Cardinals: Why Giovanny Gallegos’ extension is a huge win for St. Louis

Giovanny Gallegos of the St. Louis Cardinals. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Giovanny Gallegos of the St. Louis Cardinals. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

The Cardinals have signed reliever Giovanny Gallegos to a 2-year extension with a club option, a massive deal for St. Louis.

The game of baseball continue to require strong bullpens for contention, and the St. Louis Cardinals ensured they maintained a great arm in their pen by extending Giovanny Gallegos to a two-year extension with a club option for a third year. 

In 56 games this season, the 31-year old reliever has a 2.91 ERA and 72 SO in 58.2 innings of work. Gallegos continues to be relied upon by St. Louis in big spots, whether that is setting up closer Ryan Helsley, or even closing some games, with 14 saves on the season.

In four full seasons with St. Louis, Gallegos owns a 2.79 ERA and has been one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball. Since 2018, his ERA ranks 15th out of all qualified relivers and is tied for 5th in WAR among relievers with phenom Edwin Diaz, who is about to get a massive deal in free agency.

Gallegos has been the subject of criticism at times for blowing leads in games, but overall Gallegos is one of the most dependable relievers in baseball. Trust is number one when it comes to bullpens, and more times than not, Gallegos have be relied on to get the job done.

Value is always relative, and in this case, locking up a reliever in his last two years of arbitration and buying out a year of free agency through a club option provides immense value for St. Louis. Numbers have not been reported yet, but whatever the dollar value is, Gallegos would be worth more on the open market.

The timing of this deal also sets up St. Louis for easier decisions in coming years. Locking Gallegos up as a 31-year old means they are only committing to him through his age 33 season, and have a club option for age 34. If the Cardinals had waiting until 2024 to extend Gallegos, they’d likely be looking at having to commit to him into his late 30s.

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The Cardinals are looking for ways to continue to position themselves as World Series contenders beyond 2022. Locking up Gallegos was an excellent step in that direction.

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