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
7 of 7

Adam Ottavino, Mets

The last name on this list actually began his career with St. Louis, and while his raw numbers will freak Cardinals fans out, Adam Ottavino has so many indicators that point to much more success coming to him in the near future.

Let's rip the bandaid off - Ottavino is sporting a 5.96 ERA in 22.2 innings this year. Yikes. But let's look at all of the good that is underneath the surface...

  • 3.09 xERA and 3.62 FIP indicate positive regression is coming
  • He is striking out batters 31.4% of the time!
  • Ottavino's home run rate is higher than his career normal but not to a concerning level.
  • His average exit velocity, xBA, xERA, K%, Hard-Hit%, GB%, and extension all ranked in the 77th percentile or better.
  • And hey, he's pitching for the Mets. Give him a break.

Seriously though, Ottavino is an experienced reliever who still has great stuff out of the back of the bullpen, and could be an excellent option to add to their mix without giving up a significant return. Ottavino has filled a number of roles in his career and can be relied on in high-leverage situations, or even give the Cardinals multiple innings to help them alleviate some pressure from their best arms.

If you're not familiar with Ottavino, he's a sinker-sweeper guy who mostly uses that combination to get right-handed hitters out while mixing in a change-up, cutter, and four-seamer to get out lefties alongside his sinker. If you want to see how that sinker/sweeper does against a hitter like Donovan though, see below.

I understand the names on this list are not flashy by any means. But if the Cardinals want to improve their bullpen at this deadline, flashy doesn't seem to be the name of the game. There are quality arms out there to be had at manageable prices, and the Cardinals would do well to add one or two to their bullpen between now and the deadline.