3 pitchers Cardinals should sign to replace Adam Wainwright

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - AUGUST 19: Taijuan Walker #99 of the Seattle Mariners (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - AUGUST 19: Taijuan Walker #99 of the Seattle Mariners (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco Giants
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 15: (NEW YORK DALIES OUT) Taijuan Walker #00 of the Toronto Blue Jays (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

If the St. Louis Cardinals can’t reach an agreement with Adam Wainwright, they should target these three pitchers to replace him.

When it comes to a player like Adam Wainwright, who has been with the St. Louis Cardinals since 2005 after acquiring him from the Atlanta Braves. From there, he won two World Series titles and three Gold Gloves, while also earning three All-Star Game nominations. Wainwright is a pitcher that appeared destined to retire a Cardinal.

That future is now pretty murky, as there’s been no progress in negotiations between both parties. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Dispatch reported back in early October that Wainwright and teammate Yadier Molina have “discussed privately the possibility of going elsewhere to play, together.” Later that month, David O’Brien of The Athletic reported that the Braves, the team that drafted Wainwright in the first round of the 2000 MLB Draft, has expressed interest in the right-hander.

With Wainwright exploring his options, the Cardinals need to be prepared in case he signs on elsewhere. Since the Cardinals, along with the rest of the NL Central, aren’t expected to spend large sums of money this offseason, don’t expect them to make a push for a Trevor Bauer or Masahiro Tanaka. They’ll look towards lower-end, cheaper options. Here are three pitchers the Cardinals should definitely target as possible Wainwright replacements.

SP. Toronto Blue Jays. Taijuan Walker. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 3. 39

Perhaps the youngest pitcher that the Cardinals could get on the cheap is 28-year-old Taijuan Walker.

After a horrific tenure with the Arizona Diamondbacks that was marred by Tommy John surgery, Walker returned to the Seattle Mariners on a one-year deal. And this past season was arguably his best. In five starts with the Mariners, Walker recorded a 4.00 ERA and 1.074 WHIP before he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. The AL East squad looking to clinch a playoff berth, added Walker to turn that goal into a reality, and Walker made sure the move was worth it. In six games in a Blue Jays uniform, Walker posted a 1.37 ERA and struck out 25 batters in 26.1 innings pitched.

Replacing Wainwright with Walker would be a great decision by the Cardinals. But it will all come down to the price. Considering how young he is, St. Louis would likely have to sign him to a two-year contract. Still, it shouldn’t be too much of a financial burden for the cost-cutting Cards.