Cardinals solve 2013 Scrabble salary riddle

The St. Louis Cardinals and left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski have agreed on his 2013 salary.

The St. Louis Cardinals announced Friday that they have come to terms with left-handed relief pitcher Marc Rzepczynski on a one-year contract for the 2013 season. They two sides avoided a salary arbitration hearing in the process.

The player and club settled at the exact midpoint of their respective submitted salary amounts at $1.1 million, according to the AP. The Cardinals had proposed $900,000, while the player asked for $1.3 million. He can earn up to an additional $50,000 - $25,000 each at 70 and 75 appearances.

Rzepczynski, 27, appeared in exactly 70 games for the Cardinals last season, second-most on the team, and finished with eight consecutive scoreless appearances. Also known as Zep or Scrabble, Rzepczynski had 19 holds and allowed runs in only three of his 33 appearances after July 1.

2012 was a tale of two seasons for him. His 1.83 ERA from July 1 to the end of the season was the 10th lowest among National League pitchers, as he allowed just a .186 opponent batting average during that time frame.

For his first 37 games over the first three months, it was a much different story, as Scrabble struggled to a 6.00 ERA. Overall, his 2013 ERA was 4.24.

The left-hander joined the Cardinals in the Colby Rasmus trade from Toronto at the July 2011 deadline and is the only player from that deal still with the club.

Third baseman David Freese is the Cardinals' lone arbitration-eligible player unsigned for 2013. For details on his case, click here.

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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