Clement agrees to $1.5 million, 1-year deal

Friday, January 4, 2008
Matt Clement and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a $1.5 million, one-year contract Thursday. Clement missed last season while recovering from shoulder surgery. He last pitched for the Boston Red Sox in 2006. (CHARLES KRUPA ~ Associated Press)

St. Louis shored up its starting rotation with the addition of a veteran right-hander.

ST. LOUIS -- Matt Clement and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a $1.5 million, one-year contract Thursday with a club option for 2009.

Clement missed last season while recovering from shoulder surgery. He last pitched for the Boston Red Sox in 2006.

The 33-year-old right-hander is 87-86 with a 4.47 ERA in nine major league seasons with San Diego, Florida, the Chicago Cubs and Boston. An AL All-Star in 2005 with the Red Sox, he made at least 30 starts in each of his first seven full big league seasons from 1999 to 2005 before shoulder problems limited him to 12 starts for Boston in 2006.

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Clement is physically ready to pitch and "can be a solid addition to our starting rotation."

After winning the 2006 World Series, St. Louis struggled with a makeshift rotation last season and slipped to 78-84. The Cardinals finished with a 4.65 ERA, ranking 11th out of 16 NL teams.

Clement gets a $1.25 million salary this year and can earn an additional $5.25 million in performance bonuses, receiving the full amount if he pitches 200 innings.

The Cardinals have an $8.75 million option for 2009 with a $250,000 buyout. The option would increase to $9 million and the buyout $500,000 if Clement reaches 160 innings this season; $9.5 million and $1 million for 180 innings; and $10 million and $1.5 million for 200 innings.

The option would become $11 million and the buyout $2 million if Clement finishes in the top five in 2008 Cy Young Award balloting.

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