Brian Wilson made the heavily bearded closer a pop culture item during the Giants sprint to World Series glory in 2010, yet any Cards fan could make a strong argument that Jason Motte’s performance made it stick in Major League Baseball. With Motte agreeing today on a two year deal with the Cards that keeps him in St. Louis red through the 2014 season and Wilson unlikely to return to San Fransisco, the beard seems to have found a home at Busch Stadium.
It would be hard-pressed to find any reasons to dislike the Cards signing of Motte. Number one, it avoids arbitration. Even more than finances, steering clear of the court room eliminates any hard feelings between Motte and the club. Secondly, it allows the Cards to focus on their true remaining off-season task: arbitration with David Freese. With testy negotiations and a hefty price tag likely on the horizon with Freese, the Motte signing helps to simplify things for the Cards front office. Most importantly, Motte is one of the best closers in baseball- and his stats back that up. Motte reached a career high with 42 saves in 2012, tied for the NL lead. Furthermore he proved his reliability, becoming the first Cardinal ever to record every team save himself.
Mozeliak commented on the signing today: “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 can rest easy this offseason with a new baby on the way, a WBC invite turned down, and a new contract in the bank.