As expected, Russ Springer will continue to pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2008. Interim General Manager John Mozeliak announced Wednesday that the team has signed the right-handed reliever to a one-year contract extension.
Springer joined the Cardinals via a one-year deal last December and could have again filed for free agency this year. The amount of the extension was reported to be $3.5 million, a 100% increase over Springer's $1.75 million base salary last season. (Springer also picked up $25,000 in appearance bonuses in 2007 after pitching in 76 games.)
“A large part of our bullpen’s success last season can be attributed to Russ,” stated Mozeliak. “He, along with Izzy (Jason Isringhausen) and Ryan Franklin, represent a solid trio at the back end of our bullpen.” The Cardinals picked up their 2008 option on Isringhausen last week and signed Franklin to a two-year extension this past July.
Springer, 38, posted an 8-1 mark this past season with a 2.18 ERA, appearing in a career-high 76 games while limiting opposing batters to a .181 batting average. His 2.18 ERA ranked seventh among all National League relievers and his eight wins represented a career single-season high.
Springer owned the team’s top two scoreless innings streaks (17.2 IP and 14.0) and was credited with 15 Holds while allowing just six of 27 inherited runners to score. Springer fanned 66 batters in his 66.0 IP and walked just 19.
Springer, a veteran of 12-plus seasons in the Majors, owns a career mark of 33-40 with a 4.70 ERA.