This offseason for the Cardinals so far has been well documented as one where they need help in their bullpen. The pen in 2018 for the club was one of the worst in baseball. A pen where they know they lack one thing: strong Lefty arms in the pen.
Now they did tender the contract of Chasen Shreve, and still have Brett Cecil for the next couple years under contract, the time is now to make a statement move for their pen. Let's also not forget Genesis Cabrera, a 21 year old LHP who they acquired in the Tommy Pham deal to Tampa, he is on the 40 man as of right now..
In this current free agent market, there is multiple very solid options in terms of left handed relief.Your top tier guys being Zach Britton and Andrew Miller. Some potential mid tier options include names like Jake Diekman, Tony Sipp, and Justin Wilson.
While most of these guys would be solid options, the club seems bound to remain in the trade market, and rightfully so, with how deep their system is. One guy has stood out for Cards fans over the last week within the trade market: 29 year old LHP Will Smith of the San Francisco Giants. Cards interest in Smith noted here by Mark Saxon:
Now, while the Cardinals remain in contact with Zach Britton and other Lefty relievers who are FAs, Smith could be an intriguing option for them.
Smith, 29, will hit the open market after the 2019 season. He started 2016 with the Brewers, but ended up being dealt to the Giants. In 18.1 IP with San Francisco in 2016, he recorded a 2.95 ERA, a 1.78 FIP, a 1.20 WHIP. His numbers only got better in 2018 (he missed 17 due to Tommy John Surgery). In 2018, he had a fantastic year, he recorded a 2.55 ERA in 53 innings, as well as 14 saves for them. His FIP and WHIP were much improved in comparison to pre-TJ surgery in 2016.
It has been noted that the Cardinals are uncertain about who will be their closer in 2019, and I would imagine that they do not want to go into the season being uncertain about their closer role like they have been in the past. It has also been said that the Cardinals are pushing to deal Jose Martinez to the Giants in a Will Smith deal, how likely is this? Nobody on the outside knows. But, the Cardinals absolutely have what the Giants are looking for: YOUNG, Controllable talent.
How does he fit with Cardinals?
Whether the Giants actually want to trade Smith or not remains to be seen, but the market for him is a hot one. But I will tell you this, the Cardinals are bound to make multiple changes to their pen, and if that means adding a 29 year old lefty coming off a career year, who is also a one year rental, it could be likely.
Cardinals might worry about the fact that they now have guys like Miles Mikolas, Marcell Ozuna, and Paul Goldschmidt, all of them being UFAs after 2019.
But Will Smith seems like a GOOD one year fit. And we know the Cardinals and the Cardinals fan base would be glad to have him in the pen, even if it is for one year.