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Cardinals release veteran reliever Kyle McClellan, sign catcher Johnson to minor league deal

The St. Louis Cardinals have released veteran reliever Kyle McClellan, a St. Louis County native who spent five seasons with the team.

McClellan appeared in just 16 games in 2012 because of elbow and shoulder problems. He was 0-1 with a 5.30 ERA.

The Cardinals also announced Tuesday the signing of catcher Rob Johnson to a minor league contract. Johnson is a career .201 hitter. He hit .250 in 17 games with the Mets in 2012.

McClellan is 19-23 with a 3.69 ERA in the majors. The right-hander started 17 games in 2011, when he was 12-7 with a 4.19 ERA. But arm fatigue set in late that season and he pitched just one-third of an inning during the postseason run en route to the World Series title.