Jordan Hicks - 4-year deal for $54 million dollars
The familiar name Jordan Hicks sees himself on the free agent market for the first time in his career. Hicks had his moments in his 5 seasons in St. Louis, when he is on his game he is arguably the most electric pitcher in baseball with his combination of velocity and movement on his pitches.
Hicks was not as effective as he was in his first two seasons in the bigs after he opted out of the shortened 2020 season, Tommy John surgery, multiple nagging injuries, and a brief attempt at turning him into a starter led to inconsistency for Hicks. 2023 got off to a very frustrating start for Hicks, after allowing 3 runs in extra innings to the Pirates in the 15th game of the season, he had a 12.71 ERA. Some speculated that he could've been sent down to the minors or even designated for assignment, but credit to the Cardinals for being patient with him and allowing him a chance to bounce back.
The Cardinals decided to use him in lower-stress situations and then let him gradually earn his way back into a late-inning role and it worked out. By the middle of June Hicks wound up being the Cardinals' closer, including recording 3 consecutive saves in New York against the Mets in 3 straight days. In 40 total appearances with the Cardinals last year he got his ERA down to 3.67, his lowest since 2019, and his rebound allowed the Cardinals to trade him to a contender at the deadline in exchange for minor-league pitching prospects. Hicks was sent to Toronto before the deadline and he pitched very well.
Hicks pitched in 25 games with the Jays in the stretch run and he had a 2.63 ERA, his strikeout numbers did drop significantly but so did his walks, which is promising since that was a problem with Hicks from time to time in St. Louis. Out of all the free agent relievers mentioned so far, Hicks is the youngest at 27 years old, Cardinal fans know more than anybody when it comes to what Hicks could become, the sky is the limit for him, I expect him to get a big contract in the next couple months, the question is would the Cardinals be willing to reunite with Hicks so soon after trading him.