The St. Louis Cardinals are reportedly considered a fit for Zack Greinke and to be completely honest, I don’t see it at all.
Despite having five starters in the rotation, and having multiple other internal options, the St. Louis Cardinals are expected to add another starting pitcher before Opening Day. My belief has been that they would look for a low-cost, veteran option along the lines of Jon Lester.
But maybe I’m wrong?
Jim Bowden of The Athletic put together a list of the top-25 remaining free agents and listed free-agent right-hander Zack Greinke as one of “the best fits” for the Cardinals. Among other teams listed include the Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres and New York Mets.
On the surface, I don’t see it. Greinke, 38, is still not sure whether he will pitch in 2022. Let’s say he is. Would he be willing to accept a role as a fringe starter? Maybe the Cardinals would slot him after Steven Matz in the rotation (No. 4), moving Miles Mikolas and Dakota Hudson down a peg, to make it work. But he comes with injury issues, most recently a neck injury that threatened his 2021 season, and considering the rotations extensive injury history, it could be something they shy away from.
Besides, Greinke made $25 million last season and while he will not garner such a contract again, he still figures to command a pretty healthy one-year contract (perhaps filled with incentives). Would the Cardinals want to do that when they just handed out $44 million to Matz and have other holes (reliever, another bat) that are more pressing than another starting pitcher?
My gut tells me no. While Greinke would be a fun addition, and give the Cardinals another Hall of Fame caliber player on the roster, it is almost unimaginable that they will prioritize such a deal. Look for them to target a lower cost option than Greinke, who should have a strong market when the lockout eventually ends.