The St. Louis Cardinals didn’t make many moves during last week’s Winter Meetings, but they did complete an important deal to solidify a position the team struggled to fill throughout the 2012 season.
The Cardinals signed left-handed relief pitcher Randy Choate on Friday to a three-year, $7.5 million contract. He will serve as the second lefty in the bullpen behind Marc Rzepczynski and specialize in retiring left-handed batters late in ballgames.
A three-year deal might seem a bit much for a 37-year-old, but the price is reasonable, left-handed relievers tend to last longer than any other position in the sport and Choate fills one of the Cardinals’ few glaring needs.
The Cardinals began the 2011 season with Trevor Miller in his familiar old-guy, left-handed specialist role and then brought in 41-year-old Arthur Rhodes when they dealt Miller in the midseason trade with the Toronto Blue Jays that sent Miller and Colby Rasmus to Canada.
Neither Miller nor Rhodes had spectacular number...