St. Louis Cardinals: 6 under-the-radar closer candidates
Option #4: Bryan Shaw
If you’re like me, you greatly admired the Cleveland Indians bullpen this season, so here’s another pending free agent (like Joe Smith) to be had from the ranks of the self proclaimed “Cleveland Bullpen Mafia,” Bryan Shaw.
Shaw was Terry Francona’s glue-guy in 2016 and 2017, throwing the most innings of any Cleveland reliever over that time span. In 2017, Shaw posted a career high 1.6 fWAR on the back of a 2.96 FIP, 81.1 LOB%, 0.59 HR/9, and 9.3 K/9.
Also, Bryan Shaw’s 2017 win probability added of 1.04 matches that of Juan Nicasio while his average leverage index of 1.52 is on par with that of Matt Bowman (1.55). So, if you’re struggling to picture Bryan Shaw as the 2018 closer for the St. Louis Cardinals, just picture Matt Bowman with a 2.96 FIP and nearly 2 more strikeouts per 9 innings.
Sure seems like a nice thought to me.