NASHVILLE, Tenn. The Cardinals have found their left-handed reliever.
Multiple reports Wednesday afternoon have the Cardinals agreeing to a deal with left-handed reliever Randy Choate, who held left-handed hitters to just a .158 batting average last season.
Choate, 37, posted a 3.03 ERA last season in 38 23 innings with the Marlins and Dodgers. In 12 big league seasons, hes held left-handed batters to just a .201 batting average and .284 slugging percentage.
The veteran was seen as one of the top left-handed relievers on the market behind Sean Burnett, who priced himself out of the Cardinals range by wanting a multi-year deal. Choate joins Marc Rzepczynski as the second lefty in the Cardinals bullpen.
Choate is most effective when used strictly as a left-handed specialist. Right-handed batters hit .325 off him in 40 at-bats last year. More than two-thirds of his at-bats were against left-handed hitters.
The durable lefty led the league in appearances in two of the past three seasons, topping the National League with 80 appearances last year and leading the American League with 85 appearances while with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010.
Choate broke into the big leagues in 2000 with the New York Yankees and has also pitched for the Diamondbacks, Rays, Marlins and Dodgers. He was a part of the trade that sent Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers last summer.