Cardinals Shopping For Right-Handed Reliever

The Cardinals are shopping for a right-handed reliever, hears Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Adding a righty reliever would make a Kyle McClellan trade likely, he adds.

The Cardinals' bullpen includes righties Jason Motte, Fernando Salas, Mitchell Boggs, and Lance Lynn, as well as lefties Marc Rzepczynski and J.C. Romero.  Our free agent tracker shows that Luis Ayala, Shawn Camp, Todd Coffey, Francisco Cordero, Brad Lidge, Scott Linebrink, Ryan Madson, Chad Qualls, Dan Wheeler, Kerry Wood, and Michael Wuertz are among the unsigned right-handed relievers.

McClellan, 27, posted a 4.19 ERA, 4.8 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 1.33 HR/9, and 50.6% groundball rate in 141 2/3 innings last year, including 17 starts.  Matt Swartz projects a $2.7MM salary through arbitration.


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62 Comments on "Cardinals Shopping For Right-Handed Reliever"


Kendall Adkins
3 years 7 months ago

Weird… We need infield depth. Not another rhp. 

Redbirds16
3 years 7 months ago

Exactly. Seems like overkill to me. Why not have picked up Dotel’s relatively affordable option if RHRP was projected as a need? And does this mean they’re expecting Eduardo Sanchez (not named in post, but an electric arm) to not recover from last year’s shoulder injury?

Kendall Adkins
3 years 7 months ago

Maybe they are thinking they could get a better infielder out of a trade from McClellan than they could from free agency. Very possible I guess. 

jhfdssdaf
3 years 7 months ago

Package McClellan and a decent prospect, and you can find a second baseman on the market.  Of course, with the addition of salary in signing a new reliever, there may not be room for the second baseman’s salary.

3 years 7 months ago

KMac, mid-level prospect, ptbnl for Prado

jhfdssdaf
3 years 7 months ago

I like this ALOT.  Not sure the Braves would bite, though.

3 years 7 months ago

Largely depends on who you mean by mid-level prospect and whether PTBNL means a 2011 draftee or junk.

3 years 7 months ago

I would deal KMac and Cox for Prado.

stl_cards16
3 years 7 months ago

I really doubt the Braves would be interested in McClellan.  They have plenty of pitchers for the rotation and bullpen that are much better than McClellan.

3 years 7 months ago

No idea if the Braves would do it, but I personally would strongly consider it just because of Cox.

3 years 7 months ago

You would.  Hahahaha had to say it.

3 years 7 months ago

lol, those jokes are never not appropriate.  Usually.

stl_cards16
3 years 7 months ago

Sanchez came back and pitched great in a game at the end of the regular season if I remember correctly. Unless something else came up after that….

3 years 7 months ago

I dont see Cordero going there if Duncan is still a coach in STL

Mike
3 years 7 months ago

I wonder who seems to be the best fit out of the available right handed relievers? Lidge? Might as well, Got Berkman and Beltran already together. Might as well add another who seemed to have the Cards number for a bit.

Redbirds16
3 years 7 months ago

Although Lidge’s fastball sitting at 89 MPH doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Maybe Todd Coffey?

Ferrariman
3 years 7 months ago

this just makes no sense.  We have Reifer, Swagerty, Cleto, and Sanchez on the 40man roster and Motte, Lynn, Salas, and Boggs on the 25man roster.  Thats 8 RHRP. Most teams would envy our depth in relief pitching.  Why do we need more???

Lanidrac
3 years 7 months ago

We’ve got Motte and McClellan that are guarenteed spots. Salas, Sanchez, and Lynn are likely, but any of them could suffer from a significant sophomore slump. Boggs should go back to AAA for at least a while. Reifer, Swagerty, and Cleto aren’t ready. That’s not as much depth as people think, plus injuries could strike at any time.

cardinalmike
3 years 7 months ago

I think this is code for signing Oswalt, trading McClellan, and moving Westbrook into McClellan’s role.

In the list of RHed relievers, Sanchez is not mentioned.

stl_cards16
3 years 7 months ago

Not the worst idea.  At least they would be able to move all of McClellan’s salary.  I don’t think they would get much useful out of him but not a bad thought.

cardinalmike
3 years 7 months ago

I know this repsonse is full of unlikely “ifs” but let’s say you can trade McClellan and save about $3.0M.  Let’s also say that Oswalt REALLY wants to play in STL with Berkman and Beltran.  Let’s say he would do that for $5.0M.  In this scenario, Oswalt is costing the Cardinals about $2.0 of budget space over what is projected now.  I could actually see it.

