Prediction #8 - Thomas Saggese carves out a regular role in St. Louis
No one likes what happened in 2023, but what I appreciated about how the Cardinals handled the 2023 Trade Deadline is they took the hand they dealt themselves and made the most of it.
Instead of just trying to hold onto Jordan Montgomery, Jordan Hicks, Jack Flaherty, and others while convincing themselves they can find extensions for them or get draft picks in return, the Cardinals found trades for their expiring assets, and in the case of Montgomery, they were able to acquire two different names who may find themselves in the Top 100 prospects in baseball in the next year or two, Tekoah Roby and Thomas Saggese.
In the case of Saggese, he was mashing the ball in Double-A for the Texas Rangers and got even better after his trade to the Cardinals. He ended up winning the Texas League Most Valuable Player Award and has moved his name right into the thick of the Cardinals' plans for the future. Baseball America just highlighted how well Saggese stacked up to his Double-A teammate Evan Carter, who just put on a show for the Rangers in their postseason run.
It's highly unlikely that Saggese makes his way onto the Cardinals roster early in 2024 barring a few injuries, but if his bat continues the trend it was on last season, they will not be able to keep him off the Major League roster. His emergence would make it even more likely that the Cardinals trade him, Donovan, Gorman, or Edman to acquire a top-end starter, but we also know injuries tend to pile up throughout the year. Donovan's flexibility allows him to move to the outfield, so Saggese could find time at second base, designated hitter, or maybe even shortstop at times.
I'm not going to call him a full-time player in 2024, but I do think he could be that clear 10th or 11th man on the roster who plays multiple times a week by the end of the season, and if position players aren't moved by the deadline, he'll force the Cardinals to move him or others to carve out time for their growing group of contributors.