Cardinals sign ex-Blue Jays pitcher Tallet

Free agent Brian Tallet signed a one-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday, less than four months after he refused a AAA assignment while pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Left-hander expected to pitch out of bullpen in 2011

In a matter of months, former Blue Jay Brian Tallet could go from being a starter in Toronto to situational relief pitcher in St. Louis.

The Cardinals signed the 33-year-old free agent to a one-year contract.

Tallet became a free agent in August after he refused an assignment to AAA Las Vegas.

The left-hander had a 2-6 record in 34 games last season, including five starts, but his 6.40 earned-run average was the highest in his five full major league seasons.

The 6-6 Tallet also struck out 53 batters in 77 1/3 innings.

However, his numbers against left-handed hitters — 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings and 1.8 walks per nine innings — suggest the native of Oklahoma could excel in a situational role for veteran Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.

St. Louis' starting rotation is set with Adam Wainwright, one-time Blue Jay Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook and Kyle Lohse.