5. St. Louis Cardinals, Miami Marlins swap relievers.
Cardinals Receive: Steve Cishek
Marlins Receive: Kyle Barraclough
In a swap of relievers, the St. Louis Cardinals were looking for immediate bullpen help and gave up a mostly unknown minor leaguer in Barraclough in exchange for the sidewinder Cishek.
Cishek wasn’t terrible with the Cardinals in his brief time with the club. He had a 2.31 ERA in 23.1 innings and struck out 20 batters. He did walk 13, but it was a decent rebound from his struggles with Miami earlier that year. The Cardinals released Cishek after the season, and he signed with the Seattle Mariners. The sidearmer has bounced around since then, but he’s put up solid numbers.
Barraclough, though, was better than almost anybody expected with the Marlins. He was called up to Miami a few days after the trade, and he pitched very well. He had an ERA of 2.59 in 24.1 innings and struck out 30 batters. In 2016, Barraclough struck out an outstanding 113 batters in 72.2 innings while also cutting his walk rate.
His 2017 was strong as well, although he took a step back in 2018. Barraclough signed with the Washington Nationals in 2019, and he has had some more trouble with walks.
Although Cishek was far from a disaster with the Cardinals, if a team has talent on the farm, it’s generally better to go with them than look outside the organization. The Cardinals had a very good reliever in their farm system, but they got rid of him for a short-term solution. It’s hard to call that a good deal.