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Isringhausen agrees to 3-year extension

JUPITER, Fla. -- St. Louis Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen, who tied for the NL lead with 47 saves last year, on
Saturday agreed to a three-year contract extension.

Isringhausen tied Armando Benitez of the Florida Marlins for the
save lead, blowing only seven chances, to help the Cardinals win
their first pennant in 17 years. He tied the team single-season
save record set by Lee Smith in 1991 despite playing much of the
season with a painful hip condition that reacquired surgery in
November.

Isringhausen agreed to a new three-year deal that replaces the
final year of his current deal a year after tying for the NL lead
with 47 saves. The contract will run through the 2007 season with
an option for 2008 and, including a $1.25 million buyout, will be
worth a guaranteed $25.75 million.

In three seasons with the team, he has 101 saves and his total
of 168 saves over the past five seasons is fourth-best in the major
leagues.

"This is a great opportunity for both the Cardinals and Jason,
who shared our interest in getting an extension done," general
manager Walt Jocketty said. "This deal gives us financial
certainty while securing one of the game's elite closers for the
next few years."

Isringhausen had been in the final year of a four-year contract
he signed before the 2002 season. That contract had included an
option for 2006.