St. Louis Cardinals: Addressing the loss of Zach Duke
Shop the Reliever Market
One thought is that the St. Louis Cardinals should now shop the reliever market to replace Duke. Any of these lefty relievers from the free agent market excite you?
Brett Cecil is 30, completed 2016 with a 3.93 ERA, and was paid $3.8M in 2016. He played for Toronto in 2016 so the St. Louis Cardinals are getting an opportunity to see him perform now in the post season play.
Aroldis Chapman is likely the most exciting name on the lefty free agent market list and he will likely have many suitors. The Cardinals surely considered him, as many writers did, when he was moved from New York this season to the Cubs. Many have issues with his attitude and behaviors but he does win.
Chapman is 29, has a 2016 ERA of 1.01 as a closer, and was paid $11.3M in 2016. Let’s be honest, Chapman will be very expensive to land not to say the Cardinals shouldn’t kick the tires and/or make a try on him.
Felix Doubront is 29, completed 2016 with a 5.50 ERA (limited appearances), and was paid $2M in 2016. 2016 was not his season as he had to exit the year early for Tommy John surgery. 2017 could be his triumphant return should the Cardinals wish to risk the reclamation chance.
Mike Dunn is 32, completed 2016 with an ERA of 3.40, and was paid $3.45M in 2016 by the Marlins. The question the Cardinals would need to address if interested in Dunn would be whether he could fill in as the lefty setup man if they are trying to replace Duke.
Dana Eveland is 33, completed 2016 with a 9.00 ERA, and was paid $895,000 in 2016 by the Rays. Eveland’s horrific ERA lead the Rays to outright him last week yet he is expected to remain with the Rays. The Cardinals should NOT have interest in him.
Boone Logan is 32, completed 2016 with a 3.69 ERA, and was paid $6.25M by the Rockies in 2016. Logan is an attractive situational reliever and this drew a good deal of interest by teams in 2016 but can he help replace the setup situation?
Javier Lopez is 39, completed 2016 with a 4.05 ERA, and was paid $5M in 2016 by the Giants. His age worries me and I hope the Cardinals avoid this name if they are considering free agent pitchers as he seemed destined for retirement all season.
Eric O’Flaherty is 32, completed 2016 with a 6.91 ERA, and was paid $1,75M in 2016 by the Braves. O’Flaherty cleared waivers in 2016 showing that no team wanted him. The St. Louis Cardinals should take heed and avoid him again.
One-time Cardinal, Marc Rzepczynski is 31, completed 2016 with a 2.64 ERA between the As and Nationals, and was paid $2.95M in 2016. Having appeared in the postseason will be of interest as will his abilities. Will the Cardinals welcome him back?
Matt Thornton is 40, finished 2016 with a 5.82 ERA, and was paid $1.6M by the Padres. If the Cardinals avoided Lopez above based on age and ability, they should avoid Thornton as well.
Travis Wood is 30, finished the 2016 regular season with a 2.95 ERA, and was paid $6.175M by the Cubs in 2016. Wood is a natural setup man at this point in his career but his efforts this season and his postseason work will make him very attractive to (1) the Cubs and (2) everyone else. The bidding wars will be very interesting. I would like to see the Cardinals kick these tires though.
Of all of these names, I hope the Cardinals attempt to make something happen with Rzepczynski, Wood, and/or Chapman– if only to raise the costs for another squad. Of these three names, I would not be surprised at all to see a 1-2 year deal offered or made to “Scrabble.” It might be nice to see him back wearing the birds.