Cardinals Rumors: St. Louis linked to veteran shortstop Brandon Crawford

The Cardinals miss on Nick Ahmed but now they've turned their sights to Brandon Crawford.
Cleveland Guardians v San Francisco Giants
Cleveland Guardians v San Francisco Giants / Suzanna Mitchell/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

With Tommy Edman not progressing as well from wrist surgery as initially expected, the Cardinals could be looking to add a veteran shortstop to open the season. It's looking more and more likely that Edman will open 2024 on the injured list, which means the Cardinals will need to look for a backup in case Masyn Winn isn't Major League ready or is hurt. The Cardinals had been linked to Nick Ahmed, but now that Ahmed has landed with the San Francisco Giants, they may pivot elsewhere.

With Ahmed in San Francisco, the Giants will no longer pursue a reunion with longtime cornerstone Brandon Crawford and according to a report by Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Cardinals are one of the teams that is strongly interested in adding him. Though the 37-year-old Crawford isn't very exciting offensively, he still provides solid defense that would make him a solid option as a backup shortstop until Edman returns.

There's still some upside in Crawford's bat though, as he placed 4th in MVP voting just 2 years ago by posting a career high .895 OPS in the Giants' magical 2021 run. However, it would be unrealistic to expect such a performance from Crawford, and he'd be used more as a veteran bench option like Matt Carpenter.

A deal between Crawford and the Cardinals could come very soon, as there appears to be mutual interest according to Derrick Goold. It'll be interesting to see how the Cardinals construct their bench if they do land Crawford, as they already have Carpenter and Burleson as left-handed options.

With Masyn Winn performing as well as he has to start Spring Training, I personally think the Cardinals are jumping the gun a bit by exploring the market as I'm comfortable with Donovan covering short in stints when Winn needs time off. What's more concerning here is the health of Tommy Edman. If his progress isn't what the team had expected, there could be some serious concerns with the outfield depth.