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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Low moment #2: The Los Angeles Dodgers sign everyone.

To some owners in baseball, money is but an object. While organizations like the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Philadelphia Phillies have been able to spend with reckless abandon in recent years, other teams such as the Cleveland Guardians, Pittsburgh Pirates, and St. Louis Cardinals (to an extent) are unable to match the payrolls of teams from major cities.

This isn't to say owners of these teams CAN'T spend more money to upgrade their teams--there is in fact a strong argument that they should--but rather major market teams are able to spend so much money due to the revenues they accrue. The Dodgers and Yankees have insane TV deals that give them significantly more financial flexibility than teams who are currently in the dark about their TV deals.

The Dodgers signing Shohei Ohtani to an "unprecedented" contract alone was enough to deflate fanbases across the country. What added insult to injury was the fact that the Wicked Witch of the West was able to spend $325 million on Yoshinobu as well. Between those two contracts alone, Mark Walter spent $1 billion, more than the payrolls of the bottom 16 teams in the league combined.

Cardinal fans may have felt the most pain from the Yoshinobu Yamamoto signing. International star Lars Nootbaar seemed to be dedicating as much time this offseason luring the NPB All-Star to St. Louis than he did preparing for the 2024 season himself. Images surfaced of the two, plus Nolan Arenado, spending time together in Japan, golfing stateside, and dining at fine restaurants all offseason. Cardinal fans were certain the righty from Japan would sign with the Cardinals.

When reports started to surface that Yamamoto would command a contract well above $200 million, St. Louis fans started losing hope. His signing with the Dodgers for more than $300 million was devastating to a fanbase desperate for a high-end starting pitcher.