The St. Louis Cardinals’ 2017 MLB season is over and they are already switching their attention to the upcoming MLB offseason. It was a frustrating season for the Cardinals and their fans, but there are a few things that they can do to make sure that they don’t have another frustrating year in 2018. One of those things is to bring in a bit more talent for their starting rotation.
Lance Lynn is likely to leave in free agency, which will open up a spot in the Cardinals’ rotation. This past season, St. Louis struggled with inconsistency. Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha are solid options heading to next season, but Adam Wainwright struggled through what may have been the worst season of his career.
Looking ahead to free agency, there is one name that could be a perfect pickup for the Cardinals.
Jake Arrieta is set to hit the open free agency market. It doesn’t appear likely that the Chicago Cubs will be able to retain him and the Cardinals should do everything in their power to sign him.
Even with the consistency issues that he had this season, Arrieta would still be able to immediately compete for the No. 1 starting job in St. Louis. He finished the 2017 regular season with a 14-10 record. Arrieta also compiled a 3.53 ERA, which would have been the Cardinals’ best ERA number in the rotation.
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At 31 years of age, Arrieta could be signed to a lucrative four or five-year deal by the Cardinals. They will not be the only team with interest in signing Arrieta, however, as there are quite a few team expected to pursue him when free agency opens.
Being able to sign Arrieta would certainly anger the Cubs’ fanbase. Last season, the Cardinals were able to lure outfielder Dexter Fowler away from the Cubs. Bringing in a key Cubs player two offseasons in a row would be a win in and of itself for the Cardinals.
St. Louis is not too far away from being a contender in the National League again. They still have a lot of talented pieces, but another top-notch starting pitcher could help them get to where they want to be.
There have been rumblings that the Cardinals could look to move on from manager Mike Matheney. Should they choose to do that, there would be quite a few big names interested in taking over in St. Louis. Adding Arrieta to the rotation would make their managing position even more attractive.
All of that being said, don’t be surprised if the Cardinals check in with Arrieta when free agency opens. He is going to be one of the top starting arms available this offseason, which will result in a lot of interest. St. Louis may not have a great chance to sign him, but they should do everything in their power to do so.
Do you think the St. Louis Cardinals should pursue Jake Arrieta in free agency? If not, who do you think will end up signing him? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Featured Image by Jeff Roberson/AP Images]