cards, Motte agree to 2-year deal

The St. Louis Cardinals have locked up their closer for the next two seasons, with the team announcing on Tuesday that it has come to terms with reliever Jason Motte on a multi-year contract.

Financial terms of the deal, which will cover Motte's two remaining years of arbitration eligibility, were not disclosed.

Motte is coming off a strong 2012 campaign in which the hard-throwing righty tied for the National League lead with 42 saves while posting a 2.75 earned run average over 67 appearances. The 30-year-old added 86 strikeouts over 72 innings pitched in addition to limiting opposing hitters to a .191 average.

The previous season, Motte took over as the Cardinals' closer and recorded five saves during the team's run to the 2011 World Series title.

"We are excited to be able to have Jason under control for the next two years," said Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak. "We wanted to recognize what Jason has accomplished for the Cardinals and the role he has played in our bullpen. He exemplifies the type of player on and off the field we want in our organization, and we're looking forward to having him part of the team for the next two seasons."

Motte broke into the majors with the Cardinals in 2008 and has compiled 54 saves, a 17-13 record and a 2.87 ERA over 282 games pitched during that five- year span.