The Cardinals have announced that they’ve signed right-handed pitcher Nick Wittgren to a one-year contract. Wittgren will make $1.2MM, per Robert Murray of FanSided.
A veteran of six seasons, Wittgren will turn 31 in May. He spent his first three seasons in Miami before being traded to Cleveland, where he spent the past three years. In his career, he’s played in 258 games and thrown 271 1/3 innings with an ERA of 3.75. His 23.5% strikeout rate is right around average, though his walk rate of 6.7% is quite good.
Last year was a bit of a setback for the righty, as his ERA jumped up to 5.05, a career high. His strikeout rate also fell to 23.6% after being at 26% in 2019 and 28.6% in 2020. The walk rate was still good, coming in at 6.6%. He was set to go through arbitration for a final time this winter, projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz for a salary of $2.8MM. However, the club decided to put him on waivers at the end of the year, effectively non-tendering him. Wittgren cleared and elected free agency.
For the Cardinals, this is their second bullpen upgrade since the lockout ended, as they also added Drew VerHagen recently. Both Wittgren and VerHagen are righties and will likely join Giovanny Gallegos, Alex Reyes, Ryan Helsley and Jordan Hicks as right-handed options in the Cardinals bullpen to start the year.
Reliable relief arm for past couple years for Cleveland. Middle relief. Nice guy
Really nice guy. Him and his wife are active in their charity work and always seem positive on Twitter.
Wittgren will drive opposing batters and fans nuts. A couple of years ago he took a ton of advice from Oliver Perez on how to vary up his delivery speed. So now he does delays, quick pitches, and slide steps to throw off timing. He’s not an overly impressive pitcher stuff wise but he’s learned a lot in Cleveland and might make an excellent mentor or maybe even pitching coach someday.
I watched many games of the Cleveland Spiders/ my bad the Cleveland Guardians and Wittgren was not good at all last season. I don’t really like this signing by the Cardinals, but in Mozeliak we trust.
Ha! I almost puked when you said “In Mozeliak we trust”. Then I read it again and caught your sarcasm. Ha!
A roster spot that was cheaply filled. That’s all that matters. 3 million plus Cardinal fans buying tickets will help pad the DeWallet’s 4 billion dollar empire.
When Cleveland lets go of a pitcher that did well for them, it’s seldom – if ever – that they do much with another team.
The Braves used to be like that under Cox.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
There’s only 2 things I know that are under Cox, and we know he had plenty of ejections.
The clock moved up an hour today. You’d best start doing your homework for school tomorrow.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
You talk about clocks & Cox Samuel, did somebody beat you up & relieve you of your lunch money?
And at the same time give you a thumbs up? Shame on you Samuel.
Darragh McDonald has posted 6 “more to follow” articles and stuff, in the last hour – and more are, no doubt, rapidly developing. C’mon fellow MLBTR crew members, help a brother out! 🙂 😉
Finish those sandwiches, will ya!.
Everything’s about “being first” these days.
Of course, Robert Murray from FanSided didn’t really break the story. He just retweeted a tweet from the Cardinals.
Potato – potahto. (At any rate, my comments were meant entirely in jest. 🙂
Another signing of another no name.
It’s a relief pitcher making 1.2M. What middle relief pitchers are actually big names? If you’re a good relief pitcher you’re probably a closer.
It’s depth and creates competition…not every signing is going to be a big name
I think the animosity comes from the Cardinals lack of urgency and Mo’s historically consistent need to prove that his dumpster diving signings will always bear out more success than a marquee guy. It’s also DeWitt’s reluctance to spend any real money to take a team with good pieces and push them over the top. It’s ALWAYS “let’s see what we’ve got”.
The animosity is born of irrationality, period.
I don’t about that. There are plenty of examples of players the could’ve tried to sign but chose not too and then decided that they just don’t have the money which of course is a lie.
He’s a fine serviceable middle reliever. You shouldn’t expect a bullpen full of closers.
I don’t. I’ve always maintained they need to have some exciting FA signings now and then. At least give the inclination they can play in the deep end because we all know they can.
Pretty cheap. Limits walks.
Once again trying to go on the cheap, way to go MO!
Yes and I’m sure you’d have something negative to say if it were an expensive reliever too.
Cardinals fans that are loud in comments sections are seldom happy. It must be so hard to follow such a terrible perennial playoff team.
Ol’ Uncle Charlie
Signing TWO guys for a total AAV of under $5m is a little beyond conservative. ONE of these scrubs AND Joe Kelly would have been good.
Well let’s be fair big names don’t always pan out either Andrew miller and Greg Holland ring a bell. But if the bullpen can be like the 2nd half I don’t care about names I care about success
Te Cardinals have wasted so much money overspending on RP and yet, we get this type of comments. Mo knows more than you, let him do his job. Save your complaining for when it doesn’t work out.
If the front office had listened to the fans over the last 5-10 years they’d be a $950 million dollar wildcard team.
Jim the esquire; The recent playoff teams were generally one series and done. To be fair to the players on those teams—-if they had any help from the Front Office at the trading deadline of just one more impact player—-they would of,could of advanced much further! Mozeliak just will not pull the trigger on acquiring an impact player mid season!!! He stands pat.
Here’s another good for instance—— how many fans agree that with one more impact player—— this year—— the Cardinals should be an honest contender for the national league championship???
It won’t happen under Mozeliak’s watch!
The only thing that got the Cardinals in the playoffs last season was a 17-0 win streak!!!! Marmol for sure isn’t going to let that happen!!! The last Cardinals manager that had a 17 game win streak—to make the playoffs—was promptly fired at the end of the season.
Sonny Gray to Twins.
I guess I broke this story…
I swear I posted this before MLBTR did, but it took so long for my comment to post. D’oh! It would be nice if we could delete our own posts.
Bullpen seems to be Gallegos, Cabrera, Verhagen, Reyes, McFarland, Whitley, Wittgren, and some combo of Hicks, Helsley
I will say, Cardinals have a history of signing relievers coming off their worst season, and it isn’t all that good.
I always liked Pep-O-Mint better.
I submit this pun, just as an exper-i-mint.
Would someone tell Mo we need a left handed thumper for DH please. Schwarber would be nice
a hitter would be better, regardless of which way they stand in the batters box
Good under the radar signing, especially at $1.2m. He had a down year last year, but prior to that he was a solid 7th inning guy. I’ve had him on my fantasy team since ’18, so I’ve watched a lot of his innings.
I hope he played well this year. He captures lighting in a bottle in Cleveland up until last year. Here’s to hoping a nice guy will have some success this year.
Well not the upgrades I was expecting but not surprised. But I have to say a lil something good about yo-yo ownership and boozalack is neither one of the guys have had Tommy John surgery yet so that a plus.
Low risk high reward potential. Cardinals always do this.