Apparently the Rangers were impressed more than they let on with the 2011 Cardinals.
Texas signed its second member of the team that beat it in the 2011 World Series, the club announced today, inking Kyle McClellan to a one-year, minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. He'll join Lance Berkman, the right fielder for the Cardinals in 2011 who prevented a Texas victory with a two-out, two-strike, game-tying hit in game six, on the Rangers roster.
McClellan made $2.5 million last season with St. Louis. But he could manage only 18 2/3 innings of work before being shut down with a shoulder injury. He allowed only 16 hits, but walked nine while striking out 11 and pitched to a 5.30 ERA. He would have likely received more than $4 million in arbitration had the Cardinals offered it. So they cut ties with McClellan.
His best time in St. Louis came in 2011 when McClellan filled in for injured starting pitcher Adam Wainwright and was 12-7 with a 4.19 ERA. He wore down after making 17 starts and his 141 innings pitched total was nearly twice his next highest total. After being asked to handle that heavy load, McClellan was never the same and he spent most of the 2011 post season off the active roster.
He appeared in only one game of the playoffs, an NLCS assignment against Milwaukee in which he gave up two hits and a run in 1/3 of an inning.
It's sad to see McClellan, a St. Louis native whose dream was to pitch for the Cardinals, move on down the road. But he pretty much lived that dream to the fullest. And he has the World Series ring to prove it. And it's no too shabby to get a chance to pitch for another team.
The Rangers may also soon add a third 2011 World Series champ. They're considered to be the favorite in a weak market for starting pitcher Kyle Lohse.