Cardinals News: St. Louis signs veteran pitcher to bolster staff
The St. Louis Cardinals have signed Zach McAllister to a minor-league deal, further boosting their organizational pitching depth.
The St. Louis Cardinals are on a mission to bolster their pitching depth. They signed left-hander Steven Matz to a $44 million deal before the lockout. They had already signed Drew VerHagen and Nick Wittgren to one-year, major-league contracts after the lockout.
Now, they have added another pitcher, as the team announced they are in agreement with veteran right-hander Zach McAllister on a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training.
McAllister, 34, has not pitched in the majors in three seasons, but spent time in the Philadelphia Phillies’ minor-league system last season. He came up with Cleveland as a starting pitcher, but transitioned to the bullpen, which is where he became a prominent part of their pitching staff from 2014 to 2017. After that, however, he fell off the map – he had a 21.60 ERA in three appearances in Detroit in 2018 – and was barely heard from again.
In St. Louis, the Cardinals are hoping to get him closer to where he pitched in Cleveland. But the odds of that appear slim, though taking a chance on a veteran reliever is smart, especially one with the pedigree of McAllister. Besides, there is no risk in it. If he’s great, they have a reliever signed for cheap. If he stinks, they can cut ties at virtually no cost.
It’s a lottery ticket, and one the Cardinals are likely to continue trying with until they hit on one. For an organization that 1) doesn’t have much money to spend and 2) needs as much pitching depth as possible, especially after last season was nearly derailed by little depth, it’s the right move.
Look for the Cardinals to continue to add to their pitching depth, with Ryan Tepera and Andrew Chafin, among others, being logical targets. McAllister should not prevent them from pursuing any of them.