Cardinals: Pros and cons of free agent targets for St. Louis

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 28: Trea Turner #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws out Jake Cronenworth #9 of the San Diego Padres on an infield grounder during the second inning of a game at PETCO Park on September 28, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 28: Trea Turner #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws out Jake Cronenworth #9 of the San Diego Padres on an infield grounder during the second inning of a game at PETCO Park on September 28, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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May 15, 2022; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (16) pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
May 15, 2022; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (16) pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

Carlos Rodon

Pros

  • Carlos Rodon is an ace, going 13-5 in 2021 with a 2.37 ERA in 132.2 innings for the White Sox, and following that up in 2022 with a 14-8 record and a 2.88 ERA in 178 innings of work as a Giant. St. Louis does not have this kind of starter in their rotation.
  • Rodon has swing and miss stuff, striking out 12 batters per nine innings in 2022, something that the Cardinals also sorely lack at the moment.
  • In recent years, it seems like left-handed pitching has an advantage at Busch Stadium, making a southpaw ace even more valuable for the Cardinals.

Cons

  • Injuries, injuries, and injuries. This is something Rodon has struggled with throughout his career, and although it improved the last two seasons, it just feels inevitable that he will struggle with those again. He has never eclipsed 180 innings in his career, and missed most of the year in the 2017, 2019, and 2020 seasons.
  • MLB Trade Rumors predicts Rodon will sign a 5-year, $140 million deal, putting him at $28 million a year. That is a lot of money to invest in a starting pitcher, especially if you cannot trust him to remain on the field.
  • The Cardinals already have question marks with health up and down their staff, why add another?
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