Cards ink righty McAllister to Minors deal

March 15th, 2022

JUPITER, Fla. -- Adding their third veteran reliever in five days, the Cardinals inked right-handed pitcher Zach McAllister to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

In the days since the MLB lockout was lifted, the Cardinals have worked feverishly to try and retool a bullpen that struggled throwing strikes at times and walked an MLB-record 29 batters with the bases loaded last season. St. Louis signed veteran relievers Drew VerHagen on Friday and Nick Wittgren on Sunday to bolster its bullpen. The Redbirds also reached a deal before the MLB lockout with Aaron Brooks, a versatile right-hander who pitched well the past two seasons in South Korea.

The Cardinals opened Spring Training on Monday and went through their second workout on Tuesday. The team will play 15 Spring Training games, starting with Friday’s game at Roger Dean Stadium against the Houston Astros. The Cardinals will open the regular season on April 7 at Busch Stadium against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

McAllister last pitched in the Major Leagues in 2018 for Cleveland and Detroit. The 34-year-old right-hander was a third-round pick by the New York Yankees in the 2006 MLB Draft. The 6-foot-6 pitcher made his big league debut in 2011 and has pitched in 280 games (68 starts) in his MLB career over eight seasons.

In his MLB career, McAllister has a 29-35 record with a 4.09 ERA. He started 65 of the 72 MLB games he appeared in during his first four MLB seasons, but he then transitioned almost exclusively to the bullpen. From 2015-18, he made 205 relief appearances.