Why St. Louis Cards Should Consider Tom Glavine

Justin HulseyCorrespondent IJune 6, 2009

ATLANTA - MARCH 31: Pitcher Tom Glavine #47 of the Atlanta Braves waits for his turn in the batting cage before the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Turner Field March 31, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

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Last week, 22-year veteran Tom Glavine was released by the Atlanta Braves.

Glavine was placed on the disabled list on Apr. 2 and has been recovering from his shoulder and elbow surgeries. He had just finished up a great rehab stint when the club informed him of his release. Glavine’s latest start, in Low-A, resulted in six strong innings with two strike outs, and no walks on June 2.

In February, Glavine signed a bonus-filled $1 million contract that had him locked up with the Braves through the 2009 season. That is irrelevant now that they have released him. Meaning, a team would sign him to an entirely different deal if they were to pick him up.

The long time dominant lefty is certainly angered by the recent events. Rightfully so. Here is what Glavine had to say about the stunning release.

“Quite honestly, I was looking forward to finishing my career here, pitching one last time, so to speak, and then walking off and being a part of this organization for the rest of my life. I feel a sense of betrayal, a little bit. I have a little bit of resentment for the way things were handled. Had I been told, you’re going to go on a rehab and you’re going to have to make the team again, then I think that becomes very different for me. What I was told was here is your rehab schedule and if everything goes well, here’s when you’ll pitch in Atlanta. Everything went well. I was healthy and ready to go and that’s not the way that it went.”

Today, Glavine and his agent discussed the pitcher’s future by saying, “a couple teams are interested.”

Is one of those teams the St. Louis Cardinals—who all of a sudden find their selves in trouble when it comes to SP? Doubtful. When asked about Glavine, Mo said, “We have not, and will not contact Tom Glavine.”

Mozeliak is a man of his word, but should we contact Glavine? Yes.

The guy just seems like a Cardinal doesn’t he? If that doesn’t convince you, take a look at the 45-year-old’s resume.

2 Cy Young Awards
1 World Series Most Valuable Player Award
4 All Star Game Appearances
305 Career Wins, 2607 Strike outs, 3.54 ERA, 22 years
15-7 in 2006 with 3.82 ERA
13-8 in 2007

Not only is Glavine was of the best left handed pitchers of all time, but he can still bring it. He has had one injury that has kept him from pitching a ton the past two years, but his 2006-2007 stats show that there is a chance he can still be affective. Twenty-eight wins in two years is pretty impressive...better than anybody on the entire pitching staff did in that time span.

I wouldn’t necessarily tell you that is saying much though either.

With Lohse heading to the disabled list, our rotation could find itself in a bit of a pickle. That is just one more reason to contact Glavine. What do we have to lose? Nothing.

With Lohse out three to four weeks, our pitching staff will look like this for about a month:

Chris Carpenter … 4-0, 0.71 ERA, 31 K
Adam Wainwright … 5-3, 3.38 ERA, 59 K
Joel Pineiro … 5-5, 3.86 ERA, 25 K
Todd Wellemeyer … 5-5, 5.05 ERA, 39 K
Brad Thompson … 0-1, 4.12 ERA, 6 K

So every five days, we get one great start, a decent start, another decent (if lucky) start, bull shit from Todd, and then a mediocre-at-best start. The way our team is hitting right now, we have a good chance to win once every five days.

Why not get a hold of Glavine? I wish I could answer that. There is no risk and the reward is beautiful for what we would pay him...which is “minimum wage” in the world of Major League Baseball.

IF the experiment works, we are looking at a MUCH better rotation. We would have the strong top half of the rotation with Carp, Waino, and Pin Head.

But instead of two pretty good AAA pitchers bringing up the rear, we would bring in a future Hall of Famer that is determined to prove the Braves wrong, and pick and choose from whoever is pitching best...Likely Wellemeyer, Thompson, or a guy in Memphis such as Mitchell Boggs or Blake Hawksworth.

The point is, without a healthy Lohse, our rotation could go from hero to zero. Especially if we have Wellemeyer and Thompson BOTH in there.

Wellemeyer has been pretty god awful this year. He has been better of late and says he has “found the problem”, but nothing changes that ERA above five, the 16 earned runs in the past five games, or the 1.62 WHIP that is WELL above the MLB average. But whoever said Wellemeyer was near MLB average?

Thompson was very good in his last start, but do not let that fool you. If you think we will get that kind of support every time he takes the hill, you are sorely mistaken. Brad has a 4.23 lifetime ERA. Not to mention his struggles when he starts.

He made six starts last year and had a 5.15 ERA in those starts. Thompson had 17 starts in ’07 with a 4.73 ERA. To say he is historically bad as a SP may be an understatement.

IF I was John Mozeliak, I would get Tom Glavine’s number. Not only would I do that, I would sign the all timer for the $400,000 it would cost. If that cheap-ass DeWitt doesn’t approve that, then I give up.

Justin Hulsey
Cardinals Front Office