Valley Central grad Motte avoids arbitration

Jason Motte pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals on Sept. 3, 2008. (Image via Wikipedia Commons)

Jason Motte, who had requested $5.5-million in arbitration from the St. Louis Cardinals, agreed to a two-year deal instead, according to a Tweet from the Cardinals’ official account. 

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. St. Louis had offered $4.5 million for 2013 in the initial arbitration reports.

I’m going to guess Motte gets $12 to $14-million over two years. He’ll be a free agent following the 2014 season.

Motte, a catcher in his days at Valley Central and later at Iona College, led the National League with 42 saves last season, his first as St. Louis’ full-time closer.

In his five-year major league career, Motte is 17-13 with a 2.87 ERA and 54 saves in 282 appearances. A hard-throwing right-hander, Motte struck out 10.8 batters per nine innings in 2012.

Fangraphs has some interesting stats on Motte. Bill James’ 2013 projections have Motte appearing in 70 games, saving 45 and posting a 2.52 ERA and striking out 10.2 per nine. That’s on pace with his 2012 numbers and wouldn’t be at all surprising, with the Cardinals fielding another solid team and Motte having another year of experience in the role.

Motte has also lessened his reliance on the fastball, throwing it just 72.1 percent of the time in 2012. He had thrown 81.9 percent fastballs as a set-up man in 2010. He’s beginning to use a cutter 26 percent of the time.

I caught up with Motte in the visiting clubhouse at Citi Field in 2011. To read that story, click here.

Our other local product, Mike Aviles of Middletown, is currently awaiting the results of his arbitration case with the Cleveland Indians.

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    Will Montgomery

    Will Montgomery covers boys' soccer, girls' basketball, boys' and girls' swimming and diving, boys' lacrosse and baseball (including the Hudson Valley Renegades) for Varsity845.com and the Times Herald-Record. Prior to joining the TH-R in November ... Read Full
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