St. Louis Cardinals: 6 under-the-radar closer candidates
Option #1: Jake McGee
Jake McGee is the first of the multiple free agents that will make this list, but he holds the distinction of being the only left-handed pitcher. So, to all you southpaws out there, here’s your guy; I put him first.
Formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays organization before an offseason trade brought him to Colorado prior to the 2016 season, McGee is a power pitcher through and through.
He broke out in 2014, posting a 1.89 ERA, 19 saves, 11.3 K/9, 1.73 FIP and 2.6 fWAR over 71.1 IP. However, after struggling with injuries in 2015, Colorado watched McGee suffer through a tough 2016 campaign that saw his ERA balloon to 4.73 and his K/9 fall to 7.7.
2017 was a bounce back year, though, as McGee posted a 2.93 FIP, 9.1 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and 1.5 fWAR in 57.1 Coors Field innings pitched. Entering his age-31 season and now 3 years removed from a minor left elbow surgery, McGee looks prime to re-enter his dominant 2014 form.
For the St. Louis Cardinals, this would be a late inning power-lefty option, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in a Cardinals uniform since Kevin Siegrist’s career took a downhill tumble. In a bullpen where the best current southpaw option is Tyler Lyons, I do believe that’s a necessary thing.