The Cardinals have released reliever Nick Wittgren, tweets Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The veteran will head back to the open market upon clearing waivers.
St. Louis signed Wittgren to a one-year contract during Spring Training that guaranteed him $1.2MM. He’ll receive the remainder of that salary, with the Cards on the hook for the tab. A club that signs the righty will only be responsible for the prorated portion of the $700K league minimum for any time he spends on their MLB roster. That figure would be subtracted from the Cardinals obligations.
Wittgren, 31, appeared in 29 games for St. Louis. He tossed a matching number of innings, posting a disappointing 5.90 ERA while striking out a career-low 12.7% of opponents. That was a marked drop relative to the league average 23.6% mark he posted for Cleveland last season, and a particularly stark decline from his personal-best 28.6% during the truncated 2020 campaign. Wittgren demonstrated continued strong control, but the downturn in swing-and-miss led the Cardinals to go in a different direction.
A seven-year MLB veteran, Wittgren has also suited up with the Marlins and Indians during his career. He’s allowed just under four earned runs per nine over 300 1/3 innings, posting slightly below-average strikeout and grounder rates but working as a generally durable and reliable middle innings arm. He’ll surely get another opportunity elsewhere, although it’s likely to be of the minor league variety given his slow start in 2022.
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