Edward Mujica pitched himself out of the Cardinals’ closer role and was so shaky down the stretch that there was speculation about leaving him off the playoff roster, but he’ll be part of the bullpen for the NLDS.
Mujica has struggled with shoulder problems and allowed opponents to hit .514 in September, giving up runs in six of his 10 outings on the way to an 11.05 ERA for the month. It’s hard to imagine the Cardinals using him in a high-leverage situation, so perhaps they’re hoping a mop-up appearance or two could make him a semi-reliable option later in the playoffs.
Trevor Rosenthal converted three straight save appearances to finish the season after replacing Mujica in the ninth inning and the 23-year-old rookie posted a 2.63 ERA with 108 strikeouts in 75 innings overall.
ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a two-year, $11 million contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could make it worth $20.5 million over three seasons.
The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves in 20 chances this season. He has 72 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.
“I feel so happy,” Gallegos said before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have the word for exactly how I’m feeling.”
He was obtained from the Yankees in July 2018 along with left-hander Chasen Shreve in the trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to New York. Gallegos is 14-15 with a 3.02 ERA and 34 saves in six major league seasons.
Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2024. St. Louis has a $6.5 million team option for 2025 with a $500,000 buyout.
His 2025 option price can increase by up to $3.5 million for games finished in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25 and 26-30 and 31-35, and $1 million apiece for 36-40 and 41 or more.
He would get $250,000 for winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, $50,000 for All-Star selection and World Series MVP and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.
Gallegos has a $2.41 million salary this year.
He was eligible for salary arbitration and is potentially eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.