The St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday signed career reliever Pat Neshek to a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.
The right-handed Neshek, who was 2-1 with a 3.35 ERA in 45 games and 40 1/3 innings last season with Oakland, could be insurance in the event Jason Motte isn't healthy early in the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neshek, 33, is 16-9 with a 3.07 ERA in 226 games, all in relief. He has pitched for Minnesota, San Diego and the A's.
A sidearmer, Neshek limited right-handed batters to a .219 average last season. Lefties hammered him at a .315 clip with a .556 slugging percentage.
In his career, Neshek has stymied right-handed hitters, holding them to a .181 average, a .257 on-base percentage and a .315 slugging percentage.
The Cardinals will have 58 players in spring training. Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 12 and will have their first full workout Feb. 13. Position players report Feb. 17, with the first full-squad workout scheduled for Feb. 18.