The St. Louis Cardinals didn’t make any moves at the trade deadline this year, putting more pressure on the front office to make a splash in the off-season.
After the St. Louis Cardinals finish off the 2017 season, the front office will have its work cut out for them. The current roster set up is not ideal and shows in the standings. When the off-season approaches, John Mozeliak and Mike Girsch will have to work hard to fix this team. This is the first of a three-part series on how the front office can fix this team and get them back to their winning ways.
The first issue to look at is the bullpen. A disappointment to say the least, the Cardinals bullpen has been a thorn in the side of fans from the first series of the year. The rest of this year will be a test for everyone in the pen. Each pitcher will be auditioning for a role next season. Unfortunately for Cardinal fans, the answer to this bullpen isn’t from within.
Mozeliak and Girsch will most likely have to look into free agency and potentially the trade market to find new pieces to help salvage the dumpster fire we have seen this season. While there are not any huge names coming up in free agency, there are some interesting pieces that could go a long way in helping fix this mess.
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Addison Reed– The recent addition of the Boston Red Sox will hit free agency after this season. Through fifty-one innings this season, Reed has an impressive 2.65 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP.
Those numbers are impressive, but his previous season was even more impressive.
In 2016, Reed had a career year, posting a 1.97 ERA in 77.2 innings and striking out ninety-one in that span.
Reed may not be able to duplicate his last two seasons, but adding his arm to this bullpen could go a long way in improving this team.
Brandon Kintzler– Kintzler, who was on the move at the deadline, makes plenty of sense for the Cardinals to make a run at this off-season. His 2.70 ERA so far in 2017 paired with twenty-eight saves will make him a hot commodity when free agency rolls around.
He isn’t a huge strikeout guy, only posting a 5.36 K/9, but his ability to induce ground balls is a huge asset with this team’s propensity to let up the long ball.
Wade Davis– Taking a player from the Cubs would absolutely be a benefit to this team, especially when the Cardinals haven’t been able to tack an earned run on him in seven match-ups. There is risk with Davis, who has had a history of arm problems, but when healthy, is dominant. If the Cardinals are not comfortable with Trevor Rosenthal being the full-time closer, then Wade Davis it is.
Pat Neshek– He’s not young and he’s already had a stint with the team, but in terms of a stop-gap, Neshek is near the top. This bullpen isn’t going to get miraculously fixed in one off-season. The front office must calculate moves. If the team believes Neshek can hold up for another year or two, then he would be a great option to plug a few holes while they look for more long-term solutions.
No matter what the front office does in terms of the bullpen this off-season, it is hard to believe it could get any worse. Mozeliak already put a large investment into Brett Cecil last off-season. It will be interesting to see how much the team is willing to spend. No matter what thy decide to do, one thing everyone can agree on is changes need to be made.