St. Louis Cardinals: Five Remaining Free Agents Who Could Be Serviceable Additions
Reunions are not generally not common in baseball, but Villanueva makes an intriguing case for a team who he last suited up for in 2015. He posted a 4-3 record with a 2.95 ERA en route to a 0.9 WAR that season, but last year’s 5.96 ERA with San Diego and a 5.8 WAR elsewhere throughout his career sparks caution around his services.
One reason why Villanueva proved so valuable to the Cardinals was his flexibility compared to the rest of the pitching staff. The Cardinals lack of an established swing man who could toss multiple innings in multiple days could have factored into the nearly 1.2 run rise in the pitching staff’s collective ERA last year.
Likeliness: Minor league deal possible
The Cardinals could entertain Villanueva to come back on a minor league deal or tryout contract once again, but a return would likely be more a matter of space on a team that already has a strong idea of its seven relief pitchers.