David Freese and the St. Louis Cardinals avoided arbitration Friday with agreement of a one-year contract.
The expected value of the contract for Freese is $3.075 million. A nice, well-deserved pay increase for the 2011 World Series MVP as his 2012 salary was $508,000.
According to Derrick Goold of the Post Dispatch:
“We’re happy to have all of our arbitration-eligible players signed before the start of spring training,” general manager John Mozeliak said. “I think (Freese) was a interesting case from the comparison standpoint because his value had been raised by his October heroics.”
In his first year of eligibility for arbitration, Freese, a St. Louis-area native, received a considerable raise. The final salary is expected to be more than $3.075 million. Last month, the Cardinals and Freese’s agent exchanged suggested salaries as part of the arbitration process. The Cardinals submitted an offer of $2.4 million; Freese’s agent filed at $3.75 million.
The gap was among the largest, percentage-wise, of the arbitration-eligible players this winter. Freese’s request was the most by a first year-eligible position player.
“We are happy that both sides were able to work together and get a deal done,” Freese’s agent Nez Balelo wrote in a text message. “I’m pleased that Mo and I were able to reach an agreement that both parties were comfortable with. David is pleased this is behind him and he can focus on spring training and bringing another championship to St. Louis.”
In 2012, Freese played in more than 100 games for the first time in his career, and the results were career highs across the back of his baseball card. The third baseman hit .293 with 20 home runs and 79 RBIs.
With Freese signed for 2013 this continues the team’s run without an arbitration hearing since 1999 continues.
Excellent news for Freese and the Cardinals!
Pitchers and Catchers reporting is just a few days away now.