Remember, I said there were a lot of unlikely “ifs”.

stl_cards16
3 years 7 months ago

I think Oswalt taking $5mil is pretty unlikely, the rest I don’t think is too far of a stretch. St. Louis is an ideal location to Oswalt so I think he could take a small discount.

epearson001
3 years 7 months ago

I think this might be a dream, more than truth.  I would be happy to see that happen but I won’t get my hopes up.  As for your second comment, there are a ton of relievers not mentioned because they link to the full list later on.  The relievers mentioned were just a sample.

stl_cards16
3 years 7 months ago

Sanchez will be in the Cardinals bullpen, he should have been mentioned.

Kendall Adkins
3 years 7 months ago

We can only hope. That would give us the 3rd best rotation in the NL (maybe 2nd depending on performance), along with arguably the best offense. 

Lanidrac
3 years 7 months ago

Signing Oswalt will take at least $10M. Even without McClellan’s salary, there’s no way we can afford it. I also don’t see us paying Westbrook $8M to pitch out of the bullpen (which would be as a long reliever, not McClellan’s setup role).

brian310
3 years 7 months ago

Jesse Crain?

epearson001
3 years 7 months ago

Its seems most likely that McClellan is asking for a trade.  He can plainly see that he will not be in the starting rotation again with this organization.  He has also made it clear the he wants to be a starting pitcher.  He didn’t outright say he was unhappy about going back to the pen, but its clear from his reaction, that he was not very happy about it.

stl_cards16
3 years 7 months ago

I don’t think there are many teams that would view McClellan as a starter.  I could be wrong, but I don’t see him as a starter in the future.  He can be an average relief pitcher and have a decent career.

jhfdssdaf
3 years 7 months ago

He could be a back of the rotation type starter, which has some (limited) value.  Quite frankly, he’s probably at least as good as Westbrook right now.

Problem in St. Louis is that there is no room for him now, and not much room in the future.  The two open spots (Lohse and Westbrook) are slated for Miller (next year) and Martinez (in two or three years), with Boggs, Rzepczynski and Lynn competing for any extra opennings.  On a team with slightly less depth, McClellan at least gets a legitimate shot.

Kendall Adkins
3 years 7 months ago

There are teams that would kill to have a 10-12 win starter above .500 at the back of their rotation. 

3 years 7 months ago

He had a 2.21 ERA in ’10. He’s well above average as a relief pitcher. As a starter he is average.

95isOver
3 years 7 months ago

Freese for Brandon League+  get it done Jackie Z

Kendall Adkins
3 years 7 months ago

Uhh… No. 

jhfdssdaf
3 years 7 months ago

The Cardinals already have a closer (Motte).  Why give up a young, cost controlled third baseman (and WS MVP at that) to get a new one?  Even worse, why would you surrender four years of that third baseman for only ONE year of the closer?

Cardinals aren’t going to trade Freese for anyone right now, especially not at a position where you can find similar production on the open market without giving up a player.

95isOver
3 years 7 months ago

“Why” you ask?  Why because I want it to happen.  That is reason enough, is it not?

Kendall Adkins
3 years 7 months ago

Surely there is a reason you want it to happen. You must either be a Mariners fan or a relative of Daniel Descalso. 

Lopey10
3 years 7 months ago

he will only play at least 80 games also bc he can’t stay healthy

3 years 7 months ago

Freese had a freak injury last year. His ankles are healthy. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him play 145+ games this year.

Snoochies8
3 years 7 months ago

Grant balfour for tommy pham+ possibly? or maybe even maikel cleto?

3 years 7 months ago

I really doubt the Cardinals will make a trade for a RHP.  There are plenty out there to sign and you don’t lose any prospects.  Trading KMac would be more of a salary dump than anything else I would think.

3 years 7 months ago

They’re not just going to dump him. His 2.7 mm salary is affordable for a guy who is still a quality reliever. If it wasn’t for Motte, KMac could be our closer.

3 years 7 months ago

Maybe dump is too harsh of words.  He is good but the reason behind dealing KMac is to get something for him before his salary goes to high.  KMac has some time as a starter which will increase his salary during the next arb.  And KMac would not be our closer without Motte.  That would go to Salas, Sanchez, or Lynn.  KMac is more of a middle reliever.

Lanidrac
3 years 7 months ago

Maybe Salas, but McClellan would get the job before Sanchez and Lynn. He’s always been one of our main set-up men, not a measly middle reliever.

3 years 7 months ago

There is a reason he was never given the job.  He doesn’t have the stuff to be a closer.  He is a starter that is relieving.  Sanchez is a closer in waiting and Lynn has much better swing and miss stuff than KMac.

Lanidrac
3 years 7 months ago

You don’t need a high strikeout rate to be a closer. Despite his troubles in 2011, Franklin did very well as the closer for 2 years with a similar approach to McClellan. McClellan was our top setup man in 2010, and if he hadn’t been moved to the rotation, he would’ve been given the first shot to take over as closer when Franklin failed last year.

