St. Louis Cardinals: 3 free agents to sign and 1 to avoid this offseason

Carlos Rodon, San Francisco Giants (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals have a substantial wish list this offseason. Who should they look to sign, and who should they avoid? 

John Mozeliak, Cardinals president of baseball operations, has a lengthy to-do list this offseason in hopes of replacing a legend behind the plate and bolstering a talented roster.

With the retirement of Yadier Molina, Mozeliak has said his number one goal this offseason is to find a proper replacement for the legend. Mozeliak has said he looks to find the best option by whatever means, including free agency or looking into trades. The Cardinals already have Andrew Knizner, who is a decent backup but not ready for a full-time role. Ivan Herrera is the Cardinals top catching prospect and was once believed to be Molina’s heir-apparent. During a stretch of games where Molina was not with the team this season, Herrera was brought up and allowed to shine. He did not and was sent back to Memphis to continue improving once Molina returned. Herrera and Knizner will be given opportunities in Spring Training, but it will likely be nothing more than a backup role.

The next plan will be finding a designated hitter-type to replace Albert Pujols, who won NL Comeback Player of the Year with his efforts this summer.

After addressing those issues, the Cardinals will key in on pitching. The past couple of seasons and their multitude of injuries and other problems show just how important having good, reliable pitchers healthy and available can be for the Cardinals. The Cardinals starting rotation includes Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, Jordan Montgomery, Steven Matz, and  Adam Wainwright, who will be in the final year of his career. Dakota Hudson will be looked at as well as rookie surprise Andre Pallante. The Cardinals could attempt to bring back Jose Quintana, who impressed in his trade deadline move to the team. The Cardinals may have to make outside moves to bolster their pitching staff in rotation and bullpen. There are many good options available, and they should not fear looking.

Let’s look at some moves the Cardinals could make this off-season.

The Cardinals should sign Carlos Rodon

The lefty starter opted out of the remaining year of his two-year, $44 million deal with the San Francisco.

He was 14-8 in 2022 with a 2.88 ERA in 31 games started. He threw 178 innings with 237 strikeouts. Rodon’s slider and four-seam fastball are his most effective put-away pitches. He has a groundball rate of 35.3 percent.

Rodon would be the addition the Cardinals are seeking, as he is an innings-eating strike-thrower. While he’s getting attention from the Texas Rangers, joining the Cardinals could prove intriguing for Rodon as he would have one of the league’s best defenses behind him with Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, and Tommy Edman.

Rodon was also a target of the Cardinals at the trade deadline.

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