3 highs and 3 lows of the Cardinals' offseason

Emotionally speaking, Cardinal fans ran through the gauntlet this offseason. Which moments made us feel good and which made us suffer?

Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals
Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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High moment #2: The Cardinals bring in an outside voice in Chaim Bloom.

The Cardinal Way has preached promotion from within for decades. Whether it be a succession plan from Tony La Russa to a former player in Mike Matheny, to a long-time manager in the system in Mike Shildt, to a former player and organizational fixture in Oliver Marmol, or front office staff members who have been integrated with the franchise for decades, on-field and off-field personality has bled Cardinal red for years.

This progression of leadership had started to become stale, however. The "Cardinal Way" appeared to be primitive. Organizations like Houston, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, and Atlanta had passed the Cardinals. The minor leagues weren't producing stars anymore, and instead of churning out mid-rotation starters, the Cardinals had to sign injury-prone veterans to exorbitant contracts, only putting a stranglehold on the team's financial abilities.

A change in organizational vision was necessary. Enter Chaim Bloom. The long-time executive spent years as a President of Baseball Operations for both the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox. He was able to build a factory in Tampa Bay that produced high-end starting pitchers on the regular. In Boston, Bloom orchestrated a sell-off of talent at the request of ownership. The Red Sox consistently operated at or near the top of payroll charts, and the owners wanted to suppress spending.

Despite being virtually forced to trade away star Mookie Betts and let Xander Bogaerts test the open market, Bloom was still able to lead the Red Sox to relative success between 2020 and 2023. The 2021 team reached the American League Championship Series, and the franchise had a 267-262 record under his leadership.

Bloom is a welcome outside voice, and his ability to develop pitchers should help the Cardinals. While his impact won't be felt immediately, pitchers such as Tink Hence, Tekoah Roby, and Cooper Hjerpe are better off in their development with Bloom in the front office.