#4: Seung-hwan Oh (Relief Pitcher)
The St. Louis Cardinals found a real bargain when signing Seung-hwan Oh before the 2016 season. Oh came to the MLB after pitching 11 seasons in foreign leagues and he showed everyone in the States that he is the real deal. “The Final Boss” ended up being the Cardinals full-time closer after Trevor Rosenthal battled injuries and became incredibly inconsistent.
In his first MLB season, Oh pitched in 76 games/79.2 innings and recorded a 1.92 ERA while also having 19 saves out of a total 23 opportunities. Oh found a lot of success due to his incredible control which was highlighted by a 5.72 strikeouts-to-walks ratio and a WHIP of .916.
While many Cardinals fans think Rosenthal should be on this list before Oh, they need to realize that Oh is going to be a free agent after this season and is 34-years old while Rosenthal is under team control for 2 more years and will be 28. The pain of losing a valuable player in free agency could be mitigated by trading them and at least getting something in return.
Like Lynn, Oh’s value will be strictly to playoff teams and he will only be shopped if the Cardinals feel that they are completely out of the race. Successful playoff teams often build up their bullpen before the postseason begins and Oh would be one of the most sought after guys near the deadline and could be a game changer.
If the Cardinals are struggling in the race for a playoff spot, they could use Oh as a way to begin their offseason early while also not risking any of their talent that is under team control. Oh was great for the Cardinals in 2016 and looks to have the closer role locked down for 2017. If he continues to succeed while the team continues to falter, look for his name to be heavily rumored this summer.