Small Ball: Building up the Cardinals with minor pieces

I know it’s sexier to trade for bigger pieces, but that would cost us top prospects, and I’m a prospect hoarder. Plus, the Cardinals, while not on as tight a budget as say the Rays or A’s, are a solidly middle market club, and won’t shell out the money to re-sign someone like David Price. and a nice player rental is still a rental. Next year, when Wil Myers hits .280 with 20 home runs and 80-100 RBI’s while James Shields racks up a solid season with the Yankees, the Royals will be kicking themselves.

So instead, I like to focus on minor pieces. Bench help, bullpen help, that sort of thing. I’ll take depth over star power any day. So where do we need to add depth? Our bench is solid, we have good pinch hitter options as well as defensive replacements in key positions.

The bullpen, to me, is where we could make an improvement or two. I’ve never been a big fan of Randy Choate, only because I don’t like carrying a one out guy. Replacing him with a guy who could pitch an inning or 2 would be a vast improvement. That move alone would be a major upgrade to our bullpen.

Here are 3 pieces I would consider adding to our bullpen that won’t cost us too much. Key here is the fact that they can pitch to both lefties and righties.

Brad Zeigler:  Age 34 RP Arizona         vs LH .   159 BA    vs RH .221 BA   Overall ERA  2.37

Andrew Miller: 29 RP Boston                 vs. LH  .167 BA   vs RH  .190 BA   Overall ERA  2.19

Jake McGee: Age 27 RP Tampa Bay    vs. LH   ..222 BA   vs RH .171 BA  Overall ERA  1.49

 

Since these guys are performing well, they won’t be super cheap, but I doubt they’ll cost one of our mega prospects either. Plus Zeigler’s age might counter the problem listed below.

 

2 problems:

1) Convincing Tampa Bay and Boston they’re out of the race before the trade deadline passes. Plus McGee (27) and Miller (29) are either entering their primes or in their primes.

2) Tony La Russa knows our farm system, so he’ll know exactly who to ask for.

If these fail, here’s a 4th option…

Casey Fien Age 30       RP Minnesota     vs LH  .254 BA    vs RH .182 BA   Overall ERA   2.23

His average versus lefties is a little higher, but not unbearably so. And Minnesota might be the easiest sell, even though what they need most is pitching (Mainly starting pitching, but still.) Still, if I could choose, i’d take Miller.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

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