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Jason Motte reaches two-year deal with Cardinals

Photo: Scott Kane/Icon SMI

Jason Motte will make $12 million the next two seasons from St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Reliever Jason Motte and the St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a $12 million, two-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration.

The 30-year-old right-hander had a career-high 42 saves in 49 chances last year, when he was 4-5 with a 2.75 ERA. He made $2 million.

Motte is 17-13 with a 2.87 ERA and 54 saves since his major league debut in 2008. He will be eligible for free agency after the 2014 season.

He gets a $1 million signing bonus, payable within 30 days of the contract's approval by Major League Baseball, and salaries of $4 million this year and $7 million in 2014. For 2014 only, Motte can earn $500,000 in performance bonuses: $250,000 each for 50 and 60 games finished.

St. Louis announced the deal on Tuesday.

Two Cardinals remain in arbitration: third baseman David Freese and left hander Marc Rzepczynski. If they fail to reach agreements, hearings would be held next month in Phoenix before three-arbitrator panels.

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