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
6 of 7

Shawn Armstrong, Rays

It is not often you see the Tampa Bay Rays become sellers at the trade deadline, but with how tough the American League has been this year and the amount of injuries the Rays have had to deal with, they could be included to move some of their soon to be free-agents, like veteran Shawn Armstrong.

The Cardinals poached Andrew Kittredge from them this past offseason, and according to Passan, Armstrong is another veteran reliever who may be on the move and could make for an interesting addition to bolster the right side of the Cardinals' bullpen behind Helsley and Kittredge.

Armstrong is a fastball-dominant pitcher, throwing either a four-seamer, cutter, or sinker 95.1% of the time this year. The Rays have been known to take what their pitchers do best and try to maximize that, and Armstrong is a perfect example of this.

Armstrong has been very effective this year, posting a 3.68 ERA and 3.24 FIP while striking out 26.6% of the batters he faces. Again, he's not a world-beater by any means, but as your third-best right-handed option out of your bullpen, he'd be a strong name to have in the mix.

Having a unique profile like Armstrong's can also be a helpful weapon for Oli Marmol to go late in games. Having an arm or two in your bullpen that operate very differently than the other arms in your mix helps keep opposing lineups off balance, so while they may see strong fastballs from Helsley, Kittredge, and Fernandez, they won't see the overwhelming mix of them that Armstrong throws.

Armstrong was able to post a 1.38 ERA and 1.3 WAR last year with the Rays in 52 innings of work, so the upside for even more out of him is there as well. Should the Rays decide to sell at the deadline, the Cardinals would be an interesting pairing for the 33-year-old right-hander.