St. Louis Cardinals: A proposal to bring back Jason Motte

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 20: Jason Motte
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 20: Jason Motte /

The St. Louis Cardinals should sign Jason Motte to a minor league contract in a move to improve the bullpen depth going into spring training.

The St. Louis Cardinals should sign free agent Jason Motte to a minor league contract. This move would improve bullpen depth going into spring training.  Also, it would give the Cardinals additional protection in their minor league system.

Jason Motte left the St. Louis Cardinals after the 2014 season.  He has since played for the Cubs, Rockies, and Braves.  His role since leaving the Cardinals has been primarily middle relief, despite saving six games in 2015 with the Cubs.

I am not advocating Jason Motte return as a closer option for the St. Louis Cardinals.  His days as a closer are over since his return from Tommy John surgery in 2014.  Rather, Motte’s role with any organization now is middle relief. What I am suggesting is Jason Motte be signed as an insurance policy for the Cardinals going into the 2018 spring training and regular season.

Motte pitched 40.2 innings in 46 games with a 3.54 ERA in 2017 for the Braves.  His WAR of .7 and RAR of 8 was the best since his banner year of 2012 with the Cardinals.  He was not resigned by the Braves and became a free agent after the season.

St. Louis Cardinal President of Baseball Operations, John Mozeliak has indicated the roster may be set for the 2018 season.  This means going into spring training the bullpen depth chart will be as follows:

Luke Gregerson

Matt Bowman

Brett Cecil

John Bebbia

Tyler Lyons

Sam Tulvailala

John Gant

Ryan Sherriff

Alex Reyes

The Cardinals also have prospects Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson waiting in the wings for their expected call ups in 2018.

So the question is why would Jason Motte even be needed, if he is not a closer?  The answer to this question lies with Mike Matheny’s bullpen management, injuries, and the progress of prospects.

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Let’s face it, Mike Matheny goes through bullpen arms as quickly as Sitting Bull went through Custer’s command at the Battle of Little Bighorn.

With Mike Matheny at the helm we can always count on the Cardinal bullpen needing to be rebuilt during the season.  This usually due to tired arms and injuries suffered during the season.

Prospects also don’t always develop quickly as expected and may need more time in the minors.  The Cardinals saw this from Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez during their first call ups.

As stated earlier,  Motte’s return to the Cardinals would be a protective move by the club in case of an injury or a “flameout” in the bullpen.

This would also prevent from “exposing” a valuable prospect too soon.  Most of all, do we really want to see another Mike Mayers return to the bullpen?

Finally, Jason Motte is well fitted for this role.  It is a role  he fulfilled very effectively in 2017 with the Braves.  Additionally, it’s a move involves little risk for the Cardinals.

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What do you think?  Let us know your thoughts and opinions.