St. Louis Cardinals

Cardinals pursuit of closer could be leading them to Tampa Bay’s Colome

Rumors have connected the St. Louis Cardinals to Alex Colome.
Rumors have connected the St. Louis Cardinals to Alex Colome. AP

Rumors out of the general managers meetings in Orlando, Fla., have the St. Louis Cardinals stepping up their pursuit of a closer.

The Cardinals, according to Jon Morosi of the MLB Network, have inquired about Alex Colome, who led baseball with 47 saves in 53 chances last season for the Tampa Bay Rays.

The 28-year-old Colome, who was 2-3 with a 3.24 ERA in 65 games, has 74 saves in the last two years. He was 37-for-40 in 2016 when he made the American League All-Star team. Colome is arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason.

St. Louis has a huge void in the back end of its bullpen, a role that has been unsettled since 2015 when Trevor Rosenthal had a club-record 48 saves.

In 2016, Rosenthal yielded the closer’s role to then-rookie Seung Hwan Oh, who logged 19 saves after Rosenthal was removed as closer in July. Rosenthal was eventually placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, returning in September.

Oh, meanwhile, could not hold on to the job in his second big-league season in 2017. After going 6-3 with a 1.92 ERA in 76 games in 2016, Oh slumped to 1-6 with a 4.10 ERA in 62 games this season and was 20-for-24 in saves.

Rosenthal, who underwent Tommy John surgery in August, was recently released by the Cardinals. He could miss the entire 2018 season.

The Cardinals also are believed to be interested in free-agent closer Wade Davis, 32, who was 4-2 with a 2.30 ERA with 32 saves in 33 chances last season for the Chicago Cubs. Davis was a National League All-Star.

St. Louis also could have interested in All-Star closer Greg Holland, 31, who was an All-Star last season with the Colorado Rockies. Holland, who was coming off Tommy John surgery, had 41 saves in 45 chances, but was 3-6 with a 3.61 ERA.

Holland was 1-4 with a 13.50 ERA in 11 games in August, but bounced back nicely in September when he had five saves and 1.86 ERA in 10 games.

David Wilhelm: @DavidMWilhelm