St. Louis Cardinals are no longer a desirable team to play for according to players

The Athletic asked players which teams were the most appealing to play for. The Cardinals received just 1 vote.
Los Angeles Dodgers v St. Louis Cardinals
Los Angeles Dodgers v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

The Athletic and its writers recently conducted a survey for current MLB players. One question on the survey asked, "Which team would you sign with if contracts, state taxes, and rosters were not a factor?"

The results were mildly obvious given the successes of recent franchises; The Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, and New York Yankees rounded out the top 5 teams. Division rivals Chicago Cubs were 6th, and the Cincinnati Reds were 13th. The St. Louis Cardinals, however, were only voted as a desirable destination by 1 out of 86 voters.

The Athletic writers include some key thoughts during this exercise; good weather and hometowns played major roles for players. Other voters preferred to stay where they currently are playing. Several players wanted to play for historic franchises like the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees. A team's stadium carried a lot of weight in this particular poll.

While St. Louis hasn't typically paid for big-name free agents, the desire to play in St. Louis has been present amongst some of the biggest free agents in recent years. Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn, and Kyle Gibson made that very clear this past offseason. Bryce Harper was quite smitten with the organization during his free agency back in 2019. Even super agent Scott Boras said as much this past offseason.

Hitters could be wary of Busch Stadium's tendency to be a pitcher's stadium. This would, however, attract pitchers more so than say Chicago or Cincinnati would. On the whole, Busch Stadium is a lovely stadium. Though it has slipped in national rankings lists in recent years as it nears its 20th year in existence, it stands the test of time as a ballpark that is great to play in.

St. Louis's history as one of the best franchises in baseball would have been enough to attract players, but recent malaise has marred that history slightly. The team's underperformance since 2015 may have been a detractor to some players. Additionally, the top-10 teams feature some of the largest cities in the country. St. Louis's size and location are a detriment to the team's ability to attract free agents.