St. Louis Cardinals Closer Market Starting to Dry Up, but Options Remain

St. Louis Cardinals Closer Market Starting to Dry Up, but Options Remain

The St. Louis Cardinals closer market is starting to dry up and time is running out to make an addition to the bullpen.

St. Louis Cardinals’ fans are starting to get antsy about the team in 2018 and it is only December. Unfortunately, fans are seeing players like Wade Davis and Juan Nicasio fly away from the St. Louis Cardinals‘ closer board. Davis, the best closer on the market signed a deal to replace his former teammate Greg Holland.

Davis signed for an obtrusive $52 million over three years (17.3 Million per year), if Davis finishes 30 games in 2020 and picks up his option, he will crest $2 million more than Moz Algorithim predicted last month.

This is not good as they certainly do not have an in-house option. Currently, the only major player left in Free Agency at the St. Louis Cardinals closer position is a player that the team has been linked to several times.

That player is Greg Holland. Holland had his first season in the NL last season with the Rockies and he did not disappoint. Over the course of 61 appearances, Holland racked up 41 saves with a respectable 3.61 ERA.

Out of Holland’s 61 appearances, he was involved in 45 games in which he could make a save, meaning he only had four blown saves. For the most part, these are some pretty impressive numbers. They are certainly better than what the St. Louis Cardinals got out of the closer role last season.

However, there are some alarming things that should make the buyer beware of Holland. The most obvious is that like most free agents, Holland is on the wrong side of 30 (32).

However, with relievers that is not always cause for concern. Digging into the numbers of Holland’s season might show why one may want to not look into signing him. Over the course of his career, Holland has been great at limiting hard contact and getting outs on the ground.

Last season Holland had his worst hard hit percentage of his entire career at 34.1%. He also had the highest amount of balls hit in the air of his career at 45.3%. St. Louis Cardinals Closer

Naturally, being a pitcher in Coors Field his HR/FB (Homerun to Flyball rate) was the highest of his career as well at 11.3% with his seven homers he gave up. While Holland’s slider is still his most effective pitch in terms of pitch value, he is seeing his fastball become largely ineffective, with the rest of his pitches not being very effective either.

Holland might be a decent shot but if he costs anywhere near what Wade Davis just signed for, that will be an incredible overpay for a guy one year removed from Tommy John surgery and over the age of 30. Holland should fetch a decent contract close to Davis’ as well he should but it may not be a smart investment for the St. Louis Cardinals.

A more sensible option for the St. Louis Cardinals closer would be Addison Reed. He’s three years younger than Holland and has had much better success of late. On top of that, he would be available at a more affordable rate as we have him slated at a 4 Yr $40 Million contract as opposed to $54 Million for Holland.

While Reed had the same amount luck with the home run ball last season, he was overall more consistent and will be a much better value for the team moving forward. Aside from Reed, we are looking at some low hanging fruit options in Trevor Cahill, Tony Watson, or even Anthony Swarzak.

With that in mind, it doesn’t figure that the there is much for the St. Louis Cardinals Closer Market. They have been interested in Alex Colome from the Tampa Bay Rays. However, not much has been reported on these talks since the Winter Meetings.

There also hasn’t been much mention of the Cardinals being in negotiations with other teams about a closer. A package of Roberto Osuna and Josh Donaldson would be a dream for me, but I can’t imagine Toronto parting with both of them let alone one of them and the price would likely be sky high as well.

What are some options that I did not cover? Who would you like to see the team sign? Let me know in the comments here or on social media!

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