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.
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Jordan Hicks has been outstanding this season

Unlike Jack Flaherty, the Cardinals did have a chance to extend Jordan Hicks rather than trade him at last year's deadline. Still, St. Louis opted to deal the fireballing reliever to the Toronto Blue Jays rather than keep him around. One of the main reasons was that Jordan Hicks wanted an opportunity to start games rather than pitch out of the bullpen.

With the initial starter experiment going poorly, the two parties could not come to an agreement. The Cardinals did get a few promising starting pitching prospects in Adam Kloffenstein and Sem Robberse, but it might've been better to keep and extend a proven commodity in Hicks.

The San Francisco Giants, however, were willing to take a risk on Jordan Hicks as their starting rotation had much more depth than the Cardinals, inking the right-hander to a 4 year, $44 million contract. If the starter experiment failed once again, there'd be no problem. After all, Hicks' proven ability to pitch multiple high-leverage innings as a reliever was worth paying for alone.

Hicks, however, did pan out as a starting pitcher this season and has been great for the Giants. With a completely different style of pitching, abandoning the triple-digit velocity, Hicks has recorded a 3.24 ERA. He's had some trouble with efficiency, which the Cardinals took advantage of in their three-game sweep of the Giants this past weekend, but Hicks has been a great ground-ball pitcher. At an $11 million per year bargain, the Cardinals will surely regret not allowing Hicks an opportunity to start and letting another talented starter getaway.