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.