The Dodgers have agreed to a minor-league deal to bring right-hander Zach McAllister back to the organization, according to reports. The right-hander, who spent a short amount of time with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate late last season, was somewhat surprisingly cut loose by the Rangers at the end of Spring Training despite having signed a big league deal with Texas.
McAllister, 31, was a mainstay in the Indians’ bullpen from 2015-17 but struggled through a career-worst season in 2018. He signed with the Rangers over the winter on a $1MM Major League contract and seemingly pitched well in Spring Training — 3.00 ERA, 10-to-2 K/BB ratio in 12 innings — making his release all the more unexpected. Last year, McAllister was torched for a 6.20 ERA in 45 innings between Cleveland and Detroit. His velocity remained consistent, however (95.3 mph average fastball), and he posted a solid 39-to-10 K/BB ratio. Prior to that dismal season, McAllister gave Cleveland 183 1/3 innings of 2.99 ERA relief with 10.0 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9 over a three-year span.
The Dodgers don’t have an immediate opening in their ’pen, so McAllister will quite likely head to Triple-A Oklahoma City for now. Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Pedro Baez and Dylan Floro are the top right-handed relief options for skipper Dave Roberts, whose bullpen also contains out-of-options righty Yimi Garcia. The Dodgers do have an open spot on the 40-man roster, so if they decide in the near future that McAllister warrants a closer look against MLB opposition, they’ll only need to make a 25-man roster move to accommodate him.