Cardinals lineup goes from good to scary with 1 free agent signing

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The St. Louis Cardinals can make their lineup even scarier if they were to sign this one free agent when the lockout ends.

It was a mad dash to the finish line, but there has been no major league free agent signings in over a month. That is due to the current MLB lockout, as the league and Players Association agrees to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement.

The St. Louis Cardinals did make a huge splash prior to the lockout, as they signed former Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz. This is a team that miraculously made it to the postseason on a historic winning stream. They can improve their chances in 2022 if they sign this one free agent to make their batting order even scarier.

Nelson Cruz.

Cardinals must sign Nelson Cruz to make lineup even scarier

Jim Bowden of The Athletic listed the best fits for the remaining players on the open market in his latest article, and the Cardinals are listed as a fit for Cruz. Of course, Cruz landing in St. Louis will all be dependent on the league and players union to include the universal designated hitter position in their latest CBA.

Even at the age of 41, Cruz has shown recently that he still boasts a powerful swing when standing in the batter’s box. This past season, Cruz’s strong first half of the 2021 season with the Minnesota Twins urged the Tampa Bay Rays to trade for him at the deadline.

In140 games, Cruz recorded a .265 batting average, a .497 slugging percentage, 32 home runs and 86 RBI.

They may not be the numbers in terms of slugging percentage like Cruz put up in 2019 (.639) and 2020 (.595) that earned him back-to-back Silver Slugger awards, but those are still very good.

The same lineup that pushed the Cardinals to a Wild Card berth last year will be returning in 2022. If they want to contend for the National League pennant, they will need to add a power bat to the roster, especially if a designated hitter spot is opened up in the NL.

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