MLB notebook: Choate, Cardinals finalize deal
BY RONALD BLUM Associated Press
Saturday, December 08, 2012
12/08/12 at 5:28 AM
Reliever Randy Choate and the St. Louis Cardinals have finalized a $7.5 million, three-year contract.
The deal was announced Friday, two days after it was agreed to at the winter meetings.
He gets $1.5 million next season and $3 million in each of the following two years. He can earn an additional $250,000 annually based on relief appearances: $50,000 for 70, $75,000 for 75 and $125,000 for 80.
The 37-year-old left-hander tied for the major league lead with 80 pitching appearances this year, splitting the season between the Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers. Choate is 11-11 with a 4.02 ERA and six saves in 476 games during a big league career that began in 2000.
Average salary up to $3.2 million: Baseball's average salary increased 3.8 percent this year to a record $3.2 million.
According to final figures released Friday by the Major League Baseball Players Association, the rise was the steepest since 2007. The boost was helped by an increase in the minimum salary from $414,000 to $480,000.
The New York Yankees had the highest average for the 14th consecutive season at $6.88 million, rising after consecutive declines from a peak of $7.66 million when they won the World Series in 2009.
The Los Angeles Dodgers rose from 13th to second at $5.55 million and Texas from 15th to fifth at $4.89 million.
At nearly $685,000 Houston had the lowest average since the 2006 Florida Marlins.
RHP Haren joins Nationals: Right-hander Dan Haren has agreed to a one-year contract with the Washington Nationals.
The NL East champions announced the deal Friday, without giving financial terms. Earlier in the week, a person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press it would be worth $13 million.
The 32-year-old Haren was a free agent after going 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA in 30 starts for the Los Angeles Angels in 2012. The Angels nearly traded him to the Cubs after the season, then declined their $15.5 million option for 2013..
Gardner, Yankees agree at $2.85 million: Speedy outfielder Brett Gardner and the New York Yankees have agreed to a $2.85 million, one-year contract that avoids salary arbitration.
Gardner can earn $150,000 in performance bonuses under Friday's deal: $25,000 each for 375, 400, 425, 450, 475 and 500 plate appearances.
Gardner was limited to 31 at-bats last season because of a right elbow injury. He made $2.8 million.