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MLB winter meetings: St Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies aggressively pursuing Tampa Bay Rays closer Alex Colome

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Trade talks involving the Rays closer are starting to heat up

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

According to Bob Nightengale of the USA Today, the St Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies are aggressively pursuing the Rays All Star closer, Alex Colome.

The Cardinals have made it known they’ve wanted to acquire Colome since the off-season began in November.

In 2018, Colome will be entering his sixth season in the majors after making his MLB debut during the 2013 season. Originally a member of the starting rotation, he would be moved to the bullpen halfway through the 2015 season and after some stumbles, he has been among the best relievers in all of baseball the past two years.

In 2017, Alex Colome appeared in 65 games, pitching just under 67 innings and he finished the year with a 3.24 ERA / 3.37 FIP while he held opponents to a .224 batting average against. He also led the majors in Saves with 47, the next closest was Kenley Jansen of the Dodgers, who finished with 41.

Arbitration eligible for the first time this off-season, Colome is projected to receive a raise estimated to be around $5.5M in 2018.

The Rays have a bullpen in flux this off-season as they have already traded away Brad Boxberger and Chase Whitley, while they released Xavier Cedeno. Meanwhile, Tommy Hunter, Steve Cishek, and Sergio Romo all left for free agency as the Rays will look to fill most of their newly vacant roles from within the organization.