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Closer: Fernando Salas
It's going to be a nail-biting weekend for Salas owners.
One would presume the Cardinals were done with the reliever market after acquiring setup pieces Dotel and Marc Rzepczynski from the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday. But news is still floating that Heath Bell would prefer to land in St. Louis if the San Diego Padres ship him out.
Oh, and McClellan volunteered to move back to the 'pen, where he gained the staff's trust in previous years. Pitching Dumbledore Dave Duncan said he wouldn't hesitate to use McClellan in the ninth inning. There's another internal fix that would preclude them from more RP shopping. Lance Lynn was recently named as the chief setup option, but that was before McClellan joined the relief army. Don't expect Duncan to stick to his Lynn guns with one of his favorite pitchers back in the fray.
The Cards would be hard-pressed not to at least be in talks right now involving Bell. But would St. Louis yearn to acquire someone that could simply be a rental, and would they pay Bell big bucks to keep him after 2011? Since Jason Isringhausen left following 2008, St. Louis hasn't spent big bucks on a closer, instead riding Ryan Franklin while attempting to cultivate Motte, McClellan and Boggs, among others, for the role. Is this a continuing philosophy, or something they want to change?
McClellan could be worth a cheap gamble in deep leagues. If no other option is added and Salas falters, Run KMC likely would take over. Salas owners should hang on; you probably won't get a fair price if you try to ship him before Sunday anyway. Though the Texas Rangers seem to be more heavily involved in Bell talks, the Gateway City remains a possibility, at least in the media. You were warned.
Job security score: 3
Health score: 5
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