Wise or sighs: Did the Cardinals choose the right starting pitchers this offseason?

St. Louis set the free agent pitcher market when they signed both Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson. Did they pick the right back-end starting pitchers compared to other free agents?

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Jack Flaherty - Wise

Another former Cardinal makes the list! Jack Flaherty left a bad taste in most fans' mouths. His 2019 season was fantastic, especially in the second half. He never reached those heights again, though. Injuries were the main downfall for Flaherty, but his once-dominant fastball was never the same after the 2019 season. The Detroit Tigers signed Jack Flaherty to a one-year, $14 million contract without any player or team options.

Last year, Flaherty pitched 144.1 innings; he finished the year with a 4.99 ERA, 4.36 FIP, 1.580 WHIP, and he struck out 9.2 batters per nine innings. His walk rate was one of the highest for his career (excluding 2022), and he failed to make it past the fifth inning in eight of his twenty-seven starts. He did not pitch past the seventh inning in any starts.

Baseball-Reference projects Flaherty to pitch 133 innings this year with a 4.60 ERA, 1.459 WHIP, and strike out 9.1 batters per nine innings. His walk rate (3.9 batters per nine innings) is an improvement from last year, but it is still relatively high. His innings total is low, and his stat projections are middling at best. It seems as though Flaherty's best days are behind him despite the fact that he just turned twenty-eight.

Due to Flaherty's strenuous departure from St. Louis, his potential to be injured, and his uninspiring statistics, I think the Cardinals were wise to avoid him. He might finish next year with better numbers than both Lynn and Gibson, but he won't pitch as many innings, and he has worn out his welcome here in St. Louis.