6 relievers the Cardinals need to target on the trade market

The Cardinals will likely buy at this year's deadline, but don't expect a major splash. One of these right-handed relievers would certaintly help their bullpen.
Toronto Blue Jays v Chicago White Sox
Toronto Blue Jays v Chicago White Sox / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages
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John Brebbia, White Sox

A former Cardinal himself, John Brebbia appears to be a name that the Cardinals have been interested in a reunion with for a while, and continue to be as this season goes along. Luckily enough for them, the White Sox appear to be the clearest seller candidates in all of baseball.

Let's start with the bad. If you haven't kept up with Brebbia this year, and I wouldn't blame you with how the White Sox are playing, one quick search will show you that he has posted a 6.65 ERA in 21.2 innings of work for the White Sox this year. I don't think anyone will try and tell you it's been a good year, but assuming he's going to cost almost nothing to acquire, there are some intriguing numbers under the hood that suggest he could have more success as the year goes on.

Brebbia has a good strikeout percentage that sits at 27.4%, so we are not looking at a guy who can't miss bats. He's among the best in baseball at getting hitters to chase outside the zone, sitting in the 87th percentile, mostly as a result of using his slider low and away. Brebbia hasn't allowed many walks this year either, so he's not beating himself with those either.

Brebbia's FIP and xFIP are also much more promising than his ERA would suggest, sitting a 4.25 and 3.34 respectively. Brebbia has seen a big uptick in his HR/FB rate this year, which is at a career-high 17.4% after sitting at 11.1% last year. He's actually been better at inducing ground balls this year than he has in years past, so the combination of ground balls with the Cardinals' defense and a really good strikeout rate could help him become a solid middle reliever for St. Louis.

Another interesting part of this equation for the Cardinals is the fact that the White Sox seem to have an openness to bringing in former Cardinals, so a trade with St. Louis may make sense for them. Jeff Jones pointed out on the Dealin the Cards podcast that the White Sox were eager to bring in Brebbia, Paul DeJong, Jake Woodford, and Tommy Pham recently, and a number of other Cardinals have played for Chicago in recent years as well.

If there was one name on this list I'd bank on the Cardinals going after, it's Brebbia, but I don't think that means he's the only reliever they'll target, and they'd be wise to add multiple right-handers to their mix if they can do so.