Cardinals should prioritize this relief pitcher after lockout ends

Once the MLB lockout ends, the St. Louis Cardinals should target this player to solidify their bullpen.

With the MLB lockout in place and there being no end in sight, many baseball fans are looking fondly of the moves made beforehand in terms of major league players being signed. The St. Louis Cardinals made one of the biggest splashes of the Hot Stove season, as they signed starting pitcher Steven Matz away from the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Mets on a four-year, $44 million contract.

As for what the Cardinals are going do once the lockout reaches its conclusion? That remains to be seen. But given their need for late-inning bullpen arms, they should target former Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, but only if the price is right.

Cardinals should target Kenley Jansen if price is right

Bullpen is an area of need entering the 2022 season, and the Cardinals set their focus on upgrading it this offseason. There are still plenty of good options available for St. Louis when they are allowed to negotiate with major league free agents, and Jansen stands above the rest.

Jansen spent the entirety of his 12-year career with the Dodgers. While yes, he did have his fair share of blown saves, especially in the playoffs, his resume is still very impressive. In the regular-season, Jansen holds a cumulative ERA of 2.37 and a WHIP of 0.93. Additionally, he has successfully converted on 350-of-395 save opportunities.

This past season, Jansen recorded a 2.22 ERA, saved 38-of-43 games, and struck out 86 batters of 69.1 innings of work (69 games). This past postseason, Jensen struck out 14 batters and did not allow a single run through seven innings of work (eight games played).

The Cardinals should be interested in Jansen, considering he is a three-time All-Star, a two-time Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year and a World Series champion. But, it all depends on the price. Until then, the baseball world patiently waits for the lockout to end.

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