3 remaining free agents the Cardinals should sign, 2 to avoid

The Cardinals have been active this offseason, but should be far from done.

Jun 19, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Jordan Hicks
Jun 19, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Jordan Hicks / Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
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The St. Louis Cardinals had a lot of work ahead of them entering this offseason, as they finished with an ugly 71-91 record, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2018. The main area of the team they had to address was their rotation and they've done that by signing Sonny Gray, Kyle Gibson, and Lance Lynn.

The Gray addition was an outstanding one, as the Cardinals added a legitimate ace to lead their staff. Gibson and Lynn will provide innings, but the question of how quality those innings will be is one worth asking. More work has to be done to ensure this Cardinals team is much better than the one we just saw in 2023.

Most of the top free agents are off the board, but there are still several quality options available for them to pursue in an effort to improve their team. Here are three free agents John Mozeilak should consider signing, and another two he must avoid.

5) Bringing back Jordan Hicks is a no-brainer for the Cardinals

Jordan Hicks' Cardinals career featured several ups and downs. He had all of the potential in the world, but missed substantial time due to injury and never quite blossomed into the elite arm they expected until the first half of this season.

Hicks got off to a slow start in his first four outings of the 2023 season, but he posted a 2.65 ERA in his next 36 appearances, even taking over as their primary closer for the injured Ryan Helsley.

Hicks was traded to the Blue Jays at the trade deadline with the Cardinals out of contention and continued to dominate, posting a 2.63 ERA in 25 appearances for a Toronto team that wound up squeaking into the playoffs. They did that thanks in large part to Hicks who was their primary set-up man, pitching the eighth inning ahead of Jordan Romano.

The contract that the fireballing reliever will receive surely won't be a small one, but the Cardinals need a late-game arm pretty badly. Hicks has succeeded with St. Louis before, and assuming he can stay healthy, there's no reason to believe he can't remain solid for the next couple of years.