MLB Insider thinks St. Louis Cardinals should sign these two relievers

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Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Atlanta Braves in the sixth inning of Game Two of the National League Championship Series at Truist Park on October 17, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Atlanta Braves in the sixth inning of Game Two of the National League Championship Series at Truist Park on October 17, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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MLB Insider Jim Bowden thinks that St. Louis Cardinals should sign these two relievers, but they may not be the most realistic options.

Joe Kelly. Ryan Tepera. Collin McHugh. Andrew Chafin. Those are just some of the relievers that have been connected to the St. Louis Cardinals this offseason and in all likelihood, at least one of them will be signed after the lockout.

Jim Bowden of The Athletic, however, thinks the Cardinals should sign two of them — Joe Kelly and Collin McHugh, adding: “I’d like to see the Cardinals keep adding pitching, pitching and more pitching.”

Adding pitching has been the plan for the Cardinals after signing Steven Matz, and is something they will aggressively pursue after the lockout. It’s unclear, however, if they want to sign two high-leverage relievers – the financial commitment could exceed what president of baseball operations John Mozeliak is comfortable paying – but it’s something they need to explore.

But Katie Woo of The Athletic says that while she is “on board with a Joe Kelly reunion, I’m not sure the Cardinals brass would fork over the money necessary to land him on a multi-year deal.” She listed Tepera as a possibility, as well as former Milwaukee Brewers reliever Brad Boxberger.

On the surface, Boxberger would be underwhelming. But once he settled in, he was one of the Brewers’ best relievers — he had 11.6 strikeouts-per-nine innings — and was a strong No. 3 reliever behind Josh Hader and Devin Williams. He would be cheaper than any of the other options and could allow them to sign, say, McHugh or Tepera once the lockout is over.

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There are plenty of possibilities to consider, with Bowden’s pairing of Kelly and McHugh being the most intriguing. But Tepera and Boxberger may be the most realistic and best bang for their buck — and could be something to watch once this lockout (hopefully) ends sooner than later.

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