The St. Louis Cardinals must strike while the iron is hot and sign the best closer still available on the open market.
Several national baseball writers report that stud closer Wade Davis will sign with the Colorado Rockies. The terms of the deal are not yet confirmed and neither the team nor the player has announced the signing. If true, this eliminates this target from the St. Louis Cardinals closer search.
It appears that Davis will take home a hefty $52 million over three years or approximately $17.3 million per year.
There is, reportedly, a $15M fourth year option that vests if Davis finishes 30 games in 2020; if he does not finish 30 games, then the option becomes a mutual option with a $1M buyout. The total potential value of this deal (absent any incentive clauses that are as of yet unknown) is 4 years and $66 million.
The Rockies are focused on building a dominant bullpen as the Davis signing anchors the group of Jake McGee and Bryan Shaw that the team smartly signed earlier this offseason. After adding Davis, their total spend on the bullpen is approximately $106 million. That is a lot of money, but it is smart spending when your team plays in Colorado.
Davis will reportedly receive a no-trade clause, bu that clause only kicks in after he is traded one time. Upon the first time he is traded, he will reportedly receive a $1M bonus for being traded. Importantly, the Rockies avoided going to a third year in the deal by increasing the annual value to Davis. This is a win-win for team and player. It is a great move. The best closer available is off the market and on the Rockies.
The Rockies clearly read my article and smartly followed its sage advice that the proper technique this offseason was to purchase a dominant bullpen. The St. Louis Cardinals should take some notes. The only good news for fans of the St. Louis Cardinals is that the Chicago Cubs will no longer have Davis shutting the door on games. Davis is out of the division and that is a good thing.
The Davis signing likely closes the door (no pun intended) on a reunion between the Rockies and the second best reliever available this offseason: Greg Holland.
The St. Louis Cardinals should sign Greg Holland ASAP
With Davis off the board, the ceiling is set on deals for relievers. Greg Holland will not get more money than Davis and no reliever is getting a fourth year. As many have speculated, I think a three-year deal worth $35-40M would get the deal done for Holland right now. The St. Louis Cardinals should make that deal.
St. Louis Cardinal relievers were bad last year and blew 17 saves. Additionally, this team lost a ton of close games. In order to fix those bullpen problems, the St. Louis Cardinals signed Luke Gregerson and can count on wunderkind Alex Reyes to help bolster the bullpen. But, the Cardinals should also sign Greg Holland to lock down the closer spot for the next three years.
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Greg Holland has posted some ridiculous numbers in his career. While he may not be the guy he was in 2013 and 2014 with the Kansas City Royals (where he was so good that Wade Davis was his set up man), he still offers a ton of value. He performed dominantly for the majority of the year last year while pitching half of his games in Colorado. Overall, he saved 41 games, stuck out 11 per nine innings, and posted an ERA+ of 139.
The Washington Nationals are in pursuit of Holland. There are a handful of other teams that are likely interested in him as well. That said, there is no better fit for Holland than the St. Louis Cardinals. Holland would solidify the bullpen with dominant, strikeout stuff. He would also offer a veteran presence to mentor the young relievers.
I prefer Holland even to Alex Colome of the Rays because Holland will be cheaper in terms of acquisition cost. The cost for Colome is likely too high, or the St. Louis Cardinals would have likely traded for him already. The more palatable option is to keep our prospects to contribute to our team or to package for a superstar in a trade. That means Greg Holland is the more palatable deal as well.
The St. Louis Cardinals have money to spend and they should spend it on Greg Holland. He will continue to dominate at the back end of games and he could be the perfect bow on an already magnificent offseason for our home 9. What do you think? Do you like the idea of Holland wearing the birds on the bat? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.