St. Louis Cardinals: Juan Nicasio wants to come back to St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 26: Juan Nicasio
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 26: Juan Nicasio /

The hard-throwing reliever expressed interest in resigning with the St. Louis Cardinals this off-season. Do the Cardinals share the same interest?

Last night, St. Louis Cardinals‘ beat reporter for, Jenifer Langosch, reported right-hander Juan Nicasio has interest in signing an extension with the team this off-season. This is definitely welcoming news to the organization, especially now that the team is out of playoff contention. Nicasio is due to be a free agent at the end of this season, but has seen enough of St. Louis to know he would like to come back next year and beyond.

The St. Louis Cardinals should show the same interest as well. They lost this year’s closer, Trevor Rosenthal to Tommy John surgery earlier this season, and Seung-hwan Oh hasn’t been the same since his rookie season. While the expectation is for Oh to come back is low, this opens the door for the Cardinals to sign Nicasio to a longer deal.

Since his arrival to the St. Louis Cardinals, Juan Nicasio has filled the closer’s role nicely. In the nine games he’s appeared in, Nicasio shined with a 1.64 ERA holding opponents to a .214 batting average. He also picked up four saves and two wins for the Cardinals in his time with the team. Further more, he stuck out eleven batters compared to the two walks he gave up in those nine games.

Here is what Nicasio had to say about St. Louis and his desire to return:

"“I would definitely like to come back. This is a winning franchise and a team that has had a lot of success, and I would like to come back for another year or however long they’d like to extend me and hopefully win a championship.”"

According to Mike Matheny, he saw more than enough to bring back Nicasio for 2018 and on:

"“I think it gave him an opportunity to see what we’re all about here, because there’s no doubt that we’re always looking for ways to improve, especially when it comes to the bullpen and guys who can throw toward the end of the game. I think it’s been good for both sides so far, especially for us. It’s been a shot to the arm for our bullpen, and he’s come in and done a fantastic job in a much-needed time.”"

It’s clear the interest is there, but now it moves on to the St. Louis’ front office to get the deal done. According to Fangraphs, Nicasio pitched right around a $11.5 million dollar value for 2017. That is a huge leap from his $3.65 million he actually received this year, so you could expect an annual salary in between there.

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However, one thing that could be of hindrance to the Cardinals, is the prospect of Nicasio seeing what he is worth in the open market to other teams.

As we have seen many times, no matter how great St. Louis is, and how great it would be to play for a team like the Cardinals, money talks.

However, I think Nicasio has really been sold on this city. The front office needs to get this deal done.

Is Nicasio going to get $11-12 million a year from the Cardinals? It may be possible, if that’s what it takes to secure his arm for 2018 and beyond.

However, I think the St. Louis Cardinals and Nicasio will come to a mutual understanding of somewhere in the ball park of $8-10 million. I know that is some leeway to negotiate, but don’t forget, this is Nicasio’s first stint as a full-time reliever. I think the Cardinals will consider that when negotiating with Nicasio.

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The St. Louis Cardinals’ need in the bullpen will be talked about a lot this winter. A good place to start would be signing Nicasio to a two to three year extension worth $8 million a year. Given his performances with the team this September, I think the Cardinals will get this deal done.