Tag: Jason Motte

Jason Motte, Chad Qualls to Rockies: Latest Contract Details and Reaction

The Colorado Rockies attempted to bolster their bullpen Tuesday by coming to terms with a pair of veteran relief pitchers, Jason Motte and Chad Qualls.

Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post first reported the news and the Rockies quickly confirmed the two-year deals for both relievers. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, citing sources, reported Motte’s contract is worth $10 million and added that Qualls’ contract is worth $6 million.

Upgrading the bullpen was one of the top things on the Rockies’ to-do list this winter. They finished last in the majors in reliever ERA last season at 4.70, according to ESPN.com. The National League average was more than a run better at 3.66.

Motte spent last season with the Chicago Cubs, posting a 3.91 ERA across 57 appearances. He broke into the majors with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he finished with an ERA of 2.75 or better in four of his first five seasons before struggling in 2014 with a 4.68 mark.

Saunders noted the 33-year-old right-hander dealt with shoulder soreness near the end of last season. If he’s back to full strength, he should be a strong bounce-back candidate.

The Rockies will mark the ninth different stop in Qualls’ career. He sports a 3.80 career ERA, including a 4.38 mark last season. Yet, a 2.99 xFIP and a 8.39 strikeout rate in 2015, per FanGraphs, while with the Houston Astros suggests he pitched better than his ERA would indicate.

Ultimately, Motte and Qualls aren’t going to solve all of Colorado’s woes in the latter innings. The former must prove he’s back to full health, and the latter has endured some up-and-down campaigns over the past handful of years.

They can provide some stability in the late innings if at their respective best. For the Rockies, which struggled mightily in those situations in 2015, it’s worth taking a chance on a pair of resurgent seasons.


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Jason Motte to Cubs: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

On the same day the Chicago Cubs officially announced they signed Jon Lester, the team is reportedly shoring up the bullpen.    

According to MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat, the Cubs agreed to a one-year deal with veteran reliever Jason Motte:

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported on the financial details of the deal:

Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reported that the nature of the potential contract might signify Motte getting a chance to close in Chicago:

Closer has been a sore spot for the Cubs over the past few years. It’s seemingly become an annual tradition for the franchise to switch closers midseason.

While the 32-year-old has only spent one full season as a closer (2012), he was very good in the role. He saved 42 games, which tied for the lead in the National League, and posted a 2.75 earned run average that season for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Motte missed all of 2013 with an elbow injury and subsequent Tommy John surgery. Upon his return last year, he was a little shaky on the mound, giving up 13 earned runs in 25 innings pitched.

While adding Motte won’t move the needle much in Chicago, it’s a low-risk, high-reward deal for the team.

If Motte remains healthy in 2015 and returns to something similar to his 2012 self, the Cubs will have a very good, reliable closer. If it doesn’t work out, they didn’t make a sizable investment and won’t get burned too much.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Jason Motte Will Reportedly Miss Rest of Season Following Tommy John Surgery


The St. Louis Cardinals will not have reigning National League saves king Jason Motte as their closer at any point during the 2013 season. 

According to a report on Twitter from Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Motte will not pitch this season following the decision by team officials to proceed with Tommy John surgery to his right arm:

Motte, who led the NL in saves last year with 42, has done everything he could in rehab to avoid a trip to the operating table. He felt good in late April after throwing from 60 feet (h/t Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com), but his latest throwing session revealed that the problem would not fix itself. 

According to general manager John Mozeliak, Motte will have the surgery early next week (h/t Brian Stull of 101ESPN.com). The Cardinals are also not seeking bullpen help through a trade as of now:

The 30-year-old closer has 54 saves, a 17-13 record and a 2.87 ERA in parts of a five-season MLB career—all with the Cardinals. He was also a member of the team’s 2011 World Series championship team, getting the clinching out in Game 7 of the series against the Texas Rangers

He broke on the scene in 2008 as a rookie, holding a 0.82 ERA in 12 games. From there, Motte established himself as a front-end bullpen guy and took over the closer job late in the 2011 season, a move that Tony LaRussa has to feel like is one of his finest after the results of the 2011 postseason. 

While trading for bullpen help isn’t likely right now, the Cardinals could be in the market for such a deal in the very near future. 

Mitchell Boggs flamed out in the closer’s role to start the season and was sent down minors on Friday—hours before the team made the announcement that Motte would miss the season (via St. Louis Post-Dispatch). 

Edward Mujica has been much better as the closer since being moved into the role by manager Mike Matheny, completing seven straight saves dating back to his first appearance as the closer on April 18. 

While the news on Motte is troubling for Cardinals fans, it’s a move that many expected after an April MRI revealed he tore a ligament in his throwing elbow (via MLB.com). If everything goes according to plan, he could return by this time next season, and an early recovery schedule might place a return somewhere in the area of spring training in 2014. 

The Cardinals currently have a team ERA of 3.14 (heading into Friday night)—the second-best mark in baseball. They will miss Motte down the stretch, though, and almost certainly will have to do something to add depth to the ‘pen if a playoff push is in their future. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Jason Motte’s MRI Shows Tear in Elbow Ligament

St. Louis Cardinals closer Jason Motte began the 2013 season on the disabled list, and it’s starting to look like he may end it that way. 

According to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, Motte underwent an MRI on Tuesday that showed a tear in his ailing elbow ligament and could have to undergo Tommy John surgery:

General manager John Mozeliak confirmed the news, according to Rob Rains of StLSportsPage.com:

If Motte has to undergo Tommy John, his season will obviously be over before it began. The 30-year-old closer has been on the disabled list since the beginning of the season after suffering an elbow strain in spring training. He was sent to Dr. George Paletta for a follow-up MRI on the injury Tuesday, with the hopes of receiving the green light to return to his spot in the Cardinals’ bullpen.

Heading into his sixth major league season, Motte broke out in 2012. He tied for the National League lead in saves with 42 had a 2.75 ERA and helped key St. Louis’ run to the NLCS. That run helped Motte land a two-year contract in the offseason, which kept both him and the Cardinals out of salary arbitration. 

With Motte’s status up in the air, the Cardinals will likely continue using Mitchell Boggs in the closer role for now. 

Boggs, the setup man a year-ago, has gotten off to a rocky start as a closer. He has recorded one save on the season, but took a disastrous loss on Monday that saw him give up seven runs (six earned) in just 0.1 innings against the Reds. 

Without an improvement from Motte, it’s very possible that the Cardinals could hit the trade market looking for an experienced closer. Boggs hasn’t looked the part thus far, and the man who performed so brilliantly in 2012 may be on the precipice of a season-ending surgery. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Aroldis Chapman and Jim Johnson Among MLB’s 5 Most Valuable Closers in 2012

The role of closer in Major League Baseball is among the most important in the game.  Closers are constantly relied upon in tough situations, with the game on the line.

A good closer can propel a team into the playoffs and to postseason success.  Teams with unreliable stoppers pitching the ninth inning often find themselves struggling in mediocrity and are usually playing golf in October. 

So who were the five most valuable closers in 2012?

Here is a breakdown of the five most valuable ninth-inning saviors from the past season. 

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