MLB Rumors: Cardinals top free agent target could be sniped by NL foe

The St. Louis Cardinals need starting pitching in the worst way, and they may need to look out for a foe in taking one of the top free agents available.
Miami Marlins v St. Louis Cardinals
Miami Marlins v St. Louis Cardinals / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

The St. Louis Cardinals decided that selling players at the trade deadline was the right approach instead of making a push for a postseason berth. With that, they traded away starting pitchers Jack Flaherty and Jordan Montgomery. With that, the Cardinals have an obvious need for starting pitching this winter, and it just so happens that there are some good options.

One of those options is Blake Snell, who is having a great year for the San Diego Padres, despite their struggles. insider Mark Feinsand listed his top 10 free agent options, with Snell ranking fourth overall. Feinsand ranks the Cardinals as a potential fit. However, one of St. Louis' big National League foes is also listed as a fit, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Cardinals: Top free agent target Blake Snell listed as potential fit for Dodgers

On Feinsand's list, Snell is listed as the top primary starting pitcher on the market, not named Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels. With that, there will likely be a bidding war for Snell's services, especially if he wins the NL Cy Young award. When there's a bidding war, the Dodgers are usually the winners.

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported that Snell was atop the Cardinals wish list this offseason. That, and they are looking to add at least three starting pitchers this offseason.

FanSided MLB insider Robert Murray ranked the Cardinals' free agents reportedly atop their wish list and graded the fit. When it comes to Snell, Murray gave it a 4.5-out-of-10 grade, citing the pitcher's agent (Scott Boras) and that a bidding war will cause the Cardinals to ultimately bow out.

"The Cardinals typically do not get into bidding wars, which makes pursuits of Urias and Snell challenging. But their need for a starting pitcher has never been greater, especially as they attempt to win with Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado on the roster.

Mozeliak and the front office will surely make a call on Snell. But it’s more likely than not that the left-hander is playing elsewhere next season and beyond."

Robert Murray, FanSided MLB insider

This season, Snell recorded a 2.50 ERA (best in majors), a 1.252 WHIP, a 12-9 win-loss record, 201 strikeouts, and 89 walks (leads major) in 155.0 innings (28 starts).

When the 2023 season is over, the focus will be on free agency. The Cardinals need a top starting pitcher with Flaherty and Montgomery no longer on the team and the fact that Adam Wainwright is set to retire after the season. Snell would be the best option to add in free agency. But what if a bidding war commences? Well, we'll find out that answer this winter.

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