3. Monster Cardinals free agent target: Aaron Judge
Let’s get the big one out of the way right now. Aaron Judge to the Cardinals. Can it happen? Yes!
The Cardinals were expected to be one of the biggest competitors to make a trade for Juan Soto. He ended up going to the San Diego Padres instead. The Cardinals might not have much of a desire to trade away all of their young players. Signing Judge would at least open up the possibility of trading away a few for maybe a lesser major-league player.
The Cardinals could actually use a boost in right field. Dylan Carlson and Lars Nootbaar each underperformed in 2022 compared to what you’d want out of a corner outfielder. Meanwhile, Judge set the new American League home run record with 62 dingers for the New York Yankees.
There is nothing but connecting dots to see how Judge could end up with the Cardinals. Unwilling to trade Carlson in a deal for Soto, maybe they flip him alone or in a package for a lesser player.
A big question to answer is whether or not they want to win during the time Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt are on the roster. An answer of “yes” and paying Judge a lot of money would certainly show the rest of the National League who the new favorite is.