The St. Louis Cardinals have a complicated offseason ahead, led by an underrated free agent class. The Cards will look to make plenty of additions, this much is for certain, especially to their pitching staff.
Cardinals starters ranked near the bottom of MLB in ERA this past season, and they traded away Jordan Montgomery and Jack Flaherty — both of whom could be candidates to return.
Before the Cardinals opt to bring in a new face, they must first decide what to do with their own free agents. That list includes at least five players, none of which is an incredibly easy choice.
We’ll start with the obvious — Adam Wainwright has pitched his last game with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was able to win 200 games, all with the same franchise, which is a tremendous achievement he should be proud of.
That being said, this amicable divorce comes at the right time for John Mozeliak and Co.
The worst-case scenario would’ve been an uncomfortable conversation with Wainwright, now over 40, after this season. Waino was not the same version of himself Cardinals fans have grown accustomed to on the mound in 2023.
Towards the end of the season especially, he looked borderline unplayable. Had he not been close to a career milestone, or had the Cardinals been in contention, Oli Marmol would’ve faced his toughest call yet as manager.
Instead, Wainwright was able to end his career on the high, which is certainly a moment neither he nor Cardinals fans will ever forget.
While Yadier Molina may return to St. Louis as a coach, Wainwright will sail off into the sunset for now.