Are we buyers or sellers part 2, Does Hicks going down change the priorities?

Updated: Aug 21, 2019

AP photo by Nick Wess

In Part one I looked at staring pitching additions that could be made by the Cardinals. With the recent development of Jordon Hicks needing Tommy John Surgery is there going to be a shift in priorities? The question is a valid one as Hicks had established himself as go 9th inning guy converting 14 of 15 save opportunities. turning in 3.14ERA, 0.94WHIP, 31SO/11BB, in 28 2/3 IP.

internal options of possible closers are

Name saves Save op

John Gant 3 5

Carlos Martinez 2 4

Tyler Webb 1 1

Andrew Miller 1 3

Daniel Hudson 1 1

John Brebbia 0 1

Dominic Leone 0 1

Going internally at this point other than the guys mentioned above You have Giovanny Gallegos who has put up very good numbers. 2.60 ERA, 0.81WHIP, 49S0/6BB in 34 2/3IP plus opponents are only hitting .182 against him. I think he could be given a shot. More than likely for now the late innings will fall on Carlos Martinez. Last year out of the pen Carlos put great numbers. 1.47ERA, 1.202WHIP, 5SV/5SVOP, 2-0W/L, 19SO/11BB, in 15G, 18 1/3IP. Can Carlos do that for more than a 15 game stretch?

The only other option at this point to me is John Gant 2.40ERA, 0.871, 37SO/12BB, 3SV/5SVOP in 35G, 41 1/3IP.

I thought at the beginning of the year that John Brebbia might be in line for a shot at the late inning/closer role in April and May it looked like he could be with a 2.33ERA, 1.29WHIP, 35SO/10BB, 25G, 19.1IP. Lately in June he has been having a rough time with an ERA over 8 and a 1.83 WHIP.

Does this make a trade option more likely? If so, what is out there we can get?

The one that everyone keeps bringing up is

Will Smith 29, LHP of the San Fransisco Giants sporting q 1.95ERA, 0.742WHIP, 21SV/21SVOpp in 33 games 49SO/7BB He will be a Free Agent at the end of the year so cost to trade may not be extreme but make no mistake the giants will want value. they are looking for OF which we do have in ample supply more important they want OF with POP in the bat. someone like O'Neill or Randy Arozarena (or both) or one of them and a prospect arm such a Woodford or Gomber. the idea of getting him for Bader and Cabrera I don't see happening, but you never know. Now a lot will depend on the giants mood and urgency. There are two factors that should also be considered A. will he continue to dominate as he is now?

B. If he does can we resign him?

If he is traded here and performs well then leaves where are we at? Back to the FA or trade market over the winter or looking at our internal options AGAIN. I am more than okay with taking a flyer on Will Smith. IF we have relative assurance that we can negotiate a contract.

Ken Giles 28 RHP Toronto Blue Jays Arb eligible FA in 2021. 1.33ERA, 1.037WHIP, 47S0/8BB, 12SV/13SVOpp, 27G, 27IP. Currently Toronto is 22.5 games out so they could be willing to make a deal for prospects. They could help almost anywhere particularly in the OF and at 1B So names like O'Neill, Ravelo, Garcia would be attractive to them and possibly a younger arm to develop. plus you have control for next year which could be crucial since Hicks would probably not be full ready to come back until Spring of 2021.

Brad Hand 29 LHP Cleveland Indians Under contract until 2020 Free Agent 2021 Cleveland does hold a team option for 2021. 2.36ERA, 0.932WHIP, 50SO/8BB, 22SV/23SVOpp 36G, 34 1/3IP. At current the Indians are only 8 game out so not sure they would be sellers at the deadline. They do have a very good bullpen, the rotation has holes and they need OF bats and help at 3B and they could even use bench help. If Wacha can turn in another solid game or two he could be a trade piece along with say a Munoz and maybe a 3B prospect not named Gorman.

Shane Greene 30, RHP, Detroit Tigers. Arb eligible FA in 2021, .090ERA, 0.867WHIP, 30S)/9BB 21SV/22SVOP, 30G, 30IP. The tiger quite frankly could use help everywhere so a couple of young prospects Such as Ravelo, Garcia, Sosa, Woodford could be enough to do the deal. I do think Detroit will be sellers so there could be some heavy competition.

Alex Colome 24, RHP, Chicago White Sox. Arb Eligible Free Agent 2021 2.15ERA, 0.682WHIP, 25SO/9BB, 16SV/16SVOpp, 30G, 29 1/3IP. Colome is young And was a lock down closer in 2016(37) and 2017(47) with Tampa Bay. IN 2018 he converted 12 of only 17 Save ops. What the White Sox would want? Looking at their roster they would appear to be offensively set Starting pitching is the weak spot with only 1 starter with an ERA under 4.5. They also have a few FAs to deal with the two most notable being 1B Jose Abreu and C James McCann. It is a stretch as to his effectiveness but with only a limited number of Save Opps it could be worth a look. He would obviously cost a couple of arms such as Woodford, Reyes, Poncedeleon.

Kirby Yates 32, RHP, San Diego Padres. Arb eligible FA 2021 1.36ERA, 0.909WHIP, 54S0/9BB, 26SV/27SVOP, 33G, 33IP. The Padres currently sit 13.5 games out and sport some formidable offensive bats such as Hosmer, Tatis, Machado. However their bench does lack in the way of consistency. They have a so-so rotation and outside of Yates the bullpen is not much to speak of. Still with all the money they have tied up in Hosmer and Machado it would be unclear as to whether they would want prospects or MLB ready players.

I don't know if the Cardinals are looking in the direction of the bullpen. overall it has been good.I revert to a comment by Al Hrabosky at a caravan visit earlier this year when he said basically that the closer role has changed in that the 9th inning may not be where games are really won. it may be the 7th bases loaded 1 out and you bring in Brebbia who gets a double play ball to stop a rally and preserve the lead. While I understand what Hrabosky meant I still like many would like to see a Lee Smith, Bruce Sutter, Dennis Ekersley or Jason Isringhousen type come out of the bullpen door in the 9th inning.

If it were me I would be looking at Greene from Detroit or Giles from Toronto. I would love to have Smith but unless we can resign him or get him relatively cheap he may not be worth the price.

As always thanks for reading leave a comment or hit me up on twitter @bortas2002

Next I will try and tackle the offense

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