Why the St. Louis Cardinals won’t sign Freddie Freeman
Why the St. Louis Cardinals won’t sign Freddie Freeman, starting with the obvious: Paul Goldschmidt, and his contract.
There has been one free agent that I have ruled out for the St. Louis Cardinals all offseason and it’s been Freddie Freeman, the star first baseman for the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves.
So, let’s just say it was a surprise to see MLB Trade Rumors list the Cardinals as a team that is a “slightly plausible option” for Freeman. Here’s what they all had to say: “Cardinals: The team has Paul Goldschmidt under contract for three more years, but again, an NL DH would open things up. Signing Freeman would mean stretching payroll to a franchise record, and I doubt the team considers first base/DH a position of need.”
With Goldschmidt, the first base position has arguably been the Cardinals’ greatest strength. He has been an All-Star, Gold Glove caliber player since coming to St. Louis and is a foundational player that will keep the team in the playoff picture as long as he is healthy and continuing to perform at the level he has throughout his career.
So there would be no room for Freeman unless the universal DH is implemented and, as MLBTR noted, it’s hard to see Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak extending payroll to record levels to sign Freeman when there are other needs, such as depth at first and third base, at least two relievers and perhaps another starting pitcher.
If the Cardinals want to sign a first baseman, they have been linked to Colin Moran in free agency. They will be speculated as a fit with Albert Pujols considering his ties to the organization and storyline of playing alongside Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright, with a very real possibility that all three would be playing their final seasons together.
There is a chance that Freeman ends up in the NL Central, with the Brewers being mentioned by MLBTR as a fit. They make a lot more sense than the Cardinals and if he indeed ends up in Milwaukee, could force Mozeliak to splurge on another free agent.
But Freeman won’t end up in St. Louis. It just won’t happen.