Notable Departures: John Lackey
Before Jason Heyward made the big news of leaving St. Louis, John Lackey was first and also bolted for the Cubs, leaving the Cardinals with something of a need in the rotation especially given Lance Lynn‘s season-ending Tommy John surgery. The Cardinals whiffed in their beginning efforts however, as they missed out on David Price when the lefty chose the Boston Red Sox more lucrative offer instead. That left the Cardinals with a pack of 3-4 starters to choose from, or they could choose to again bank on prospects to carry the team.
John Mozeliak elected to give former Giants and Reds pitcher Mike Leake a fie-year $80 million deal, and he will slot in behind Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martinez, and possibly Michael Wacha. Leake, a 28-year-old groundball pitcher with a 3.19 career ERA at Busch Stadium, offers upside and stability as he has thrown 190+ innings in each of the last three years. Staff ace Adam Wainwright returning fully healthy will also be a big addition and the rotation looks again like one of the top rotations in baseball for 2016.