Archie Bradley is reportedly an option for the St. Louis Cardinals, who covet adding another reliever or two.
With Steven Matz signed and the rotation set in stone, the St. Louis Cardinals’ attention has turned to upgrading the bullpen. Among the names connected to them include Ryan Tepera, Joe Kelly and Robert Gsellman.
Another name that has been linked to the Cardinals is right-hander Archie Bradley, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Goold did not specifically state that the Cardinals are interested in Bradley, instead stating that he fits a lot of what they desire. It’s true. His 56 percent groundball rate is higher than any of the pitchers listed above and his extensive experience pitching in high-leverage situations is surely an added bonus.
After all, it’s exactly what the Cardinals seek in a reliever. At one point in 2020, Bradley looked like he was trending in the wrong direction. His ERA ballooned to 4.22 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, where his ERA was 1.17, and posted a 3.71 ERA in 53 appearances with the Philadelphia Phillies this past season.
Bradley, 29, is likely to sign a deal similar to the one-year, $6 million contract he signed last offseason. For the Cardinals, that’s well within their price range. It’s just a matter of whether they want to give him such a contract.
It’s something they should consider, however, given that he can provide another veteran arm in the late innings and take some pressure off Alex Reyes, who has proven volatile after starting last season as the best reliever in baseball. Besides, Bradley on a $6 million deal would keep them in play for, say, Tepera or Kelly.
Of course, there is a lot of time for the Cardinals to consider the available relief options. It’s possible they also look at the trade market for bullpen help. But it’s clear they have no shortage of options and should have 1-2 new impact relievers before the 2022 regular season begins.