Upgrading the pitching staff will be one of many things the St. Louis Cardinals look to accomplish this offseason. But with a number of free agents, and a payroll that is expected to expend in 2022, they could look to keep one of their own.
The Cardinals did just that, signing left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland to a one-year contract, the team announced. Terms were not immediately available.
Signing McFarland makes a lot of sense for the Cardinals and is one of a few pieces that the team figures to add this offseason. After being added in the middle of the season, he emerged as a dependable weapon, both out of the bullpen and in the rotation, and kept the units together as they lost Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, Kwang Hyun Kim, Carlos Martinez, Andrew Miller and Jordan Hicks to injury.
Sure, McFarland is not the most attractive name on the market, but he offers a known commodity on a deal that is surely going to be close to the minimum. Besides, the flexibility that his signing provides could allow the Cardinals to spend big on either a shortstop or a pitcher, whether that be in the rotation or bullpen.
Signing T.J. McFarland shows Cardinals plan to be aggressive this offseason
It’s also the latest sign that the Cardinals plan to be aggressive in pursuing pitching. On Sunday, it was reported that the team was interested in free-agent left-hander Andrew Heaney. Unlike McFarland, Heaney would slot immediately into the rotation, with some teams believing he could be the next Robbie Ray.
For now, however, the Cardinals have bolstered their bullpen by re-signing McFarland. He should have a role on the roster, with his veteran presence helping the team as they enter a season with World Series aspirations.
But this is only the beginning of what will be a very busy offseason for president of baseball operations John Mozeliak.