St. Louis Cardinals: Four Possible Free Agent Replacements for Alex Reyes

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Sep 24, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Alex Reyes (61) reacts to falling down trying to field an infield single off the bat of Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell (not pictured) during the third inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Alex Reyes (61) reacts to falling down trying to field an infield single off the bat of Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell (not pictured) during the third inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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St. Louis Cardinals
Sep 24, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Alex Reyes (61) reacts to falling down trying to field an infield single off the bat of Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell (not pictured) during the third inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Cardinals will be without top pitching prospect Alex Reyes for the 2017 season. If they which to replace him they could look at a number of available free agents.

The St. Louis Cardinals have been a team that has historically prided itself on its exceptional depth. However, the loss of Alex Reyes may risk that. He was expected to be a starter this year with the ability to also work out of the bullpen. Without him, there is now a gap in the staff.

Last week, Trevor discussed possible in-house options to replace Reyes including Luke Weaver and Marco Gonzalez but these options may not be the best available. There are a number of veteran free agent pitchers still available that could prove to be more than worthy.

The benefit of signing a veteran free agent to replace Reyes is that the Cardinals can have an experienced, proven arm on their staff. The veteran presence would also be welcomed in a clubhouse that is quite young and is missing veteran leaders Matt Holliday and Brandon Moss.

The other big reason to sign a veteran free agent is value. Spring training has started and there are a number of pitchers without jobs. This provides the Cardinals with leverage in negotiating salary and years of the contract. Many of these pitchers will likely prefer a one-year contract in order to give themselves another chance in free agency next year but in some cases, these free agents may take a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training like Jorge De La Rosa did.

Now, fans should not expect the St. Louis Cardinals to land some big name pitcher to replace Reyes or expect a pitcher with the same level of ability or talent, but they should expect someone who is reliable and consistent. Again, many of the possible options are experienced and proven which is something guys like Luke Weaver and Marco Gonzalez are not.

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