Jack Flaherty and the St. Louis Cardinals would be wise to pursue a short-term extension
The St. Louis Cardinals had a long offseason full of questions surrounding their starting pitching, and as Spring Training has gotten underway, the topic persists.
Most people would agree that the Cardinals need to pursue some starting pitching before the trade deadline this summer, and they have a lot of very tradable pieces to get a deal done. While bringing in a front-line starter would be a welcomed addition later this season, the club also has to weigh the future of their current rotation.
Jack Flaherty, Jordan Montgomery, Miles Mikolas, and Adam Wainwright all have contracts that are set to expire after this season. Wainwright is retiring, so that's one name that will be gone in 2024. Mikolas and Montgomery would be quality options to retain, but neither has that front-line starter talent that can go toe to toe with the perennial Cy Young candidates. The one pitcher who has that "it" factor is Flaherty, and I believe there is a way to get a deal done this Spring that serves both sides.
The Tyler Glasnow extension provides framework for a deal with Jack Flaherty
Back in August, while Tyler Glasnow was still rehabbing from his elbow injury, the Rays and Glasnow agreed to a two-year, $30.35 million contract that paid Glasnow $5.35 million in his last year of club control and $25 million in 2024. While Flaherty already has his deal in place for this season, I think a two-year pact with Flaherty would make a ton of sense for both sides.
While I am sure Flaherty believes he will blow away the critics this season, it has been a few years since he's been the force we knew him to be. At just 27 years old, Flaherty has plenty of time to rebuild his value and does not need to risk a "make-or-break" season this year. Should Flaherty's injuries pile up again this season, I'm not really sure what his market would look like.
For the Cardinals, a future without Flaherty's talent is not the best position to be in. I understand not wanting to invest long-term yet, but even then I would strongly consider that. Giving Flaherty the opportunity to rebuild his value and see that long-term extension should be appealing to both sides, even though they both incur risk in any such deal. Glasnow just hit the IL for a significant amount of time, so this does bring its own potential cons in a Flaherty deal.
Something in the ballpark of two years, $55 million would make a lot of sense to be to buy out two of Flaherty's free agency years so that both sides can continue their relationship for the time being. The Cardinals get a chance to lock in an ace on a short-term deal and potentially resume long-term talks at a later date, while Flaherty gets financial security and the chance to hit free agency at the age of 29,
What do you think about a potential Flaherty extension? Let us know in the comments!