RallySquirrel
3 years 7 months ago

Rangers want established starters and we are shopping established starters.  To me that seems like a great fit.  http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/jake_westbrook/
 
I say trade Lohse, McClellan, Boggs (and maybe Westbrook? If any team wants to pick up ANY of his contract) to the Rangers for RHRP Uehara and SP Harrison (Uehara sucked in playoffs but had a great regular season).  Lohse will waive his NTC because he is going to a contender in the Rangers.
 
Then we sign Oswalt to be the 3 or 4 starter.  Harrison would be a more than adequate 5 starter.

3 years 7 months ago

“Lohse will waive his NTC because he is going to a contender in the Rangers.”

So he’d waive his no trade clause to get away from a team that just won the World Series? Lohse had a good year, if any starter is going to be dealt, it’ll be Westbrook.

jhfdssdaf
3 years 7 months ago

Except that no one wants Westbrook, so we’d have to pay him anyway.

brstreet9
3 years 7 months ago

And would Westbrook waive his NTC?

RallySquirrel
3 years 7 months ago

I agree that Westbrook would realistically get dealt before Lohse, but Lohse has more trade value because he had a good year. 

In 2012 he is going to $11,875,000.  If he is traded, the cardinals could use that money to buy Oswalt who is a better pitcher than Lohse. 

jhfdssdaf
3 years 7 months ago

But Lohse has already made very clear that he will not waive his no-trade clause under any circumstance.  He’s happy in St. Louis and plans to stay there for 2012.

jhfdssdaf
3 years 7 months ago

First, I don’t see Lohse waiving his no trade clause to go to a hitters park.  He’s in the last year of his contract.  He goes to Texas, his future salary drops.  Cardinals are pretty much stuck with him.

Second, why would the Rangers trade Harison for Lohse?  Yes, Lohse is established, but Harison is BETTER.  I think the goal for the Rangers is to improve their rotation and gain consistency.  Lohse accomplishes neither of these goals.

Third, why would the Cardinals want Harrison in the rotation long term?  Miller is almost ready, and Martinez is on the way, so why lock up a rotation spot for the next four years if you don’t have to?

Sure, this would be great for the Cardinals for 2012, but it doesn’t make sense for Texas or Lohse, and only a little bit of sense for the Cardinals after next year.

CardsEagles1489
3 years 7 months ago

Not sure why Sanchez isn’t listed here, unless he had a setback with his shoulder issue. Also not sure why we need another righty in the bullpen, I’d rather get another infielder. Tyler Greene isn’t a major league player from what I’ve seen, and I’m sure we could do better for our bench..

Lanidrac
3 years 7 months ago

The reason is because we have no right-handed relievers with more than 4 years of service time, and who knows what we’ll get out of Salas, Sanchez, and Lynn in their sophomore seasons. Boggs could use some more seasoning at AAA, anyway. In short, our bullpen is probably the most inexperienced bullpen in the Majors, and that could be a big problem.

However, we shouldn’t trade McClellan. Outside of last year where he was suddenly forced into the starting rotation and then back to the bullpen, he’s one of our best relievers and our best righty at getting lefties out. If we trade someone away, it should be Boggs.

3 years 7 months ago

How about tradin McClellan to the Padres for Orlando Hudson and maybe another bench player/prospect. The padres would probably have to pay for most of Hudson’s salary but they would be getting a good decently young pitcher in return. And I have always wanted the O-dog on the Cardinals.

cardinalmike
3 years 7 months ago

I am nearly certain that the Strauss tweet has everything to do with Oswalt and nothing to do with anyone else.

There are three ways to provide an opening for Oswalt and two of them have a NTC.  They are Westbrook and Loshe.

If the Cardinals can move McCllelan they save about $3.0M and they have a guy who can replace McClellan as a the long reliever and that is Westbrook.  Now, I don’t think he would like it but it can be done.

I believe the Cardinals are earnestly trying to find a way to bring Oswalt on board.  The idea that the Cardinals “need” another run-of-the-mill” RHed reliever is absurd.  As was pointed out above, the Cardinals have at least eight of them right now. 

I’ll predict that either McClellan gets traded or that Westbrook decides he doesn’t want to be a long reliever and waives the NTC.

jhfdssdaf
3 years 7 months ago

I think the bigger concern with Westbrook is his salary.  If the Cardinals have to eat the salary, they may not be able to afford Oswalt.

Also, not sure if Westbrook has a NTC.  I’ve seen it reported before, but I don’t recall that from his contract.

stl_cards16
3 years 7 months ago

Whatever you are doing when you post, I would recommend trying something different.

Lanidrac
3 years 7 months ago

Only for the moment. He could be back later in the season.

cardinalmike
3 years 7 months ago

Cots has Westbrook with a full no trade cluse.

3 years 7 months ago

I just want the O dog because he is so good in the clubhouse and a pretty good player.