Freese, Cardinals settle on one-year deal

Freese at last month's Winter Warm-Up

Third baseman David Freese and the St. Louis Cardinals have avoided arbitration, agreeing to one-year contract for the 2013 season.

Third baseman David Freese and the St. Louis Cardinals have avoided arbitration, agreeing to one-year contract for the 2013 season, the club announced on Friday. The amount is $3.15 million, reports CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.

The two sides were heading toward an arbitration hearing this month in Arizona. Had it been held, a team of arbiters would have been bound to choose either Freese's salary submission of $3.75 million or the Cardinals' amount of $2.4 million. Midpoint would have been $3.075 million.

2013 marks the first of three arbitration-eligible seasons for the soon-to-be 30-year-old. For that reason, some wondered if the two sides might come to terms on a multi-year deal instead of potentially repeating this process in 2014 and 2015.

In 2012, the St. Louis County native played in a career-best 144 games while starting 132. The right-handed hitter batted .293 with career-high totals of 20 home runs and 79 RBI, and he earned his first All-Star Game appearance.

Freese is the last of five Cardinals arbitration-eligible players to come to terms with the club. Before him, relievers Jason Motte, Mitchell Boggs, Edward Mujica and Marc Rzepczynski settled.

Major League Baseball's arbitration process continues to work as intended with the "one amount or the other" approach encouraging pre-hearing settlements. The Cardinals' current record of not having a hearing since 1999 has now been extended one more year.

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