McAllister avoids arbitration with 1-year deal
Reliever could see role increase this season
CLEVELAND -- Given the losses absorbed by the Indians' bullpen this offseason, Zach McAllister could see a heightened role for the club this year. On Thursday, Cleveland locked the big right-hander in with a one-year contract to avoid the arbitration process.
One day after the Tribe avoided arbitration with closer Cody Allen, McAllister reached an agreement with the team on a one-year pact worth $2.45 million, MLB.com confirmed. Including Allen's deal -- worth a reported $10.575 million -- Cleveland has more than $23 million invested in four relievers (Andrew Miller, Dan Otero and McAllister being the others) for the upcoming campaign.
Otero, 32, and McAllister, 30, could see their respective roles increase in the 2018 season due to the departure of both setup man Bryan Shaw and sidearmer Joe Smith in free agency this offseason. Shaw signed a three-year deal with the Rockies, while Smith penned his name on a two-year contract with the Astros.
The agreements with Allen, McAllister and Lonnie Chisenhall, who agreed to a one-year deal on Friday, have reduced Cleveland's arbitration cases down to two: Trevor Bauer and Danny Salazar. Friday represents the deadline for teams to exchange proposed salary figures with any unsigned arbitration-eligible players. Each winter, the Indians try to sign their arbitration candidates prior to taking that step.
A team can sign its arbitration-eligible players at any point leading up to their scheduled hearing (held between Jan. 29 and Feb. 16 this year).
McAllister found a home in Cleveland's bullpen over the past three years after breaking into the big leagues as a starting pitcher with the club. Over that three-year span, the big righty has logged a 2.99 ERA with 204 strikeouts against 67 walks in 183 1/3 innings (164 games). In parts of seven seasons with the Indians, McAllister has a 3.92 ERA in 236 outings (68 starts).
Last season, McAllister posted a 2.61 ERA with 66 strikeouts against 21 walks in 62 innings, which came with 50 appearances. He held right-handed batters to a .189 average and .535 OPS, compared to a .293 (.843 OPS) showing against lefties. For his career, though, McAllister has relatively even splits against righties (.265 average and .732 OPS) and lefties (.263 average and .747 OPS).