3 Cardinals contracts we were happy to see end, and 2 we're still eager to see expire

St Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants
St Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
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We can't wait for Drew VerHagen's contract to expire.

VerHagen came up in the Detroit Tigers system and seemed to be a promising starter in the making when he broke into the big leagues with the club in 2014.

Outside of a strong 20-game showing as a reliever in 2015, things have yet to go his way at the major league level. In parts of six years as a Tiger, he went 10-10 with a 5.11 ERA and 88 ERA+ in 127 appearances and 199 innings.

At the end of the 2019 season, he was cut loose and signed a one-year contract in Japan with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. This turned into another one-year deal after that thanks to his successes over there. In 38 games in Japan, he posted a much more impressive 3.51 ERA with 215 strikeouts in 207 innings of work.

VerHagen's emergence as a reliable pitcher helped him land a two-year, $5.5M contract with the Cardinals to return stateside prior to the 2022 season. Unfortunately, things once again just didn't go his way.

In 19 appearances last year, the now-32-year-old had a dreadful 6.65 ERA and an equally-awful 6.53 FIP paired with a 58 ERA+. He struggled to limit hard contact and frankly, got lit up like a Christmas tree. In 21.2 innings of work, he surrendered 16 earned runs on 27 hits and five home runs.

Fortunately, VerHagen is playing out a cheap contract, so it's not like he's bogging down the pocketbook of Cardinals' ownership. If he struggles to start the year, the best bet for the club may be to just eat the remainder of the salary and move on to a better option.

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