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To Buy or Bargain

Alex Colome for the Rays at Orioles Aug. 31, 2015.

Alex Colome for the Rays at Orioles Aug. 31, 2015.

KeithAllisonPhoto.com

Alex Colome for the Rays at Orioles Aug. 31, 2015.

KeithAllisonPhoto.com

KeithAllisonPhoto.com

Alex Colome for the Rays at Orioles Aug. 31, 2015.

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Despite the hopes and dreams of every man, woman, and child in St. Louis, reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton, has refused to waive his no trade clause for St. Louis, and is headed to the Yankees. Stanton would have provided the best bat in the National League, as well as a solid defensive presence in right field. Despite putting together a solid trade package, as well as making a strong pitch to the man himself, Stanton will be wearing pinstripes for the foreseeable future. This leaves many of us St. Louisans with the question: What next?

For starters, the Cardinals shocked the league with it’s acquisition of all star slugger, and former teammate of Stanton, Marcell Ozuna. This provides a defensive god in left field as well as a feared hitter to fill the middle of the order hole left by Matt Holliday two years ago.

The Cardinals’ bullpen struggled mightily in 2017, so an elite reliever is a must have for the 2018 season. One name that sticks out is Tampa Bay Rays closer Alex Colome. In 2017, Colome touted a 3.24 ERA and a league leading 47 saves (53 SVO). Along with his stats, his contract makes him incredibly attractive to St.louis. Colome, entering his age 29 season, is signed for one more year for $540k, followed by three years of arbitration eligibility. The Cardinals and Rays have been in talks of a possible Colome deal since the start of the offseason. A possible deal for him would likely include a pitching prospect such as Jack Flaherty, who the Rays have expressed interest in, as well as a seasoned such as Matt Carpenter or Jedd Gyorko, to replace Logan Morrison (Free Agent) at first base. The Cards also h e option of dipping into their overflowing pool of talented young outfielders, sending someone like Randal Grichuk, Stephen Piscotty, or Magneuris Sierra to Tampa. All in all, the Cardinals likely have enough trade pieces to acquire Colome.

While many say the Cards should sign a free agent closer, this would be a horrible decision. The two main players in the free agent pool, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland, both come with similar sets of issues. The first, and most important of which is price. Both are expected to sign deals of around $60 million for 3-5 years. That is money which could be better spent on a hitter such as Eric Hosmer. The second issue is their age. Both are entering their age 32 seasons and would expect to sign up to their age 37 seasons. By then they will likely no longer live up to their $60 Million price tags. The third major concern with Davis and Holland is injuries. Davis spent significant time on the DL in the past three years and Holland Missed the entire 2017 season. All in all it makes way more sense for the Cardinals to trade for a closer than sign one.      

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