3. Extend Jack Flaherty
This isn’t something the front office is completely in control of; after all, Jack Flaherty has to do his part in agreeing to the deal. But it seems like it’s only a matter of time before Flaherty becomes a free agent in 2024. He already won his arbitration case in February this year to get the team to pay him more, but when he’s been healthy, he’s proven he’s worth the money.
Flaherty in 2020 was a step down from his performance in prior years, but in a shortened season, it’s hard to make too much of a judgment. He pitched much better during his limited showing in 2021 before his injury, accruing a 2.90 ERA and a .196 opponent batting average. A fully healthy Flaherty in 2022 could be a monster.
The Cardinals need to realize that their drafts haven’t been as successful in the last several years as they were before, and when they hit on a pick like Flaherty, they should lock him up long term. Flaherty might ask for more than the Cardinals are comfortable for, though, and as the team usually doesn’t make big splashes in free agency, I can easily see him departing after the 2024 season. The Cardinals can’t let that happen.