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Cardinals, Shreve agree to terms for 2019

St. Louis also tenders Ozuna, Wacha, Leone ahead of deadline
MLB.com @LangoschMLB

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals reached a one-year agreement with lefty reliever Chasen Shreve and tendered contracts to their other three arbitration-eligible players prior to Friday's 7 p.m. CT non-tender deadline. Those three remaining unsigned players -- Marcell Ozuna, Michael Wacha and Dominic Leone -- now have six weeks to negotiate contracts with the Cardinals before the two sides would have to exchange desired salary figures.

With the club adopting a file-and-trial policy in recent years, it's expected that if any of the three remain unsigned by that Jan. 11 deadline, the Cardinals would move on to an arbitration hearing to determine the player's 2019 salary. The preference is to avoid that by reaching mutual agreements.

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals reached a one-year agreement with lefty reliever Chasen Shreve and tendered contracts to their other three arbitration-eligible players prior to Friday's 7 p.m. CT non-tender deadline. Those three remaining unsigned players -- Marcell Ozuna, Michael Wacha and Dominic Leone -- now have six weeks to negotiate contracts with the Cardinals before the two sides would have to exchange desired salary figures.

With the club adopting a file-and-trial policy in recent years, it's expected that if any of the three remain unsigned by that Jan. 11 deadline, the Cardinals would move on to an arbitration hearing to determine the player's 2019 salary. The preference is to avoid that by reaching mutual agreements.

Financial terms of Shreve's one-year deal were not released.

Wacha and Ozuna were both arbitration-eligible for a third and final time. Ozuna, the team's starting left fielder, will earn a pay raise from the $9 million he made last season. He's coming off a year in which he battled through a right shoulder impingement to hit .280/.325/.433 as the club's cleanup hitter.

Wacha, who earned $5.3 million in 2018, was a likely All-Star before an oblique injury shut him down in late June. He never returned. That was a hit to the Cardinals' rotation, as Wacha, with a 3.20 ERA in 15 pre-injury starts, was in the midst of his best season since 2015.

This is the final year the Cardinals will have team control over Wacha and Ozuna. That's not the case with the club's other two arbitration-eligible players, Leone and Shreve.

The organization is hopeful that both relievers will emerge as key contributors in a remade bullpen. Both joined the Cardinals in 2018, with Leone coming over from Toronto in the Randal Grichuk trade and Shreve arriving midseason when St. Louis sent Luke Voit to the Yankees.

Projected to be a late-innings arm out of the 'pen, Leone instead spent much of his season battling a nerve issue in his right arm. He was limited to 29 appearances and finished with a 4.50 ERA and 1.46 WHIP.

Shreve was brought in amid the team's search for left-handed relief. His impact, however, was underwhelming. Left-handed hitters posted a .911 OPS against Shreve, who had a 3.07 ERA in 20 appearances with the Cardinals.

Minor matters
The Cardinals inked reliever Chris Beck to a Minor League contract on Friday. The 28-year-old right-hander made 20 appearances for the White Sox and Mets last season and has spent parts of the past four years in the Majors.

Over 130 career innings, Beck has a 5.88 ERA and 1.72 WHIP. He has walked nearly as many batters (75) as he has struck out (86).

Beck was designated for assignment twice this year and became a free agent when he refused a Minor League assignment with the Mets at the end of the season.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

St. Louis Cardinals, Chasen Shreve