One of the Cardinals' biggest issues in recent years has been finding consistent production from their outfielders. It feels like every season, there has been almost a complete overhaul, or reset of expectations, from what their outfield can be. Lars Nootbaar has the ability to provide certainty and consistency to their outfield for years to come.
Nootbaar has followed up a breakout finish to the 2022 season and offsesaon full of hype surrounding him with a very, very good season so far. In 31 games, Nootbaar is slashing .283/.413/.407 with a 134 wRC+ and 3 home runes while playing great defense in right field and center field for the Cardinals. He is settling in as the Cardinals' primary leadoff hitter, giving their lineup an elite table setter night in and night out.
Nootbaar still had room to further improve as a player too, meaning you're not just investing in a "finished product" but rather, a growing asset. Nootbaar's power seems to come in flashes right now, but if he can put that together more often, he'll be an on-base machine that consistently does damage when pitchers come into the zone against him.
Nootbaar is also a beloved player by the clubhouse, fanbase, and even internationally as well. He's good for the team to have on their side, and he's very good for the organization to market out for years to come. An extension allows the club to benefit from Nootbaar on and off the field in a big way.