Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mujica, Boggs Sign; Others Are near Deals

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mujica, Boggs Sign; Others Are near Deals

Article excerpt

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 righthanders 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 MVPs agent submitted a suggested salary of $3.75 million for his clients first crack at arbitration. The club filed a salary offer of $2.4 million. Freeses agents request is 56.3 percent more, a sizable difference.

Freeses 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.

The team has focused its current negotiations on single-year deals with the three remaining arbitration-eligible players.

Boggs, who led the National League with 34 holds and was selected this week to Team USA for the World Baseball Classic, agreed to a deal worth $1.475 million for 2013 that also includes incentives, according to a source familiar with the deal. …

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