Cardinals finalize deal for lefty Randy Choate

Courtesy: Cardinals Media Relations

ST. LOUIS– The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have agreed to terms with free-agent left-handed pitcher Randy Choate (pronounced: choht) on a three-year deal that carries through the 2015 season.  Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Choate, 37, led the majors with 80 appearances in 2012 between the Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers, and has stood among the game’s top lefty relievers since breaking into the majors in 2000 with the New York Yankees.

“Randy is very capable of getting tough outs in tough spots against some of the game’s premier left-handed batters,” said Cardinals Sr. Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak.  “He gives us added flexibility during the back half of games working in tandem with “Zep” (Marc Rzepczynski) and the rest of our bullpen staff.”

Since his debut season of 2000, Choate ranks 5th (min. 500 at-bats) among active left-handed pitchers  in batting average by opposing LH batters at .201, 3rd in fewest home runs allowed (7) and 5th in opponent’s on-base + slugging pct. (.563).

Choate owns a lifetime mark of 11-11, 4.02 ERA and 6 saves in 476 games while making career stops with the Yankees (2000-03), Arizona (2004-07), Tampa Bay (2009-10),  the Marlins (2011-12) and Dodgers (2012).

Choate limited left-hand batters to a .158 mark (16-for-101) and just one home run in 2012 while compiling a career-high 20 Holds.  He allowed just 14 of 66 (21%) of inherited runners to score.