St. Louis Cardinals: Madbum and Will Smith are no longer options
By Matt Graves
There are two pitchers out West who were options for the St. Louis Cardinals at the trade deadline but aren’t anymore. Who should be the target now?
There have been a lot of names rumored to be available during this trade season and the St. Louis Cardinals should no doubt be interested in many of them. Two names the team have been heavily rumored to be interested in are Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith, both of the San Francisco Giants.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals plans, it appears as though those two players are no longer going to be available.
Due to the Giants recent hot streak, the team is no longer looking to sell, something that was also rumored to happen. Whether or not it’s smart, the 2.5-games-back Giants are holding on to their closer and ace.
As Mr. Nightengale says, pretty much any chances that there will be a trade of either of these players is gone.
Bumgarner, who has been better as of late, is a free agent at the end of the year and currently sports a 3.66 ERA and a 114 ERA+. He wouldn’t be the ace he used to be, but a great lefty and innings eater like him would be great to have.
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Smith, also a free agent to be, has 25 saves, a 2.38 ERA good for a 176 ERA+. He was the most attractive option in my opinion as he could help solidify the back end of the bullpen that is missing Jordan Hicks even though it has been great without him.
With these two options off the board, I would think that the Cardinals would and should still have a lot of interest in the Giants’ Tony Watson. Outside of Watson, there aren’t a ton of lefty relief options for the club to look at. As far as the starting rotation goes, Marcus Stroman or Noah Syndergaard are the best remaining options, even though they will both be expensive.
The common perception around the league is that the Giants are not being very smart to more or less take Madbum and Will Smith off the market, but at the end of the day they are going to do whatever they want. It’s a bit of a disappointment for the Cardinals, but there are other options out there. One thing is clear, the team needs reinforcements.