The St. Louis Cardinals are in “active” talks with multiple free-agent starting pitchers.
The St. Louis Cardinals have been looking at the free agent pitching market, both starters and relievers, and have made it their No. 1 priority this offseason.
Perhaps they could be close to making a move, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals are in “active” talks with multiple free-agent starting pitchers.
Throughout the offseason, the Cardinals have been linked to multiple starters, including Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz, Alex Wood and Alex Cobb. There are no signs that Stroman will sign before the lockout on Dec. 1, but Matz hopes to sign before Thanksgiving. He has drawn significant interest from multiple teams, including the Toronto Blue Jays, and figures to secure a multi-year deal that pays somewhere in the $13-15 million per season range.
If Matz is the player that the Cardinals sign, he would slot into the No. 3 spot in the rotation behind Jack Flaherty and Adam Wainwright. He’d give them something they don’t have – a left-handed starter – and that was expected to be a priority this offseason.
If they miss on Matz, Wood would be a nice fallback option. He is coming off a very good season with the Giants, where he posted a 3.83 ERA and 152/39 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 138.2 innings. He would be cheaper than Matz – look for a deal for 2-3 years in the $11 million per season range – and would allow the front office to pursue other meaningful upgrades, perhaps even an impact reliever.
Maybe there are other names the Cardinals are pursuing, but it’s clear they are intent on adding a pitcher who specializes in forcing ground balls. It’s very possible that the team has another starting pitcher before the lockout, perhaps even as early as Thanksgiving. Stay tuned.