6 free agents the Cardinals passed on since 2019 that they should have signed

Over the last five offseasons, there have been a number of names that would have helped out the Cardinals, but these six truly stand out.
Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game One
Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game One / David Berding/GettyImages
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Trea Turner, 2022

The last name on this list was another name that Cardinals fans clamored for last offseason, and instead landed with the Phillies like the aforementioned Bryce Harper.

There were some major differences between Tuner and Harper though was the contracts they got, as Turner got a slightly higher AAV compared to that of his superstar teammate, and was hitting free agency at age 29 instead.

Still, from 2019 to 2022, Turner had become one of the best players in all of baseball, slashing .311/.361/.509 while hitting 80 home runs and stealing 106 bases during that stretch. His power and speed combo is so rare, and he could have filled that shortstop void for the Cardinals in a big way.

Turner had a down year in 2023 with the Phillies but turned things on toward the end of the season. While we see big contracts flop from time to time, Turner seems to be comfortable in Philadelphia now, and I'd imagine he's back to his usual All-Star form in 2024.

The Cardinals, like the offseason prior, decided to give DeJong one more chance to prove himself and also had Tommy Edman available to play shortstop as needed. Obviously, the DeJong experience did not go well again, and Edman was able to fill the gap for the Cardinals, but he is just not the player that Turner is. Sure, Winn was coming, but again, he could have been used as a trade piece for the Cardinals instead, or Turner could have shifted to second base to make Nolan Gorman or Brendan Donovan available in trades.

Sure, things could end up again poorly for Turner and the Phillies and the tone here could change drastically, but for now, it's pretty disappointing that the Cardinals sat out of two elite free agent shortstop classes when they had a clear need, and even though I am very excited about Winn, that's a huge ask for him to be as good as guys like Seager or Turner.

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