St. Louis Cardinals free agents entering 2021 offseason


Following the Cardinals’ loss in the NL Wild Card game to the Dodgers, here’s a look at their free agency list heading into the summer.

The St. Louis Cardinals were a.500 baseball team at the end of baseball’s regular season on Aug. 8. (55-56). However, a 17-game winning streak in September propelled them into the Wild Card round, putting them in the unenviable position of facing the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Cardinals’ season came to an end Wednesday night when Chris Taylor hit a walk-off home run for the Dodgers. As a result, the focus will now move to the offseason, and some players will almost probably not report to spring training. However, the Cardinals’ acquisition of Nolan Arenado last offseason shown their willingness to be aggressive, and that should be the case again this winter.

St. Louis Cardinals free agents for 2021 offseason

Looking to the offseason, here’s a look at the free agents the Cardinals have.

3B Nolan Arenado — $35 million player option
IF Matt Carpenter — $18.5 million club option
RP Andrew Miller
SP Carlos Martinez — $17 million club option
SP J.A. Happ
SP Jon Lester
RP T.J. McFarland
SP Wade LeBlanc
RP Luis Garcia
RP Daniel Poncedeleon

Arenado has previously stated that he will not opt out, which comes as no surprise. Carpenter’s return to that bloated option, if he returns at all, has been a foregone conclusion since the spring. Nothing he did this season (.169 batting average, three home runs, and 21 RBI in 207 at-bats) changed that. Martinez had a 6.95 ERA in 16 starts and had his season cut short in July due to a thumb injury, so the Cardinals are unlikely to spend $17 million on him next season.

The $35.5 million total in option decisions on Carpenter and Martinez is included in the Cardinals’ current anticipated salary of $151 million for 2022 (per Spotrac). When they decline those options, arbitration raises will take over some of that money, but with 2021’s payroll just shy of $169 million as a bar, there should be money to spend.

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