St. Louis Cardinals rumors: Tom Gorzelanny makes sense as Cards' second lefty reliever

Dilip Vishwanat

The St. Louis Cardinals have been looking for a second left-handed reliever, and Tom Gorzelanny, recently nontendered by the Washington Nationals, makes a lot of sense.

The St. Louis Cardinals' rumored pursuit of one Washington Nationals left-handed reliever might seem a little quixotic—is the sinister side of the bullpen really worth a four-year contract?—but setting the rumors about Sean Burnett aside, the Cardinals might still be able to fulfill their dogged pursuit of another guy who won't pitch very often in Washington after the Nats nontendered Tom Gorzelanny over the weekend. The former Pittsburgh Pirates starter and Chicago Cubs swingman is well known by now at Busch Stadium, and he's coming off a year in which he was perfectly cromulent out of the bullpen for $3 million.

Gorzelanny does a solid job as a specialist—lefties have hit .233/.296/.367 in his career—but he's also not completely useless against righties, who've hit .273/.354/.435. He may not be the super-specialist the Cardinals secretly covet to set Marc Rzepczynski's mind at ease, but he also won't leave Mike Matheny hanging after the opposing manager goes for a pinch hitter.

We're on the record, here, as wondering why the Cardinals are so terrified to just have one left-hander in the first place. But if they really feel like they need to bring one in, Tom Gorzelanny—who should be available on a one-year deal, has the versatility to start and relieve, and won't get in the way of any, say, unlikely Sam Freeman breakout—makes a lot of sense.

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