Report: Cards reach agreement with Choate

The Cardinals’ search for left-handed relief help has brought them to Randy Choate, who, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com, reached terms on an agreement with St. Louis on Wednesday. The club has not yet announced the signing, but when they do, it will mark the first dip for the organization into the free-agent pool this offseason.

It has been no secret that St. Louis has been looking to add a second southpaw to join Marc Rzepczynski in the bullpen. The market was thin in that area, forcing the Cardinals to carefully consider how much of a financial commitment the club wanted to make to a lefty reliever. Sean Burnett, considered the top remaining free-agent lefty reliever, was going to command a strong multi-year commitment.

The length and terms of Choate’s agreement with the Cardinals was not immediately known.

Choate, 37, made 80 appearances in 2012, which he split between the Marlins and Dodgers. Choate posted a 3.03 ERA in 38 2/3 innings and was used primarily as a lefty specialist. He held left-handed batters to a .158 batting average. Right-handed hitters batted .325 against him. The Cardinals will use Choate in that same specialist role.

– Jenifer Langosch

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