St. Louis Cardinals: Waiver arms the Cards should consider claiming
The St. Louis Cardinals have the chance to welcome back an arm that developed within the organization for a season and who is now a strong pen presence.
The St. Louis Cardinals were once home to pen arm Matt Belisle. He is now playing for the Minnesota Twins but has been placed on and cleared waivers. With the Twins still in the mix for a wild card spot, he may likely not be on the move but this shouldn’t stop the Cards from placing a claim.
Over his career, Belisle has amassed 879.2 innings pitched and hovers around the 4.50 ERA mark. This doesn’t make him terribly attractive to too many teams but he has been a somewhat solid mark in the bullpen. He is trusted by managers and, in fact, appeared in as many as 80 games (high career-high mark) in 2012 while with the Colorado Rockies.
Looking just at this season, Belisle has held opposing batters to a .091 batting average over the past 28 days. He has done well when used early in games from the pen and not so well when he is used at the end of the pen. The Cardinals could slot him into the role that Siegrist was filling despite his being a right-handed pitcher.
Belisle was roughed up early in 2017 and has had to climb out of a miserable ERA since May. In May and early June, Belisle’s ERA ballooned to an embarrassing 9.00 ERA but he has worked steadily to decrease this to his current 4.34.
While I don’t believe that the Twins will part ways with Belisle, I do think the St. Louis Cardinals would be wise to take a stab at this former Birds-on-the-Bat pitcher. Belisle appeared with St. Louis in 2015, pitched 33.2 innings, recorded a 2.67 ERA, and held batters to a 2.66 average. Could he see these numbers return with a return to Busch?
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Here’s my final conclusion on these names: I would like very much to see the Cardinals claim Petit and then work hard to sign him to an extension/new contract for 2018 and 2019 (perhaps beyond). Of the names, I think he makes the most sense.
I think the Cardinals should avoid Jim Johnson although putting in a claim could alert Rosenthal’s agent and Oh’s agent that the Cardinals are prepared to live without either one of them which could lead them to leverage for a greater team-friendly deal coming in the offseason.
I wouldn’t be mad at the Cardinals if they snatched up Storen for the 8th inning in preparation for the inevitable free agency of Oh following 2017. Storen, like Petit, would need to be extended/signed beyond 2017 to make it worth the while.
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Lastly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cardinals did nothing through the arms listed here. I’m not sold that they must do something, but I would- if I could- urge them to kick the tires at least on these names to see if anything might come from the interest.