The St. Louis Cardinals needed to upgrade their rotation and pursued Jake Odorrizi, but were never firmly in the bidding.
The St. Louis Cardinals did little to address their starting rotation this winter, only re-signing longtime pitcher Adam Wainwright to a one-year deal. But it appears that the team was scouring the market for other options, too.
Jake Odorizzi was on the Cardinals’ radar and the team expressed interest before he signed with the Houston Astros, according to Robert Murray of FanSided, though the team was never considered among the leading teams for his services.
Odorizzi, of course, ended up signing a two-year, $23.5 million deal with the Astros that is heavy with incentives. It is something that the Cardinals could have, and probably should have, done earlier in the offseason with the back-end of the rotation being the team’s primary question mark entering spring training.
Now, the need for another starting pitcher has never been greater. Miles Mikolas is unlikely to be ready for Opening Day and his timetable to return is uncertain. The Cardinals already have Jack Flaherty, Adam Wainwright and Kwang Hyun Kim in the rotation. Behind them, however, the options are less clear. There has been recent talk about moving John Gant to the rotation while Alex Reyes is expected to eat 100+ innings out of the bullpen. Among the other options to eat innings include Johan Oviedo, Genesis Cabrera and Jake Woodford.
It is something that president of baseball operations John Mozeliak could have avoided by addressing the rotation more this offseason. Maybe they sign one of Rick Porcello or Homer Bailey to ease the loss of Mikolas. But Odorizzi would have been an ideal option, and he’s now gone on an affordable contract with the Astros.