As the only arbitration-eligible player on the St. Louis Cardinals, John Gant was tendered a contract, keeping him for 2020.
Ah isn’t the offseason fun! With the Winter Meetings coming up, hopefully it will get more fun, but for now, the St. Louis Cardinals are just dealing with the minor things, such as tender deadlines and all thatfun stuff.
This year, the Cardinals are actually lucky to only have one player who was arbitration-eligible, John Gant. Given that Monday was the deadline for tendering an offer, the Cardinals have announced they did, in fact, offer Gant a contract, which means he’ll be back for at least 2020. As he should be. The two sides haven’t agreed on a number yet, but they have time before they need to.
2019 was really a coming-out party for Gant after years on the cusp of a bigger role. After losing the battle for the fifth starter spot in the spring to Dakota Hudson, Gant didn’t let that get him down. In his first year as a full-time reliever, Gant came out of the gates super strong, putting up a 0.90 ERA in April and 1.86 ERA in May.
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Gant had a combined 25 appearances in those two months and it really showed that he hadn’t been a single-inning reliever. He did a great job, don’t get me wrong, but Gant had a 4.00+ ERA in the months of June, July, and August and then a 13.50 ERA in the final month of the season.
Again, Gant has always been a spot starter/long reliever, so appearing in 64 games was a whole new can of worms for the 26-year-old, and the wear and tear of being one of the team’s go-to relievers showed, even though his 3.66 season ERA is still good.
Either way, it’s great that he is going to be back in 2020 and Gant’s role as a high-leverage option shouldn’t change.
The Jaime Garcia trade tree is still going strong as long as Gant stays on the Cardinals and looking back, I think the Cardinals did good in acquiring the unknown Gant at the time they did. He is finally blossoming and filling an important role for the team.