6 surprising St. Louis Cardinals who could return next season

The 2024 edition of the St. Louis Cardinals could have some unexpected returns. Here are the names who could be back.
Tyler O'Neill, St. Louis Cardinals
Tyler O'Neill, St. Louis Cardinals / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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Jack Flaherty could be a surprise return for the Cardinals

It would be a big surprise to see Flaherty return to the Cardinals after getting traded at the deadline to the Baltimore Orioles for Drew Rom, Cesar Prieto and Zack Showalter.

Flaherty has struggled through injuries for the past couple of seasons but seemed to be making strides toward a comeback prior to the Cardinals trading him. Since joining the Orioles though, he appears to have reverted back to his struggles. In six games started for the Orioles, he is 1-2, with a 7.16 ERA over 27.2 innings. While he has 32 strikeouts, he's also given up six homers and 22 earned runs. Again. That's over six games.

Flaherty isn't leaving a great impression and it would be surprising if the Orioles tried to bring him back. It would also be surprising to see the Cardinals bring him back, but it is seemingly more likely if he is struggling, the Cardinals know what's going on and can continue to try to help him move forward maybe on a two or three-year deal laced with incentives.

The rumor has always been that he wants to play in southern California, but with how he's playing now that is not likely. It would be interesting to see him come back to the Cardinals, retool and see where that leads him.