3 free-agent targets for St. Louis Cardinals after the lockout
By Evan Mead
The Cardinals are all but in ‘win-now’ mode. With that, it means you have to take some chances in order to get yourself a true competitor and a guy who can help lead a team into the playoffs. Now, there are a couple names out there that you can target for this type of position, but not many of them come with the high-end pitching like Clayton Kershaw.
Kershaw has been one of the premier pitchers since his second season in the league. I know a lot of Cardinals fans were hoping for another name that stands right alongside Kershaw, and by that I mean Scherzer, but that is no longer an option. Another name that people probably would’ve wanted to add to the rotation is Justin Verlander. While Scherzer and Verlander are no longer options, that doesn’t stand true with Kershaw.
Last season, the Cardinals traded for J.A. Happ and Jon Lester at the trade deadline. Now, maybe this is farfetched but I think we can all agree that we’d take Kershaw over those two. No disrespect to those two because based upon the expectations we had for them, they exceeded. But it’s time to stop going after the players who are three/fours in rotations and start going after aces.
Clayton Kershaw has been the ace for the Los Angeles Dodgers for as long as he’s been in the league and he’s not disappointed. However, the Dodgers have a new wave ready and it’s unlikely they will re-sign him after 14 seasons. However, regardless of them letting him go, it’s not to the lack of Kershaw’s talent more so than age. With young guys like Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, Dustin May, they have the pitching there.
So the Cardinals could be in a position to get Kershaw. Why? Well, while the Cardinals have Adam Wainwright, Jack Flaherty, Steven Matz and Dakota Hudson, they don’t have a guy who can be depended on as a No. 1 in a rotation. Wainwright showed he can be if he repeats last seasons success. Flaherty has shown he can be when he’s on, but he does have multiple games in which it’s simply just hard to even watch.
When you are running a MLB team, you have to prepare for the worst. And right now, there is a lot that could go wrong given their current rotation. If they are able to go out and sign Clayton Kershaw to a two year contract they could at least have some dependability for 20-25 games from him.