4 young Cardinals who should receive contract extensions this offseason

Teams like the Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks, and San Diego Padres are notorious for extending contracts to young players so they are locked up for the near future. Which players for the Cardinals could see long-term contracts?
St. Louis Cardinals v Atlanta Braves
St. Louis Cardinals v Atlanta Braves / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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Lars Nootbaar

Lars Nootbaar has become an international sensation. Many teams came beckoning for Nootbaar at this year's deadline, but the front office held serve and decided to keep him on the roster. Nootbaar is in just his third professional season. Though his career numbers aren't the best, his 2023 season numbers have been very reassuring, and his underlying metrics are always strong. For his career, Nootbaar has a slash line of .246/.352/.433 for an OPS+ of 119. He has also been a plus defensive player at all three outfield spots throughout his career.

Nootbaar just turned 26, and he is still at the pre-arbitration level for another 2 seasons after 2023. This means he has 5 more years before he is a free agent. Therefore, the length of Nootbaar's extension would have to mirror that of Michael Harris's contract or possibly even Corbin Carroll's contract. Though Lars is slightly older than both of those players, his remaining years of arbitration make him an interesting player for a long contract.

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Nootbaar is a strong defender with above-average offense, particularly with his on-base percentage. He has the ability to hit for power, and he has above-average speed. A contract that leads Nootbaar into his mid-30s is a possibility, but not a probability.

Prediction: 8 years, $69 million