Could the St. Louis Cardinals front office finally get the bullpen the help it needs?
USA Today’s, Bob Nightengale had a piece recently released that discussed potential destinations for guys on the block. In his piece he takes a look at a potential deal for the St. Louis Cardinals. That deal would send Tyler Lyons packing and on his way to the Baltimore Orioles. In return the Cardinals would receive relief pitcher, Brad Brach.
Cardinal fans know how much of a struggle it has been for the bullpen this year. On multiple occasions the team has had the game in hand and the bullpen has found a way to blow it. Improving the dumpster fire that has been the Cardinals bullpen could go a long way in improving this team for this year and going forward.
Brad Brach, 31, has been a force for the Orioles this season. To this point in the year, Brach is touting a 2.75 ERA, a .86 WHIP and 42 strikeouts in 39.1 innings. While Brach has been dominant thus far in 2017, his career stats show that those numbers have staying power. A career ERA of 2.94 paired with a 1.20 career WHIP, Brach would be a wonderful addition to the bullpen.
If the Cardinals were to trade for Brach, it wouldn’t be a one year rental. Brach is under contract for the 2018 season. This makes Brach far more appealing than other potential pieces, because this team knows that this may not be their year. Adding Brach for this year and next, allows the team to come out swinging in 2018 if 2017 ends poorly.
In any trade there has to be some sort of loss. In this deal the Cardinals would be moving a very familiar face in Tyler Lyons. Lyons has been up and down with the team for the last five seasons, filling in multiple different roles, including long relief and in the rotation. Trading Lyons would show this team is willing to move in a different direction than the way they have previously.
The Baltimore Orioles starting rotation makes the Cardinals bullpen look like an All-Star team. Baltimore has seen one of the worst performances in history from their rotation this season. A move that would bring in a pitcher capable of sliding into the rotation immediately is something they have to consider.
This is the type of deal that this team needs to make: smart, methodical moves that not only improve the team for this season, but also set them up for success next year are what this team needs. If the Cardinals front office wants to be successful going forward, then the bullpen needs to be made a priority. It cannot be made by piecing together options already within the organization.