An update on the St. Louis Cardinals’ search for bullpen upgrades
An update on the St. Louis Cardinals’ search for bullpen upgrades, with Joe Kelly still an option and Ryan Tepera being the most likely signing.
At this point, everyone in baseball knows that the St. Louis Cardinals are searching for bullpen help. The only question, really, is how many relievers they will add.
The general consensus is that it will be two, with All-Star reliever Kenley Jansen being the only reliever out of their price range. Katie Woo of The Athletic writes that “a Joe Kelly reunion isn’t out of the realm of possibilities” while adding that Ryan Tepera, Brad Boxberger and Andrew Chafin are other options.
These are not new names, so seeing them mentioned is not surprising. But it is interesting that Kelly is supposedly still an option, considering that his likely price – a two or three-year deal for $7-9 million per season – was reportedly out of their price range. Perhaps the Cardinals will monitor Kelly’s market and remain involved if the price ends up being lower than that, though it still feels unlikely that he ends up in St. Louis.
Still, stranger things have happened. The most likely high-end option has always been Tepera, who some baseball people predict to land a two-year, $12 million contract, and that would leave more than enough room for the Cardinals to land either Boxberger, Chafin or another strong complementary piece in the late innings.
That scenario feels like the most plausible, and the one that president of baseball operations John Mozeliak will follow. After all, he loves flexibility on his roster and with the payroll, and such moves would set him up to be creative at the trade deadline if the Cardinals are indeed in playoff contention as many expect.
This is the storyline to follow for the remainder of the lockout if you’re a Cardinals fan, and it’s likely we will have answers shortly after MLB and the MLBPA reach an agreement on a new CBA.