A comprehensive look at the St. Louis Cardinals' 2025 free agents

These St. Louis Cardinals' players could all become free agents next year one way or another.
Feb 19, 2024; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46) practices at
Feb 19, 2024; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46) practices at / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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After a hefty retooling this offseason, John Mozeliak may have to repeat this process once again next winter. In total, the Cardinals have 16 players who can become free agents next year. 4 players have club options attached to them, so it is possible those options are exercised and the player remains on the team next year.

In addition to these 8 potential free agents, 8 additional players will be eligible to receive payments via the arbitration process. While these arbitration figures won't be as restrictive financially as free agents, the contracts still require additional contemplation. The non-tendering of Juan Yepez, Andrew Knizner, Dakota Hudson, and Jake Woodford this past offseason granted the Cardinals financial flexibility to go out and sign other free agents.

Let's take a look at these various groups of free agents and parce out what will become of them in 2025.

Group 1: Fully-fledged free agents

This group has players who are guaranteed to become free agents barring a contract extension. Either they are in their final year of arbitration in 2024, or their contract will expire at the end of the season.

Paul Goldschmidt

Foremost of these players is Paul Goldschmidt. Goldy, now 36, is entering the final year of his 5-year, $130 million extension he signed in March of 2019. He will be paid $26 million this year. Altogether, his extension and tenure in St. Louis has been fantastic. He has been a cornerstone for multiple playoff appearances, and he brought home an MVP trophy in 2022.

Goldschmidt is a candidate for an extension, and if he signs one, he can finish his Hall of Fame-worthy career in St. Louis.

Andrew Kittredge

The Cardinals acquired Andrew Kittredge via trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. St. Louis shipped out a young budding player in Richie Palacios for the veteran All-Star reliever. Kittredge will provide depth and late-inning experience to a retooled bullpen. He is being paid $2,262,500 via arbitration in 2024. He will be eligible for a qualifying offer this season, but that route is rarely if ever taken with relievers.

Kittredge, 34, could be a candidate for a contract extension if he pitches well this year, but given the annual volatility of relievers, St. Louis will likely let him walk and test the market in 2025.

Brandon Crawford and Matt Carpenter

These two players have been linked together recently. Both are left-handed bench veterans who will help lead the team in the clubhouse. St. Louis inked Carpenter to a 1-year, $740,000 deal early in the offseason, and Crawford recently signed a 1-year, $2 million contract.

Given the advanced age of both players, these deals will likely be "one-and-done" contracts. I don't suspect either Brandon Crawford or Matt Carpenter to be on next year's roster.