3 Cardinals contracts we were happy to see end, and 2 we're still eager to see expire
By Eric Treuden
Let's check out 3 Cardinals contracts we were happy to see end, and 2 we're still eager to see expire.
While the St. Louis Cardinals have done an efficient job in avoiding albatross contracts in the past few decades, no club is completely immune to such a thing.
Some of them started off strong and limped to the finish line. Some players were superstars in their pre-Cardinals days but just couldn't figure it out in St. Louis, and some of the players have been just straight-up bad.
There are a few examples of this in recent memory and some that are currently happening on the Cardinals' roster.
We were happy to see Carlos Martínez's contract expire.
Martínez broke into the league with the Cardinals as a 21-year-old in 2013. He found success as both a starter and reliever before settling into a starting role from 2015 to 2018.
A two-time All-Star, Martínez could be a tease for Cardinals fans, as sometimes he flashed ace potential and sometimes he seemed to have trouble looking like a big league pitcher.
Prior to the 2017 season, he signed a five-year, $51M extension with the club. At the time, this seemed like a well-deserved raise, as he had come off of two straight dominant seasons on the mound. He went 12-11 in 2017, making the All-Star Game and striking out over 200 batters for the first and only time in his career.
2018 went well for him, too, but every year after that started a slow decline for him. In 2019, he made a move to the bullpen after returning from a rotator cuff injury, earning 24 saves along the way, but the wheels completely fell off in 2020. In five starts, Martínez had a 9.90 ERA after surrendering 22 earned runs on 32 hits in just 20 innings.
In 2021, his final year as a Cardinal, Martínez made 16 awful starts before an injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season. In 2022, he was suspended for PEDs and then later suspended once again for violating the MLB Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse Policy.
While Martínez had his moments in a Cardinals uniform, all of the recent developments tied to his name make us thrilled that he's long gone.