5 former Cardinals players who have been outstanding this season

The Cardinals have a long history of letting talented players leave the franchise. Here are five former players who are excelling in 2024.
Detroit Tigers v Texas Rangers
Detroit Tigers v Texas Rangers / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages
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Jack Flaherty has been outstanding this season

After being traded to the Baltimore Orioles at the 2023 trade deadline, Jack Flaherty was dreadful with his new club, being relegated to the bullpen for the Postseason run. But, after signing a one-year prove-it deal with the Detroit Tigers, Flaherty seems to have captured some of his old magic as a promising young starter for the Cardinals.

He showed his old club "the art of pitching" after tossing 6.2 innings and striking out a career-high 14 batters. He opened the game by fanning the first seven batters he faced, and though his outing was spoiled by a blown save by another former Cardinal Shelby Miller, he showed the Cardinals what they were missing out on.

Flaherty has All-Star potential this season, as he's struck out 108 batters in 83.1 innings pitched with a 2.92 ERA. Should the Tigers fall further out of contention in the AL Central and Wildcard standings, he'd be a trade candidate at the deadline yet again. Perhaps a reunion with St. Louis could be in the cards, but it's unlikely, as he was part of the clubhouse trouble that saw Willson Contreras temporarily removed from catching duties at the start of 2023.

Regardless, Flaherty might've built himself into a much more lucrative contract than the one he signed with Detroit. If he can keep it up, the former Cy Young Award candidate may find himself in a position to land a multi-year deal after years of frustration and injury with the Cardinals.

It was a smart move by the Cardinals to let Flaherty go at the trade deadline last year, as they received a great prospect package for half a season of underperformance in Baltimore. However, Flaherty's re-emergence as a top-end starting pitcher is sure to sting for a team that hasn't developed reliable starting pitching in recent years.