The first post-lockout free agent signing is finally here. Right-handed pitcher Drew VerHagen has agreed to a two-year, $5.5 million deal with the St. Louis Cardinals. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was the first to report the news.
RHP Drew VerHagen has agreed to a two-year, $5.5M deal with the Cardinals, per source. VerHagen pitched for the Tigers from 2014-19 and played in the NPB the last two years. He will earn $2.5M in 2022 and $3M in 2023, with up to $1M in performance bonuses each season.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) March 11, 2022
Drew VerHagen Career Details
The 6’6″ pitcher was inconsistent throughout his six seasons with the Detroit Tigers. VerHagen was drafted in the fourth round by the Tigers in the 2012 MLB Draft. He pitched a 5.11 ERA with 199 innings to his credit. But, playing in the NPB over the last two seasons helped his game for the better. In his first season overseason, he threw 111 2/3 innings with a 3.22 ERA. The following season, he posted a 3.80 ERA over 95 innings pitched. Verhagen’s time in Japan proved to be a good one as he was a key member of the Nippon-Ham Fighters bullpen.
VerHagen will have a second chance at the majors. He has two primary pitches, a fastball that tops out at 96 mph and a curveball that reaches the upper-70. He has a ton of history of getting ground balls as the Cardinals have a reputation of helping former big league pitchers turn their game around. At the same time, the 31-year old wasn’t predicted by many to be the first post-lock signing. However, that should open the floodgates even more for other free agents to sign contracts. Spring Training is underway, with games starting March 18.