Sources: Cardinals are among the teams in on Wade Davis. They’re prioritizing late-inning help to complement Luke Gregerson signing. Rockies are in on Davis as well as they hunt for a closer.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 12, 2017
Davis, 32, was dominant for the NL-Central-Champion Cubs in 2017, posting a 2.30 ERA and 12.1 K/9 across 58.2 innings. Formerly a starting pitcher, Davis has revived his career in grand fashion after converting to the bullpen in 2014. Since transitioning to relieving, Davis has strung together four consecutive seasons with an ERA below 2.50, including a ridiculous 0.97 ERA in 139.1 innings between 2014-2015.
The Cardinals lost one high-leverage reliever in Seung Hwan Oh to free agency this winter, but have already added another in Luke Gregerson. Although St. Louis fell short of the postseason in 2017, the club has been surprisingly active in their pursuits of impact talent—and as past seasons have proven, every winning team needs a lockdown reliever.
Davis certainly fits that mold, though the veteran may be seeking a deal in the four to five year range. Relief pitching has become the new market inefficiency—with setup man Brandon Marrow signing for $11 million annually being the latest case—but the Cardinals have payroll flexibility, and the club has a long history of going for it.
The Rockies have also seen their 2017 closer depart this winter; Greg Holland declined Colorado's qualifying offer, electing free agency where the veteran can secure a longterm deal. Colorado isn't the *most* pitcher-friendly park (it's the exact opposite), but the Rockies have money to spend and need to capitalize on their competitive window before Charlie Blackmon, D.J. Lemahieu and Nolan Arenado leave the club for free agency.