The Los Angeles Dodgers have made a signing on April 1 and it isn’t a joke. They have agreed to a minor-league deal with free-agent pitcher Zach McAllister, according to Max Wildstein.
#Dodgers in agreement with former Indians' reliever Zach McAllister on a minor-league contract, per source.
— Max Wildstein (@MaxWildstein) April 1, 2019
McAllister is a 31-year-old right-hander who has been in the league for eight seasons. He is mostly known for his time with the Cleveland Indians, where he pitched from 2011 to 2018.
His 2018 season was well-traveled, as he played with four different organizations, including the Dodgers’ AAA team.
He was released by the Indians on Aug. 7, 2018, and signed with the Detroit Tigers on Aug. 10. 14 days later, he was released by the Tigers and he signed a minor-league deal with the Dodgers on Aug. 27. McAllister later opted-out of his deal with the Dodgers and signed a minor-league deal with the Texas Rangers. He was released by the Rangers on March 25, 2019.
Over his eight-year career, McAllister has thrown 591 1/3 innings with a 4.09 ERA, 3.87 FIP, 4.10 xFIP, 8.24 K/9, 3.03 BB/9, and 6.8 WAR.
He provides the versatility to start or relieve as he’s made 68 starts over his 280 career games, although most of those came during the 2012-14 seasons.
McAllister throws four pitches: a fastball, sinker, curveball, and changeup, but he primarily relies on his fastball and curveball. His fastball and sinker both average 95 mph so the velocity is there. His fastball spin only ranks in the 61st percentile of major league pitchers and his curveball is closer to the bottom of the league in the 27th percentile.
The Dodgers must like something they see in him since this is the second time they’ve brought him into the organization.
McAllister is likely just a depth option but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Dodgers call him at some point this season. He could even replace Brock Stewart on the active roster fairly soon.