Randy Choate is 37 years old but the St. Louis Cardinals apparently weren't concerned about that Wednesday afternoon when they agreed to contract terms with the left-handed reliever at the winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn.
The deal, reported by numerous media outlets, is believed to be for three years and $7.5 million.
Choate gives the Cardinals the second lefty reliever they coveted and will allow Marc Rzepczynski to pitch multiple innings, if necessary.
Choate had no record last season but pitched in 80 games with the Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers, compiling a 3.03 ERA in 38 2/3 innings, with 18 walks and 38 strikeouts. Choate is 11-11 with a 4.02 ERA in 476 career games, all out of the bullpen.
The Dodgers acquired Choate and infielder Hanley Ramirez from the Marlins on July 25. The Cardinals are Choate's seventh team.
Choate held left-handed hitters to a .158 average last season (16-for-101) with 30 strikeouts. Lefties hit just one homer against him.
Choate has yielded a .201 average (134-for-668) and seven home runs to left-handed batters in his career. Right-handed hitters have batted .279 (134-for-481) with nine home runs.
Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak said last week that the team's main mission in Nashville was to land a left-handed reliever. They had their eyes on free agent Sean Burnett, 30, but Burnett on Wednesday signed a two-year, $8 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels. Burnett also received a $4.5 million option for 2015.
The winter meetings conclude Thursday with the Cardinals still seeking to add another infielder and some help off the bench.
They had discussions with free-agent infielder Marco Scutaro, 37, but Scutaro re-signed with the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday for three years and $20 million.
The Cardinals have learned that three of their players, catcher Yadier Molina, outfielder Carlos Beltran and pitcher Jaime Garcia, plan to participate in the World Baseball Classic in March.
Molina and Beltran will play for their native Puerto Rico, while Garcia intends to pitch for Mexico.
Garcia, however, is coming off an injury-riddled season in which he suffered a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder. That makes his decision a curious one.
The Cardinals and Garcia will almost certainly discuss the wisdom of the decision during spring training, which begins three weeks before the start of the WBC.