Breaking: Cardinals Set To Sign $12 Million Veteran Pitcher Considered Perfect Fit For Rotation & Payroll

Breaking: Cardinals Set To Sign $12 Million Veteran Pitcher Considered Perfect Fit For Rotation & Payroll

After a dismal 71-91 season in 2023, the St. Louis Cardinals entered this summer hoping to bolster their pitching staff. But even with the addition of three senior starters from the free agent pool by team president John Mozeliak, the team is still looking for more depth in their rotation.

With the Redbirds, manager Oliver Marmol has seen ups and downs in his first two seasons. A pitching staff that finished the previous season with a 4.79 team ERA was largely to blame for the wheels coming off. That was expected to change with the arrival of right-handers Kyle Gibson, AL Cy Young runner-up Sonny Gray, and Lance Lynn.

But Gray will not start on opening day since he recently hurt his hamstring early in spring training. On March 28, instead, 2023 holdover Miles Mikolas will face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the mound.

Due to Gray’s slow start, there has been a lot of conjecture around Major League Baseball regarding the Birds’ intentions to try to acquire a starter who is still available in order to bolster the rotation.Columnist Patrick McAvoy of Sports Illustrated proposed that Mike Clevinger, a free agent, would be a good fit because he would provide both a good arm and a reasonable salary.

Mike Clevinger is Affordable if the Cardinals are Interested

Even though Sonny Gray won’t be out for a long while, baseball insiders agree that the team needs more depth beyond their front five. By 2024, the average age of the Cardinals rotation—which includes lefthander Steve Matz, Gray, Lynn, Mikolas, Gibson, and others—will be 34.6 years old. Therefore, there’s a chance that those greybeards won’t hold up during a 162-game season.

“St. Louis made a serious effort to add pitching this offseason, but the starting rotation is still thin,” wrote McAvoy in his article.

“There are still a number of guys who could contribute without going over budget. Mike Clevinger, a seasoned starter, is one player who embodies this ideal.

According to McAvoy, St. Louis “still has some wiggle room financially and could make a lot of sense for Clevinger.” Fortunately, Gray should be back shortly, but another injury might spell trouble for the team.

“Adding additional depth, particularly with someone like Clevinger, could never go wrong if the club is serious about getting back on track in 2024.”

Clevinger had a Strange 2023 Season with the White Sox

Over his seven-year MLB career, Mike Clevinger has had consistent stats. In 24 starts during the previous season with the Chicago White Sox, the right-hander’s ERA was 3.77. His lifetime ERA is 3.45.

But the White Sox placed him on waivers in late August, and no other team took him.After the 2023 season, he became a free agent, although he hasn’t drawn the attention that a pitcher with a 60-39 career record would often get.

In spite of this, if the Cardinals choose to move on the seasoned starter, they might want to act quickly. Bob Nightengale, a columnist for USA Today Sports, recently said on social media that the White Sox would think about re-signing him for a lower salary.

Nightengale stated, “The Chicago White Sox are internally discussing the possibility of bringing back free-agent starter Mike Clevinger now that they traded Dylan Cease and moved Michael Kopech to the bullpen.” “Clevinger had a 3.77 ERA and a 9-9 record as their most reliable starter last year.”

The Cardinals could choose to do nothing and start the season with their current roster. But Gray’s injury has only made it clearer that they require an additional arm. Mike Clevinger could fit that role, given his price tag and track record.

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