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Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

Morris to remain a Cardinal

Friday, January 4, 2002

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a $27 million, three-year contract with 22-game winner Matt Morris.

While the team didn't announce the deal, the agreement was confirmed Thursday by a baseball official familiar with the negotiations who spoke on the condition he not be identified.

Cardinals spokesman Brad Hainje said the team had no announcement Thursday.

"It might be another couple of days," he said. "(We) are in contract extension talks with Matt but nothing is finalized yet."

Morris, 22-8 in 2001 in his first year as a starter since 1998, was eligible for salary arbitration and could have become a free agent after the 2002 season.

He did not use an agent and negotiated the deal himself. He gets $4 million this year, $10.5 million in 2003 and $12.5 million in 2004.

Morris, 27, missed the entire 1999 season after ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow. He returned in 2000, making 31 appearances out of the bullpen before returning to the rotation last season.

In 34 starts, Morris worked 216 1-3 innings with a 3.16 ERA, striking out 185 while walking 54. Opponents hit .265 against him and he finished third in the NL Cy Young Award balloting behind winner Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling.

In the Cardinals' NL division series loss to eventual World Series champions Arizona, Morris allowed just two runs to the Diamondbacks in his two starts. Both were one-run losses to Schilling.

Since joining the Cardinals in 1997, Morris is 44-25 with a 3.09 ERA, 447 strikeouts and 182 walks.


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