8 steps the Cardinals should take to retool for 2025 if they fail again this year

The Cardinals have plenty of time to get into contention, but if things go south again, we may see them enter a true "retool" with young talent come July.
Arizona Diamondbacks v St. Louis Cardinals
Arizona Diamondbacks v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
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Reassess 2025 and beyond with your current young core and new young assets

Well, that was a lot! Let's take a moment to look at how this club could stack up.

First, we can't account for any of the prospects they acquire in trades, but I'm confident there would be a few who could play a major role on the club in the near future. I'll focus solely on the players we know they will have.

Second, the Cardinals payroll this season according to FanGraphs is $181 million. The exact number is not important here as those are debated often, but they would have about $98 million coming off their books if they move on from impending free agents Goldschmidt, Lynn, Gibson, Middleton, Gallegos, and Crawford along with Arenado's contract, meaning they'd have about $83 million on their books entering the offseason. They could use that room to go out and sign more free agents, or they could use that space to give some extensions to young talent like teams around baseball have been doing lately.

So, with all that being said, here's what their lineup and rotation could look like in 2025:


1. 1B Brendan Donovan
2. RF Jordan Walker
3. LF Lars Nootbaar
4. C Willson Contreras
5. 3B Nolan Gorman
6. DH Ivan Herrera
7. SS Masyn Winn
8. 2B Thomas Saggese
9. CF Victor Scott II

Other options include: OF Dylan Carlson, UTL Tommy Edman, OF/1B Alec Burleson, C Pedro Pages


1. RHP Sonny Gray
2. RHP Miles Mikolas
3. RHP Andre Pallante
4. RHP Sem Robberse
5. RHP Gordon Graceffo

Other options include: LHP Steven Matz, LHP Zack Thompson, RHP Michael McGreevy, RHP Adam Kloffenstein

Probably not ready for Opening Day but could be options in 2025: RHP Tink Hence, RHP Tekoah Roby, LHP Quinn Mathews, LHP Cooper Hjerpe

Obviously, there are some names on here that could be moved for even more prospects, but my main takeaway here is that this team could be really interesting in 2025. The position player group specifically is exciting, young, and ready to compete as soon as next year, while the pitching is much more of a work in progress but has a variety of young arms who could contribute.

Should the Cardinals need to retool for 2025 and beyond come July, it won't be fun to tear things down, and it'll create another frustrating second-half experience, but I think by the time Spring Training rolls around next year, fans would be really excited to see this young team in action.

Again, I do not think this is where the Cardinals are heading. I do believe they'll be able to be competitive and push for the playoffs this year. But if things go haywire, this is a very viable route for them.

What did you think of my plan for the Cardinals retool if it happened? Go check out the podcast Brenden Schaeffer and I recorded on Friday and let us know in the comments what you think!