Tyler Glasnow trade and extension raises the price for Cardinals' pitching targets

The Los Angeles Dodgers are making headlines left and right this offseason. Does their latest move for Tyler Glasnow have a major impact on the Cardinals' plans?
World Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game One
World Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game One / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

If you're the St. Louis Cardinals, or frankly, any other Major League Baseball team this offseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers' pursuit of talent this offseason must feel more like Thanos collecting Infinity Stones than the typical spending sprees we see from time to time.

Sure, large market teams are known to go out and spend absurd amounts of money in a single offseason, but rarely do we see something the likes of what Andrew Friedman has been able to do so far this winter. The Dodgers, a team that already had Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman in their lineup, a roster full of young talent, and one of the top farm systems in all of baseball, went out and added the most coveted free agent in MLB history in Shohei Ohtani, followed up by a trade for Tyler Glasnow and Manuel Margot, along with a massive four-year extension for the big right-hander.

The Dodgers are still expected to be major players for Yoshinobu Yamamoto and other massive free agent and trade acquisitions. Los Angeles, since transitioning ownership groups in 2012 and hiring Friedman in 2015, has developed an organization that is the class of baseball, with only the Atlanta Braves really being able to rival them.

How much of an impact do the Dodgers' offseason moves have on the Cardinals specifically? Well, Glasnow was a name that the Cardinals were reportedly interested in acquiring. Now he's on one of the National League juggernauts instead. But I think the impact goes far deeper than that.

On the trade market, the Dodgers had to give up a valuable young starter with six years of club control in Ryan Pepiot to acquire Glasnow. Before the 2023 season, Pepiot was the number 70 ranked prospect in baseball. In 2023, he made 8 appearances (3 starts) with a 2.14 ERA and showed flashes of the kind of starter he can be.

I'm as high as anyone on Glasnow, but I did not think his trade value would be that high on the market. The fact that the Dodgers were able to get Glasnow to agree to an extension before the trade was finalized probably added to his value, but the injury history and size of the contract make it a risky move. Glasnow has some of the best stuff in baseball and would be a Cy Young contender if he's healthy, but until the deal went through, I did not think he'd be able to net the Rays that much value.

So if the Cardinals are going to go after another starter on the trade market, like Dylan Cease or Jesus Luzardo, I think the price point just went up. Cease has two years of control and Luzardo has three years of control, so the White Sox and Marlins are going to look at what the Rays got and want more.

I don't think this should deter the Cardinals from being aggressive though. While every team in baseball wants more starting pitching, with the Dodgers *probably* not trading for another starter, there are few teams I'd say could outbid the Cardinals that would actually make that kind of trade this offseason. The Cardinals would likely be competing with the Orioles, Reds, Cubs, and Braves to acquire one of those starters and St. Louis can make just as compelling of offers as those clubs.

Glasnow's contract should also signal to the Cardinals and the rest of baseball where contracts are heading. Glasnow, even with the concerns people have raised, will make $30 million per season from 2025-2027, with a club option for $30 million in 2028 or a $21.5 million player option for Glasnow if the Dodgers do not pick up their club option. That means guys like Yoshinobu Yamamoto will be getting well north of $30 million per year, and we could see Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery get close to that number. It also makes cost-controlled starters all the more valuable now as well.

Time will tell in regards to how the rest of baseball reacts to these market-altering moves, but if history tells us anything, costs will continue to rise, even as small and mid-market teams struggle with the revenue uncertainty ahead with TV deals. Hopefully, the Cardinals take advantage of other team's hesitancies and continue to build a strong team to compete with the powers of the National League.