Cardinals Black Friday: 3 bargain deals to buy and 3 bargain deals to avoid

The St. Louis Cardinals will be holiday shopping for good deals. Some deals are worth the price, and others come with regret.

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Washington Nationals v Detroit Tigers / Leon Halip/GettyImages
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To avoid:

Jack Flaherty

An old familiar friend. Given he is one of the youngest arms on the market, he should be expected to receive many multi-year offers. But as we all witnessed, Flaherty was bad in 2023. He pitched 109 innings with STL where he finished with a slash line of 7-6 record with a 4.43 ERA, 8.7 SO/9, 4.4 BB/9, and 9.5 H/9. Mozeliak created his own mess with the 2023 season, but he did well with the trades he made at the deadline.

Flaherty got even worse in BAL and even got booted from the starting rotation. In 34.2 IP with BAL, his slash line was 1-3 with 6.75 ERA, 10.9 SO/9, 3.1 BB/9, and 11.9 H/9. Looking at Flaherty’s baseball savant page, his only elite percentiles were in average exit velocity and extension. The remaining percentile rankings have him deep in the blue. A fan favorite and once-promising future ace is available to bring back for a second chance. But with his chronic shoulder injury and a steep fall-off in 2023, it is best both parties go their separate ways. 

Carlos Carrasco

Carrasco has been an under-appreciated pitcher for years. He was a reliable staple to the Cleveland Indians rotation from 2011-2020. Once he was traded to the Mets with Francisco Lindor, Father Time caught up to him. He had a solid 2022 campaign but fell off considerably in 2023. He only places in above average percentiles in GB% and Extension. Every other aspect of his game is far below league averages. With a 6.80 ERA and 1.700 WHIP going into a contract walk year, he will not be looked at by very many teams looking to contend. This is a pitcher well past his prime and needs to be avoided by the Cardinals. 

David Peralta

Sticking with the left-handed bat needed for lineup depth, it is fair to say the Cardinals will look at several options to see if they can make the move fit for their future club. This is considering they trade many current players for pitching. David Peralta has been linked to Cardinals rumors for years and was once even a prospect within the organization. But his desired value is in the rearview mirror at this point in time.

He shows strong percentiles in xBA, hard-hit%, whiff%, and K%. So he can be a tough AB for any pitcher given he makes strong contact when swinging at hittable pitches. But Peralta is at the bottom of the league in BB% and chases pitches at a high rate. He is not getting on base or slugging at the rates he used to. Peralta still shows lots of value and teams will offer him 2-3 year deals this off-season. The Cardinals need to avoid this and look at other options. 

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