The St. Louis Cardinals and pitcher Kyle McClellan agreed to a contract for the 2012 season avoiding arbitration. The Cardinals did not disclose terms of the agreement according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Joe Strauss. McClellan started the 2011 season as a starter after three seasons working out of the Cardinals bullpen. He went 12-7 with a 4.19 ERA overall in 2011. It is anticipated that McClellan will be a part of the bullpen in 2012.
The 2011 season started out well for McClellan as he was transitioning into a starter’s role due to the injury to Adam Wainwright. He was 6-1 in his first 9 appearances (8 starts). He proceeded to go 1-5 over the next 9 starts. He ended up going back to the bullpen for the remainder of the season. He went 6-1 in the relief role the remainder of the season.
He was left off the playoff roster for the NLDS and was on the roster for the NLCS where he threw 1/3 of an inning allowing an earned run on two hits in Game 1 versus the Milwaukee Brewers. He was then left off the World Series roster.
McClellan stated in the accompanying video to the link above, that he was obviously disappointed to be left off the World Series roster but felt he was a contributor to the teams’ performance to get them to the World Series. He stated he was worn down from the extra work he put in as a starter earlier in the season. He threw 141 2/3 innings total almost doubling his previous career high set in 2008 when he threw 75 1/3 innings as a reliever.
McClellan has been the subject of trade rumors throughout the offseason. Depending on his price, he still may be part of a deal. If he remains with the club, McClellan could be a valuable part of the pitching staff, having been successful in various roles in the pen over the last few seasons.
*Update* – Joe Strauss tweeted that McClellan will receive $2.5 million with incentives.