Evaluating the St. Louis Cardinals’ 3 options with Jack Flaherty

Jack Flaherty (22) pitches during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Jack Flaherty (22) pitches during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
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St Louis Cardinals
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MAY 31: Jack Flaherty #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals at bat during the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 31, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

Trade Jack Flaherty after the 2022 season

If Jack Flaherty bounces back in 2022 and the Cardinals do not believe they can re-sign him, it would be wise to begin to look at trades for the 26-year-old.

There has long been speculation that Flaherty would like to play in his hometown of LA, so a trade to the Dodgers, Angels, or even nearby San Diego could be at play if the club wants to deal him. Since the Cardinals would like to avoid strengthening an NL opponent like the Dodgers or Padres, clubs like the Yankees, Red Sox, Astros, Mariners, Tigers, Blue Jays, and White Sox could all line up to take a crack at the Cardinals ace as well.

There are a few arguments for dealing Flaherty next offseason. If the club believes his asking price is too high, replenishing the major league roster with talent or stocking up the farm system would help keep the team in playoff contention, as well as set them up for being players in both the trade and free agent market. If the club believes they are World Series contenders in 2023 and does not want to risk their chance at a run, holding onto him would make sense, but could leave the club empty handed in two years.

What kind of return could Flaherty bring in? Depending on his level of production in 2022, multiple top prospects would be within reach. Jack would be entering his age 27 season, and if a club believes they can lock him up, he should command a lot of value. It is tough to project what his value will be though before seeing him back in action, especially since he’ll be then going into his last year of club control.

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