Cubs announce signing of Motte to 1-year deal

Cubs announce signing of Motte to 1-year deal

CHICAGO -- Manager Joe Maddon now has a veteran presence in the Cubs' bullpen with the addition of Jason Motte.

The Cubs announced Friday that they have signed the free agent right-hander to a one-year, $4.5 million contract that includes $2.5 million in performance bonuses.

Motte, a converted catcher who has only played for St. Louis, confirmed earlier this week on Twitter that he was switching to the Cardinals' rival and took time to say hello to Cubs fans.

"Thank you for the warm welcome," Motte said on Twitter. "My family and I are excited about the new opportunities, on and off the field, to make an impact in this great city. See you in AZ in February! Oh yeah #GoCubsGo"

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer both have said one of the goals this offseason was to add a veteran reliever to help mentor young Cubs, including Justin Grimm and Neil Ramirez.

Motte, 32, could share the workload with Hector Rondon, 26, who took over the closer's job last season, finishing with 29 saves in 33 opportunities.

At the Winter Meetings, Maddon said he would stick to one pitcher for the ninth if he had that "wonderful slammer." Motte was that guy in 2012, when he saved 42 games, tied for most in the National League with the Braves' Craig Kimbrel.

However, Motte missed the 2013 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in May that year. This past season, he appeared in 29 games, compiling a 4.68 ERA over 25 innings. In six seasons, Motte has converted 54 of 69 saves and posted a 3.03 ERA in 311 relief appearances.

Motte is 18-13 with 54 saves, 50 holds and a 3.03 ERA. He has struck out 290 batters while walking 86 over 285 innings pitched, and limited opponents to a .222 batting average.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.