The St. Louis Cardinals are in talks on an extension with Giovanny Gallegos, with a report saying that a deal is “moving closer.”
With Harrison Bader signed to a multi-year deal, the St. Louis Cardinals are continuing to attempt to lock up their own players. They are in talks with Tyler O’Neill on a multi-year deal and are also in discussions on an extension with arguably their most important reliever.
Giovanny Gallegos and the Cardinals are “moving closer” to a multi-year contract extension, according to Katie Woo of The Athletic. Like Bader, Gallegos’ contract would cover the remainder of his arbitration eligible seasons (2023 and 2024).
Unlike O’Neill, Gallegos settled with the Cardinals on a one-year, $2.41 million contract to avoid arbitration. But agreeing to a deal for 2023 and 2024 would mean that the team would not have to worry about potentially taking him to a hearing and would avoid impacting its relationship with the player, which is exactly what happened with Jack Flaherty before the 2021 season.
It’s smart maneuvering by the Cardinals and it appears that president of baseball operations John Mozeliak learned a lesson from the Flaherty incident last season. And it’s likely that the Cardinals will be able to get good value on a Gallegos deal now, as he is primed to be their top candidate to breakout in the bullpen this season.
Just look at his numbers from last season: 3.02 ERA, 2.75 FIP, and 95/20 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 80.1 innings. He emerged as their most dependable closer in the second half of last season, picking up 14 saves as Alex Reyes faltered, and is primed to be their leader in saves in 2022, though manager Oli Marmol has said he will prioritize matchups in the late innings rather than having a set closer.
But Gallegos will see a lot of action in 2022 and enters the season as a key piece to keep the bullpen together, especially with Reyes on the IL and questions surrounding what Jordan Hicks’ role will look like this season.
It appears the Cardinals are ready to reward him for it, with a deal likely coming right around Opening Day.