3:49 pm: McFarland’s deal guarantees him $2.5MM, reports Jon Heyman of the MLB Network (Twitter link). The deal contains an additional $500K in incentives, per Heyman, meaning the veteran southpaw could max out at $3MM.
10:30 am: The Cardinals have announced that they have re-signed left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland to a one-year contract, the financials of which are not yet known.
McFarland’s stay in free agency this year is much shorter than last year, when he signed a minor league deal with the Nationals in mid-February. He never got into a game with the Nats, however, being released in June to sign a minor league deal with the Cards and selected to their big league club a few weeks later. McFarland proved to be very effective down the stretch for St. Louis, logging 38 2/3 innings with an ERA of 2.56. His strikeout rate of 14.6% was well below average, but he’s always gotten his outs on the ground, as evidence by his 63.7% grounder rate, which is right around where he’s been throughout his career.
The Cardinals were evidently quite pleased with his performance, as they have quickly pounced and brought him back, less than 24 hours into free agency. With McFarland, Andrew Miller, Kwang Hyun Kim, Jon Lester, Wade LeBlanc and J.A. Happ all becoming free agents this week, that left Genesis Cabrera and Brandon Waddell as the only left-handed pitchers on the club’s 40-man roster. But the team didn’t hesitate to address a clear area of need and have brought McFarland back to shore up the southpaw side of their bullpen.
Over nine different seasons, the 32-year-old McFarland has thrown 439 2/3 innings with an ERA of 3.95, 13.7% strikeout rate, 7.5% walk rate and 62.9% groundball rate.