ST. LOUIS -- Left-handed reliever T.J. McFarland became the first of this year's major league free agents to reach an agreement, getting a one-year, $2.5 million contract to stay with the St. Louis Cardinals.
McFarland can earn an additional $500,000 for games pitched: $100,000 each for 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60.
He stabilized the Cardinals' bullpen down the stretch after signing as a free agent July 1 for a deal that paid $1 million while in the major leagues and $200,000 while in the minors.
The 32-year-old was 4-1 with a 2.56 ERA in 38 games and 38⅔ innings.
The nine-year major league veteran began 2021 at Triple-A with Washington but was granted his release June 29.
St. Louis' 3.47 bullpen ERA in the second half of the season ranked eighth in the majors. With McFarland back, free-agent lefty Andrew Miller is the only critical player from that group not lined up to return in 2022.