ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — The Cardinals announced Tuesday afternoon the they have signed veteran catcher Rob Johnson to a minor league contract with the Memphis Redbirds (AAA) and extended him a non-roster invite to the team’s 2013 Spring Training camp. The Cardinals also announced that pitcher Kyle McClellan was given his unconditional release.
Johnson, 30, split time between the New York Mets and the Mets Triple-A affiliate Buffalo in 2012. The right-handed hitting Johnson was a member of the Seattle Mariners from 2007-10 before being dealt to San Diego prior to the 2011 season. He signed a minor league free agent contract with the Mets prior to 2012.
The 6-1, 220-pound Montana native has compiled a .201 career batting mark with eight home runs and 62 RBI in 245 games. He batted .250 in 17 games with the Mets last season.
McClellan, 28, is a St. Louis native that attended Hazelwood West High School. He was drafted by the hometown franchise Redbirds in the 25th round of the 2002 amateur draft.
The 6-2, 215-pound pitcher made his debut for the Cardinals on April 1, 2008 after working his way through the farm system. Since then, McClellan appeared in 261 games including 17 starts during the 2011 season acting as an emergency starter for the Redbirds when Adam Wainwright was lost for the year.
During his five Major League seasons with the Cardinals, McClellan had a 19-23 overall record with a 3.69 ERA over 378.0 innings pitched.
After 16 appearances this past season, McClellan suffered a frayed labrum and a split in the right shoulder capsule while recovering from an elbow injury in July.
He was eligible for arbitration for the third time this off-season with a potential salary of over $3 million due next season.
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