The St. Louis Cardinals never signed Marcus Stroman, and here’s why.
The player most St. Louis Cardinals fans wanted in free agency was Marcus Stroman. He met their greatest need (starting pitcher) and was arguably the second best starter in the market behind Max Scherzer. He kindled the fire by yelling at Cardinals fans at the start of free will.
But Stroman never came to Saint-Louis.
Would Stroman have been open there? Sure. But he was looking for a financial commitment that the cardinals were not prepared to pay. While they ultimately signed southpaw Steven Matz on a four-year, $ 44 million contract, Stroman sought – and ultimately signed a three-year, $ 71 million contract – worth more double the average annual contract value of Matz.
So the Cardinals had to make a decision: Is Stroman worth twice Matz? Would they prefer Stroman or Matz and one or two more relievers? The answer became evident at the start of the offseason, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Derrick Goold reports, and why they signed up Matz – to have that extra flexibility.
As Goold points out, with Stroman suitors signing other free agent starters, his asking price must have come down. After all, he signed for three years when Robbie Ray and Kevin Gausman got five-year appointments. But an average annual value of nearly $ 25 million was something the Cardinals were never prepared to offer.
Did the Cardinals make the right choice in signing Matz for 1/2 the cost of Stroman and the cost of Scherzer? This is something that will be debated throughout the season. But we won’t have the answer to that question until free agency plays out and we see who they sign with the money they saved by not signing Stroman or Scherzer.
But it seems neither option has ever been realistic – and they seem more than happy with Matz, who they say has the advantage of being even better than he was in Toronto.