Veteran pitcher Jeff Suppan has been linked to the Cardinals since he was given his release by the Brewers last week. On Saturday, according to the Associated Press, things finally came together when Suppan tossed a bullpen session in front of St. Louis pitching coach Dave Duncan.
He’s expected to finalize a contract with the Cardinals early next week and immediately take over a spot in the club’s starting rotation. With Kyle Lohse and Brad Penny sidelined indefinitely, it does make some sense.
The Cardinals believe they have identified some flaws in Suppan’s delivery and will try to help him back to his 2006 form, when he was named the NLCS MVP on a World Series-winning squad. Suppan, 35, went 44-26 with a 3.95 ERA between 2004-2006 in St. Louis. He had a 7.84 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP in 31 innings when the Brewers cut him loose on June 7 of this season.
In a less-notable move on Friday, the Rays acquired right-hander Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for minor league right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A’s on Wednesday.
This is the second trade involving the righty since the start of the season. The Athletics acquired 28-year-old Font from the Dodgers in late April, but were underwhelmed by his performance after he racked up 11 runs, five home runs, four walks and nine strikeouts in his first 6 2/3 innings of relief. While the rookie has yet to prove himself at the big league level, he posted a much more respectable pitching line with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, going 10-8 in 25 starts with a 3.42 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.9 SO/9 in 134 1/3 innings. It’s still unclear whether the Rays intend to give him another opportunity in the majors this year or use him as depth in the minors.
Bayer, 24, is still a ways away from cracking any major league roster. He advanced to High-A Charlotte prior to the trade and allowed eight runs, two homers, six walks and six strikeouts in his first four innings.