Cardinals Sign Morris to $1.2M Deal

Tuesday, February 13th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cardinals right-hander Matt Morris agreed Tuesday to a $1.2 million, one-year contract.

Morris, who can earn an additional $700,000 in performance bonuses, had been scheduled for an arbitration hearing Thursday in Phoenix.

After making $937,500 last season, he asked for $1.45 million in arbitration and the Cardinals countered at $1.05 million.

St. Louis avoided arbitration with all five Cardinals who filed last month.

Morris, 26, was the Cardinals' top pick (12th overall) in the 1995 amateur draft. He was considered one of baseball's best young pitchers after going 12-9 with a 3.19 ERA in his rookie season of 1997, and 7-5 with a 2.53 ERA in 1998.

But Morris missed all of 1999 after injuring his elbow in spring training. He had a ligament replaced and returned to the Cardinals last May 30, pitching only in relief as the team treated him cautiously. Morris was 3-3 with a 3.57 ERA and four saves in 31 appearances.

He is expected to compete for a spot in the starting rotation this spring. Pitchers and catchers report Friday to the Cardinals' spring training camp in Jupiter, Fla.