Be prepared for a lot of quotes and storylines from former St. Louis Cardinals about how exiting the organization was the best thing to happen to them.
Zac Gallen, Randy Arozarena, and Adolis Garcia are all 2023 MLB All-Stars, but that's not the only thing they have in common. All three were traded away by the Cardinals in recent years and went on to find success with their new organizations.
Gallen was originally traded to the Miami Marlins along with Sandy Alcantara (ouch) for outfielder Marcell Ozuna but was later flipped to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Jazz Chisholm Jr.
When talking to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (all player quotes come from them), Gallen discussed how these deals helped led him to where he is today.
“There’s some truth to sometimes you’ve got to go to a place where there’s opportunity for you to be able to play and develop,” Gallen told the Post-Dispatch on the field at T-Mobile during batting practice. “That was a huge thing for me. (Arizona) traded their No. 1 prospect for me: ‘You’re our guy.’ That motivated me.”
Arozarena had very similar comments when asked about his trade as well.
“I appreciate the opportunity (Tampa Bay) gave me to play every day,” Arozarena said, as translated by a team official. “I feel like Tampa made a good trade. They’re giving me a lot of opportunity to show what I can do on the field, and I’m grateful for that.”
How about Garcia? Well, 3/3 on the whole "why leaving St. Louis helped me become an All-Star train".
“When I left (St. Louis) I really believed in myself and how much work I was going to put in and I’m grateful I had an opportunity.”
Would Zac Gallen, Randy Arozarena, and Adolis Garcia found stardom if they remained with the Cardinals?
Looking at these quotes, of course all three are going to say their careers were for the better because of the deals. All three of them were not highly valued by the organization during their time in St. Louis, the Cardinals chose other internal options over them. What are they supposed to say?
I think the bigger question is whether or not the Cardinals could have helped them reach their potential. That's a hard thing to know. You could argue that their talent was going to shine through at some point, but maybe the change of scenery really did help their career. Had they not gotten the opportunities they did over the last few years, could all three have broken out like they did this year?
There's also the question of whether or not the Cardinals could have properly developed the three. Gallen is said to have learned a change up in Miami, Garcia worked on his plate discipline in Texas, and Arozarena got bigger and stronger in Tampa. Do those things happen in St. Louis?
At the end of the day, it's just a reminder of what could have been for the Cardinals, missed opportunities, and wrong bets they took on players. They cannot go back and change what they did, but this terrible season paired with the success these former players have found better lead them to major changes internally as an organization.