The winter meetings were going rather quiet for the St. Louis Cardinals. Until today, that is. The Cardinals have agreed to terms on a $7.5 million, 3 year deal with 37-year-old veteran left hander Randy Choate pending a physical. The deal solidifies the bullpen from the left side as he will pair with 27-year-old Marc Rzepczynski.
Entering the offseason the Cardinals hadn’t spent good money on a left handed reliever in a few years, and it has shown. It was one of the primary issues that the organization needed to address in the offseason, if not the primary one (though I labelled it key #2 in a previous post). I had the feeling entering the offseason that John Mozeliak was as tired as I was at dumpster diving for a fringe left handed reliever and hoping you could work magic and squeeze a year or two of performance out of him. It was time to get a reliable arm.
Choate is not the player I was hoping the Cardinals would add, and after Sean Burnett went to the Angels on an $8 million, 2 year deal when I thought he’d get $12 million over 2 years, I’m even a little more frustrated. Burnett is one of those lefties that can pitch both ways. And yes, while we have our seventh, eighth, and ninth innings locked up, if an opposing manager tries to play matchups late in the game, Burnett is the kind of pitcher you can leave in there so you don’t burn through your bullpen in a single inning. However, if you are looking for a straight up Lefty-One-Out-GuY (or LOOGY), Choate was one of the best on the market this offseason.