The St. Louis Cardinals finished the 2022 season with a successful 93-69 record and the NL Central crown.
Unfortunately for them, they were unable to get past the Philadelphia Phillies in the Wild Card round and were sent home earlier than anticipated.
That doesn’t take away the fact that they had a positive season.
To get over the hump that the first postseason series represents (they have been eliminated at the Wild Card instance in consecutive campaigns), fans are dreaming about the Cards making a splash in free agency.
That splash has a name: Aaron Judge.
The New York Yankees outfielder will be free to sign with any team after the World Series ends, and you can be sure he will have plenty of suitors.
Could the Cards be one of them?
“We’ve seen Mo pull off crazier moves. #STLCards Judge, Arenado and Goldschmidt would be the most dangerous three-man punch in the league,” STL Sports Central tweeted.
We’ve seen Mo pull off crazier moves. #STLCards
Judge, Arenado and Goldschmidt would be the most dangerous three-man punch in the league. pic.twitter.com/X8BhQ5r5ZC
— STL Sports Central (@stlsportscntrl) October 31, 2022
Is Judge To The Cardinals Realistic?
In 157 games and 696 plate appearances, Judge belted 62 home runs (a new American League record), scored 133 runs, and drove in 131.
He even added 16 stolen bases.
With a .311/.425/.686 line and a 207 wRC+, he was head and shoulders the best hitter in baseball this year.
Not only that, but he was by far the best player, too: with a 11.4 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), he bested the second-ranked player, Manny Machado, by a considerable margin.
Can the Cardinals make room in their payroll/budget to accommodate Judge?
It looks extremely unlikely, given the fact they have the high-priced Arenado and Goldschmidt already under contract.
Signing Judge will probably require north of $300 million.
Only a handful of teams can go there, and while the Cards surely have the resources, it remains to be seen if they have the willingness.