The St. Louis Cardinals had a lot of celebrating to do in the regular season, winning the NL Central for the first time since 2019. Unfortunately, their playoff run wasn't as long as fans would've hoped, losing in two games to the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL Wild Card round.
Now, the Cardinals enter the offseason with several holes to fill. Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina have seemingly played their last games for the organization, while other positions could use an upgrade after this season's shortcomings.
With that in mind, here are three free agents that the Cardinals need to target this offseason.
St. Louis Cardinals Free Agency
1. Gary Sanchez, C
With Molina retiring, the Cardinals could afford to upgrade from fellow catcher Andrew Knizner. Gary Sanchez definitely is a suitable replacement. The 29-year-old backstop hasn't been able to replicate his All-Star days lately, but he still tallied 16 home runs and 61 RBIs in 128 games with the Minnesota Twins in 2022. For reference, Molina and Knizer combined for nine HRs and 49 RBIs this season. Besides, Sanchez is also solid defensively (.994 fielding percentage) and can also fill in as the designated hitter when needed. With Sanchez also having 31 postseason games under his belt, he's an option that the Cardinals should explore.
2. Joc Pederson, LF
The Cardinals also need to upgrade the left side of the outfield this season, making Joc Pederson an attractive target. A nine-year MLB veteran, Pederson racked up 23 HRs and 70 RBIs last season en route to his first All-Star appearance since his rookie campaign. While Tyler O'Neill and Corey Dickerson were solid at times in left field, Pederson is the type of player that can be a difference-maker on a nightly basis. There's also the fact that he brings two World Series rings to the table, which would be handy for a St. Louis club looking to contend. There will be a demand for Pederson's service, so the Cardinals must reach out to him before another team snags him up.
3. Michael Wacha, SP
The Cardinals' starting rotation is an area that could use a boost as well. There will be a ton of starters on the open market, however, Michael Wacha is one worth monitoring. Despite playing for an underachieving Boston Red Sox squad, Wacha still managed to go 11-2 with a 3.32 ERA in 23 starts. He'd be playing with a much better squad in St. Louis, so there's a chance that those numbers could improve even more. Besides, Wacha already has familiarity with the organization, having been a 2012 first-round pick by the Cardinals and playing with them until 2019. If he can get back to his 2015 All-Star form, Wacha could help St. Louis get to the next level in 2023.
Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.