The Rays used Alex Colome in nearly all of their save situations last year, with him taking the ball in 47 out of 53 saves throughout the season. He might not have been the best closer in the league, or a big name that got to show off for the playoffs, but he was a reliable option for Tampa Bay and performed well.
Now, it looks like he might not be there in 2018, with reports from MLB Network’s Jon Morosi that the Rays are shopping Colome to multiple teams. As of now, the Cardinals are reportedly the ones with the most keen interest in the 28-year-old.
He won’t be a free agent until 2021, but is first-year arbitration eligible in 2018. In 2017, Colome posted a 3.24 ERA in 66.2 innings pitched (but a 2.29 ERA in the second half), allowing only four home runs the entire year.
As the good folks over at DRays Bay put it,
...there are certainly better metrics for assessing reliever performance (Colome ranked 35th among relievers in fWAR and 48th among relievers in FIP), those saves still tell us that the Rays were willing to hand El Caballo the ball in nearly all their close wins. And they may well be enough to bring the arbitration price for Colome to a figure the Rays would rather see another team paying in 2018.
That certainly looks to be the case, and the Cardinals could use him. They no longer have Trevor Rosenthal — who is unsigned after undergoing Tommy John surgery early in the 2017 season — and without another overly reliable option, Colome is certainly good enough for their needs.
He would at least stabilize things late in the game, which is a start!
They do have Juan Nicasio who is sturdy, but Colome plus Nicasio is a heck of a lot better than just Nicasio. Add another beam to that load-bearing wall, why not?
There are other teams in on Colome as well, but it looks like St. Louis’ game to lose. Colome would be a helpful addition if they can land him.