McAllister signed a major-league contract with the Tigers on Friday. McAllister was released by Cleveland on Tuesday but didn't have to wait long before finding another suitor. The 40-year-old has struggled to a 4.97 ERA in 41.2 innings this season, but his ERAs in the previous three seasons were solid at 3.00, 3.44 and 2.61. Jacob Turner was designated for assignment in a corresponding move.
McAllister was released by the Indians on Tuesday. After being designated for assignment last weekend, McAllister went unclaimed when the Indians exposed him to waivers. Because he has accrued more than five years of MLB service time, McAllister had the right to refuse an outright assignment to the minor leagues, so it appears he has opted for free agency. Though he has posted a 4.97 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 41.2 innings this season, McAllister has a track record of strong work in middle relief with sub-3.50 ERAs in each of the past three campaigns. That could be reason enough for teams to have interest in him at a more affordable price.
McAllister was designated for assignment by the Indians on Friday, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. McAllister had been a quality reliever for the Indians over the past three seasons -- 2.99 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 10.0 K/9 -- but the team needed room on the 40-man roster with the return of Andrew Miller (knee) from the disabled list. The 30-year-old McAllister has spent all eight of his major-league seasons with the Indians, but his 4.97 ERA and 7.3 K/9 this season made him a disposable piece of the bullpen.
McAllister agreed to a one-year, $2.45 million deal with Cleveland on Thursday to avoid arbitration, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. McAllister was an integral part of the Indians' bullpen in 2017, posting a 2.61 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with a 66:21 K:BB over 62 innings. The 30-year-old right-hander had his best year as a professional, but remained in a middle-inning role due to the quality relievers the club employs. With some departures from that bullpen this offseason, McAllister could move into a higher-leverage position, but there won't be any opportunity for save chances with Cody Allen in the ninth-inning role.
McAllister, looking for a secondary pitch to supplement his mid-90s fastball, has ditched the changeup and cutter in favor of a curveball, T.J. Zuppe of The Athletic reports. Now in his seventh big-league campaign, McAllister owns career-best marks in ERA (2.27), WHIP (1.11), strand rate (87.2 percent) and BABIP (.278). The biggest difference for the former starting pitcher has been his commitment to becoming a true reliever. McAllister now understands that working from the bullpen doesn't require a large repertoire of pitches, but rather one plus delivery with a strong second pitch that will keep hitters honest. Despite his success, the 29-year-old is crammed into a bullpen loaded with talent, and that's limited McAllister's opportunity to provide fantasy-worthy stats.