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With Jon Lester officially announcing his retirement earlier this week, the St. Louis Cardinals should reach out to J.A. Happ.
The MLB community has been honoring Jon Lester throughout the week and for good reason. After an unreal career in the bigs, the lefty has decided to hang up his cleats. He ended up closing things out with the Cardinals in 2021.
Now, St. Louis will look to replace him for the 2022 rotation. So, which free agent would make the most sense for the NL Central club leading up to spring training. Well, how about fellow lefty J.A. Happ.
JA Happ signing with the Cardinals would make a ton of sense
Happ has 15 years of MLB experience under his belt. While he wouldn’t be expected to come in and be the ace for St. Louis, he could still step onto the bump and deliver a quality start every 4-5 games for the club.
Last season, Happ suited up for the Cards, making 11 starts for the team. In that time, he posted a 5-2 record and 4.00 ERA. The ERA was a little high, but the man got the job done when his number was called by manager Mike Shildt. Shildt was of course fired after the 2021 season, so now it’s on new skipper Oliver Marmol to try and get this team back on track to go on a deep playoff run.
With spring training inching closer and closer, St. Louis will need to finalize some spots and complete some new signings as well. With Happ not really being linked to another team either, it could open the door for a reunion to go down. Again, Happ won’t be brought in to be the No. 1 guy for St. Louis, but he’s proven he’s still got plenty left in the tank to record some big innings out there.