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Cardinals bring back LHP McFarland on $2.5M, 1-year deal

November 9, 2021 GMT
FILE - St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher T.J. McFarland throws during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. Left-handed reliever McFarland became the first of this year's major league free agents to reach an agreement, getting a one-year contract to stay with the Cardinals. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
FILE - St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher T.J. McFarland throws during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. Left-handed reliever McFarland became the first of this year's major league free agents to reach an agreement, getting a one-year contract to stay with the Cardinals. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
FILE - St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher T.J. McFarland throws during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. Left-handed reliever McFarland became the first of this year's major league free agents to reach an agreement, getting a one-year contract to stay with the Cardinals. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Left-handed reliever T.J. McFarland became the first of this year’s major league free agents to reach an agreement, getting a $2.5 million, one-year contract to stay with the St. Louis Cardinals.

McFarland can earn an additional $500,000 for games pitched: $100,000 each for 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60.

He stabilized the Cardinals’ bullpen down the stretch after signing as a free agent July 1 for a deal that paid $1 million while in the major leagues and $200,000 while in the minors.

The 32-year-old was 4-1 with a 2.56 ERA in 38 games and 38 2/3 innings.

The nine-year major league veteran began 2021 at Triple-A with Washington but was granted his release June 29.

St. Louis’ 3.47 bullpen ERA in the second half of the season ranked eighth in the majors. With McFarland back, free agent lefty Andrew Miller is the only critical piece from that group not lined up to return in 2022.

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