9 Cardinals who should be playing their last games for St. Louis this weekend

There are a lot of names playing for the Cardinals this weekend that will not be back in 2024
Minnesota Twins v St. Louis Cardinals
Minnesota Twins v St. Louis Cardinals / Joe Puetz/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 10
Next

Luken Baker

This is no slight against Luken Baker at all. He had an incredible season in Triple-A and is ready for consistent MLB at-bats, but I do not see how that happens in St. Louis.

Paul Goldschmidt plays most days at first base, and when he isn't starting there, it's typically Alec Burleson or even Brendan Donovan who are the next men up. At DH, Donovan, Nolan Gorman, and rest days for Willson Contreras, Nolan Arenado, and Goldschmidt will always trump Baker's opportunities.

In his small sample size of 77 at-bats, Baker is slashing .208/.299/.299 with 2 HR and 7 RBI. I really could see Baker being a solid 1B/DH bat next year and beyond, but if he's not going to get consistent playing time in St. Louis in 2024, he needs to be used as trade bait instead.

At 26 years old, he's not a young prospect anymore, and he isn't rated very highly among prospect rankings. But with the mammoth season he had in Triple-A, he will carry some value and could be a third or fourth piece in a deal for a starting pitcher or part of a trade for a bullpen arm.