3 Cardinals players that should be next in line for a contract extension

Tommy Edman has gotten a new contract to avoid arbitration, it is now time to solidify some other key players' futures with the organization.
St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals
St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals / Greg Fiume/GettyImages
1 of 3

Sometimes a team can end up with some special talent within a young core of players that you want to build around for the long haul, and the St. Louis Cardinals have an intriguing group of young stars.

Despite a flurry of moves from the Cardinals during this off-season, there is still some uncertainty as to what the long-term outlook for the team is going to look like, primarily regarding what the rotation and the bullpen could look like a few years from now. One bright spot for the Cardinals, even during a distasteful 2023 season, is that they have the potential to have one of the deepest lineups in baseball.

The offense is centered around their veteran MVP-caliber players Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, but there is a handful of players that have already become key contributors to the Cardinal lineup so early into their careers. You would think that they are just going to get better as their careers progress, so this begs the question, why not lock these guys up right now?

There are several players that the Cardinals could look to extend for the long haul over the next year or two, but there are three players in my opinion that the Cardinals should not wait on much longer to lock up to contract extensions, and the first one should be a no brainer.

1. Jordan Walker

Jordan Walker's first season in the big leagues started with lots of well-deserved attention as one of the top prospects in all of baseball, and that followed up with a historical hitting streak to start his career. Then he hit some lows after a controversial demotion back to the minor leagues, after all the noise around him quieted down, it ended up being a very productive rookie season that flew under the radar in a way.

It doesn't seem to be in question anymore that Walker will be part of the Cardinals' long-term plans, he has accomplished so much at such a young age (21) and he has already made so many improvements to his game since last year with his ability to drive the ball in the air more consistently and his steady progress defensively out in right field. He should have Cardinal fans pumped to see what he can do for the years to come.

The only question is why should the Cardinals wait any longer to extend Walker? Early on in the off-season, we saw the division rival Brewers give out a lengthy extension to their top prospect Jackson Chourio before he had even played in a Major League game, the Tigers did the same thing with prospect Colt Keith, and the reigning NL Rookie of the Year Corbin Carroll signed an eight-year, $111 million dollar extension before the season last year. Now seems like the perfect time to give Walker a long-term deal that would also be very friendly for the team when it comes to the money. Hopefully, the Cardinals consider doing this sooner rather than later, Walker has the potential to be the face of the franchise and a perennial All-Star player,