The St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays signed relief pitchers on Saturday. According to Anthony Franco of mlbtraderumors.com, the Cardinals signed relief pitcher Kenyan Middleton of Portland, Oregon to a one-year contract worth $6 million. According to Matthew Postins of Sports Illustrated, the Rays signed Phil Maton of Paducah, Kentucky. The length of terms of Maton’s contract and the financial details have not yet been made public. In the Middleton contract, there is an option included, that will take place for the 2025 Major League Baseball season.
Middleton is joining his sixth Major League Baseball team. He previously pitched for the Los Angeles Angels from 2017 to 2020, the Seattle Mariners in 2021, the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2022, and shared his time with the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees in 2023. While sharing his time with the White Sox and Yankees, Middleton pitched in 51 games, and had a record of two wins and two losses, with an earned run average of 3.38. He was spectacular with the Yankees as he had an earned run average of 1.88 in 12 games. With the Yankees and White Sox, Middleton pitched 50 2/3 innings, and had two saves, five holds, and gave up 40 hits, 19 earned runs, eight home runs and 23 walks, to go along with 64 strikeouts and a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 1.24. Middleton’s wins came in a 3-0 White Sox win over the Detroit Tigers on June 2, and in an 8-7 White Sox win over the St. Louis Cardinals on July 7. Middleton’s saves came in a 6-4 White Sox win over the Minnesota Twins on May 3, and in a 4-1 White Sox win over the Boston Red Sox on June 25.
Maton is joining his fourth Major League team. He previously pitched for the San Diego Padres from 2017 to 2019, Cleveland from 2019 to 2021, and Houston from 2022 to 2023. In 68 games for the Astros this past season, he had a record of four wins and three losses with an earned run average of 3.00. During 66 innings pitched, Maton had 10 holds, one save, and gave up 49 hits, 22 earned runs, six home runs and 25 walks, to go along with 74 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.12. Maton’s save came in a 9-8 Astros win over the Los Angeles Angels on July 16.
At the end of the 2022 MLB regular season while pitching for the Astros, Phil Maton gave up a base hit single to his brother Nick Maton. Even though Phil picked up the hold in a 3-2 Astros win over the Philadelphia Phillies on October 5, Phil was very upset and punched a locker. As a result, he broke his hand, and was not available for the postseason, a World Series won by the Astros.