St. Louis Cardinals Rumors: Team Names New Closer For 2018 MLB Season

The St. Louis Cardinals turn to a newly-signed free agent reliever to become new closer.

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St. Louis Cardinals rumors have been confirmed by beat writer Derrick Goold. A new closer for the Cardinals has been announced by the team, with President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak confirming the news. The report by Goold states that Luke Gregerson will open the 2018 MLB season as the closer for the Cardinals.

Goold went on to say that Tyler Lyons will also play a big role in the bullpen, with prospects Ryan Helsley and Jordan Hicks also likely to contribute this year. A lot of unfamiliar faces will be pitching for the Cardinals in 2018, but Gregerson will be the most recognizable name. He is fresh off helping the Houston Astros win the 2017 World Series. He struggled a bit down the stretch, though, posting a 4.57 ERA, 1.344 WHIP, and a 2-3 record with the Astros. This is why he became a bit of a bargain in free agency.

These St. Louis Cardinals rumors aren’t too surprising after the team gave free-agent Luke Gregerson a three-year contract. He will make $5 million each season, with the Cardinals holding a team option for the 2020 campaign. If Gregerson pitches in 60 games in 2019 or pitches in 130 games combined during the first two seasons, then the third-year becomes guaranteed at $6 million. This gives him extra incentive to pitch as often as he can over the next two seasons.

The Cardinals are the second team to announce a new closer on Saturday (January 13). Earlier in the day, the Chicago Cubs turned to a new guy as well. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Cubs will have Brandon Morrow as the ninth-inning guy for the 2018 MLB season. Morrow was a free agent after pitching with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season and this will be his first opportunity to become the full-time closer on a team.

Over his nine-year career with the San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics, and Houston Astros, Luke Gregerson has posted a 3.02 ERA and 1.082 WHIP in 599 total innings. That includes a rate of 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings and a total of 66 saves. He spent some time as the closer with the Astros but blew 14 saves combined over the last three years. In that time, he also converted on 47 opportunities (total). Now Gregerson heads into Spring Training as the primary closer for the St. Louis Cardinals, though he may be on a short leash.