Braden Looper and the Cardinals agreed Thursday to a $13.5 million, three-year contract, giving St. Louis another newcomer in the bullpen. Looper had 28 saves in 36 chances with a 3.94 ERA for the New York Mets last season, but will be a setup man for closer Jason Isringhausen with the Cardinals. The 31-year-old right-hander fills a slot held the past two seasons by Julian Tavarez, who became a free agent. Looper's deal calls for salaries of $3.5 million in 2006, $4.5 million in 2007 and $5.5 million in 2008. He can earn $1 million annually in performance bonuses, some of them based on games finished in case he becomes the closer.
Looper Replaces Tavarez In St. Louis