The St. Louis Cardinals are in desperate need for a long-term closer and Addison Reed is the guy we need.
These blown saves rested not on just one guy, and were primarily because the St. Louis Cardinals did not have a legit closer. Seung-hwan Oh led the team with twenty saves, but he also blew four. Brett Cecil had one save and blew six to lead the team in that category.
Another writer on the site, Christian May-Suzuki, mentioned that Greg Holland should be the player the Cardinals should go after to fix the closer spot. I do not disagree at all. I think that would be a great pick-up for the team. However, I have another idea, what about a little longer term option in a closer role and younger arm Addison Reed?
Addison Reed just finished his seventh season overall and sixth full season in the big leagues. The exciting thing is that he is only 28 years old. Just as I mentioned in my article about why Christian Yelich is a great pick by trade for his age, this signing is also great due to age.
If the St. Louis Cardinals are going to fork out some big chunk of change for a player, especially a reliever, I think age is important. If the Cards sign him for a mulit-year deal, there is no concern for regression due to age like we saw in Seung-hwan Oh. Also, the chance of injury, one would suspect, would also be lower.
Now let’s get into the numbers of Addison Reed.
The past two seasons, he has collected a solid 77 2/3 and 76 innings respectively. Another good sign in picking up pitchers is durability, so two full seasons back to back is positive. Not to mention, in his career he has not pitched in fewer than 55 games in any of his six full seasons.
In 2016, he was the set-up man for the New York Mets, but at the start of last season he took over the closer’s role and finished with 19 saves and zero blown saves prior to getting traded.
While on the Boston Red Sox he served as the set-up man to arguably the best closer in the game Craig Kimbrel, so no bad blood there for that role.
To me, the most important number in looking at relief pitchers stems from a statistic that goes into calculating my Predator Run Index and is very similar to WHIP: it is just expanded, and it is called the HWHB. The HWHB calculates (Hits + Walks + Hit Batters) divided by innings pitched. Essentially the same thing just adding hit batters to the equation.
In 2016, he posted a .997 HWHB, best for 29th in baseball, and in 2017, he posted a 1.105 HWHB, best for 60th in baseball.
The reason I believe this is the most important statistic is because as a reliever, especially late in games, it is incredibly important to keep runners off the bases. First, runners give fans heart attacks (Trevor Rosenthal I hope you are reading this), and second, big innings stem from walks and lead-off runners on base.
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Overall my Predator Run Index says that in 2016, Addison Reed was the 38th best pitcher in baseball and in 2017, he was 58th best pitcher in baseball.
The biggest question to me is not if the St. Louis Cardinals should get him, but what will he cost?
My Predator Player Value Index has his previous two seasons valued at $18.1 million.
According to Spotrac, his contracts over his whole career have totaled $19.529 million, so we have to anticipate that he is expecting a nice payday, and deservedly so.
Due to his age and what happened last year for the deals that other relievers received, he is expecting a long-term deal, especially being just 28 years old with a proven history. Overall, I think if the St. Louis Cardinals can sign Brett Cecil to a 4 year/$30.5 million dollars, the Cardinals can do at least 4 years/$40 million and maybe a 5 years/$45 million for Addison Reed.
With those two options, I do not see him living up to those numbers fully, but there are only a select few pitchers who can do what he can do and the Cardinals desperately need a long-term closer. I am a fan of other pitchers on the market, but I am the biggest fan of the Cardinals picking up Addison Reed to solidify the the late innings role as a long-term solution.