2023 is coming to an end and there are still some big names that are unsigned for the 2024 season. Some thought that with big names like Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto coming off the board would jumpstart the market, but it hasn't really done so just yet.
When it comes to spending money in free agency, the Cardinals have certainly done so. With their free-agent signings Kyle Gibson, Lance Lynn, and Sonny Gray, they currently stand in 5th place in most money spent this offseason. They have addressed their need for some starting pitching through free agency, but now it is time to focus on the bullpen, there is some improvements that need to be made on that end too.
We saw last season that the Cardinal bullpen was overworked and worn down. Adding starters who are likely going to go deeper into games should help the bullpen, but there are some available free agents that could make the Cardinals bullpen even more effective.
Looking at who the Cardinals currently have, Ryan Helsley and JoJo Romero can be reliable arms late in games if they can stay healthy, Giovanny Gallegos has been durable for the past few seasons but he'll need to be more consistent in 2024, and the same goes for Andre Pallante. There is some guys that could be contributors, John King comes to mind, but there's no guarantee they'll produce, adding another proven arm could be the route the Cardinals would want to take.
Out of the top remaining free agent relievers, there are some that could get a big payday, and the Cardinals have the money to offer these guys that payday. I will be trying to predict what the Cardinals could/should offer to the top remaining free agents, predicting what it will take to sign them, and what a realistic contract could look like.
David Robertson-1 year deal for $8 million dollars
Robertson will turn 39 right after the 2024 season begins but he has proven himself to be one of the more reliable late-inning relievers throughout his career. He has a career 2.90 ERA in 15 seasons in two separate stints with the Yankees and Phillies, and also with the White Sox, Rays, Cubs, Mets, and most recently the Marlins.
In 2011 he was an All-Star and in 2009 he won a World Series with the Yankees. Despite not winning a World Series in 15 seasons he has plenty of postseason experience, as he has pitched in 42 playoff games in his career, and in those games, he's 6-0 with a 3.04 ERA. Robertson has also been a reliable strike-out pitcher and a durable arm, he has had a K/9 rating of over 10 in 14 of his 15 seasons and has pitched over 60 innings in a season 11 times.
Despite his age, I could see him getting a multi-year deal, but with it being January, I think a shorter deal makes more sense at this stage of free agency. Plus Robertson signed with the Mets last off-season on a one-year deal so I see it being very likely that he would do that again. But Robertson is still a respectable high-leverage pitcher who can strike people out and throw a lot of innings, he would be a nice addition.