The St. Louis Cardinals aren’t above slumming it in the newly refreshed crop of non-tendered free-agents. Every now and then, even the best teams find a gem.
In the wake of yesterday’s non-tender deadline, a new crop of players have become available to the St. Louis Cardinals and every other Major League team. There are reasons these players weren’t offered contracts, but that doesn’t mean another team shouldn’t bet on them.
If you take a look at last year’s list of non-tenders, the names are pretty underwhelming. Only Justin Smoak made any kind of impact on a playoff-bound team, and it’s pretty easy to make the argument that the Toronto Blue Jays would have been just fine without him. But two winters ago, the Miami Marlins let right-handed reliever Ryan Webb walk, and he wound up being an important bullpen cog for the surprising Baltimore Orioles in 2014.
The New York Mets made an even bigger gaff (shocker) at the 2013 non-tender deadline by letting go of infielder Justin Turner, who has been a low-budget revelation for the big-budget Los Angeles Dodgers since then. Last year, the righthand-hitting Turner slugged 16 homers and drove in 60 for big blue, nearly hitting .300 on the year.
The most recent non-tendered free agents include 5 names that stand out for the St. Louis Cardinals. Each one can fill a hole on the roster. The question is, should they?
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