The Cardinals just did something I found to be very interesting. They have gone after three players who live close to St. Louis. This team is starting to feel like the state college that doesn’t want to lose out on any of the local recruits.
First, it was Lance Lynn who was a first-round draft choice of the Cardinals and still had a home close by in Illinois.
Second, we signed Kyle Gibson who pitched for the University of Missouri. He still lives here in town and is the vice president of Big League Impact, Adam Wainwright’s charity.
Now they sign Sonny Gray who lives in Tennessee just a four or five-hour drive from the ballpark.
Maybe that is not a bad thing. The more ties to the community the better. More chances for family and friends to watch them work always adds a bit of an edge for the players.
Maybe this is something the Cardinals should continue. There are several free agents and trade targets out there with local ties that could also make this a much more interesting team.
Players that have local ties
Devin Williams - RP - Brewers
It’s no secret that the Brewers are going to be making some changes. Williams attended CBC and Hazelwood High Schools in the St. Louis area. His family is still here and and is one of the best closers in the league. Rumor has it that the Brewers are hearing from a lot of teams about his availability. He is still controllable for the next two years. The cost would probably be a few of the Cardinals’ better prospects but this would be a great addition.
Pete Fairbanks - RP - Rays
There has been some talk about the Cardinals still trading for Tyler Glasnow. Let’s make a blockbuster trade and add Fairbanks to the package. He pitched for the University of Missouri. His 25 saves added to this bullpen would be a huge boost to this team and at 3.6 million dollars being added with Williams would change our bullpen from a liability to an asset.
Jake Burger - 2B/3B - Marlins
This 27-year-old was born in St. Louis and pitched for Missouri State. All he did last year was hit 34 home runs for the Marlins and had an OPS of .860. He still has four years of arbitration eligibility. If the Cardinals do trade Donovan, Edman, or Gorman this would be another player with local ties to target.
Dylan Coleman - RP - Royals
Another 27-year-old, Coleman was born in Potosi, Missouri, and pitched for Missouri State. Coleman had an off year in 2023. However, in 2022 he had an ERA of 2.78, 71 strikeouts in 68 innings, and 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings. He won’t be arbitration-eligible until 2026.
If James Naile (Cape Girardeau), who is still on our 40-man roster, makes the team, just think how much Imos Pizza, toasted ravioli, and Ted Drew’s could be consumed in 2024.