If the Cardinals don’t re-sign Jose Quintana, Andrew Heaney would be a good option to go after. Long a tantalizing pitcher who never quite put it together with the Los Angeles Angels, Heaney blossomed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2022, pitching to a career-best 3.10 ERA.
The Cardinals need a strikeout pitcher in their staff; the pitchers combined for 1,177 strikeouts in 2022, which ranked last in the major leagues. While the Cardinals strive to get ground balls and record their outs that way, they’ll need to start looking at a different approach with fielders who aren’t as apt, and Heaney could fill the strikeout role well. He whiffed 110 batters in only 72.2 innings last year, and while he won’t come as cheaply as the other names on this list, he’s still a few steps below the elite arms in price.
The Cardinals could decide to re-sign Quintana if they don’t want to pursue a big strikeout arm, and while I’d welcome him back to the Cardinals, the new-school approach of fanning a massive number of batters seems to be the way to go. I’d be in favor of shelling out a bit more to receive Heaney’s services.