Cardinals Add Veteran Infielder Brandon Crawford: A Shift in St. Louis

The St. Louis Cardinals are bolstering their infield depth by signing veteran infielder Brandon Crawford, according to multiple reports on Monday. The deal is pending a successful physical.

Crawford, 37, is expected to serve as a backup primarily behind Masyn Winn, the Cardinals’ talented young shortstop and 2021 first-round draft pick. This move signifies a shift for the Cardinals, who have historically relied heavily on homegrown talent and haven’t signed a free-agent position player this established in recent years.

The three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner brings a wealth of experience to St. Louis. He spent his entire 13-year career with the San Francisco Giants, who drafted him in the fourth round of the 2008 MLB Draft. Crawford is known for his defensive prowess, having earned four Gold Glove awards at shortstop. His offensive production has also been valuable, as evidenced by his strong 2021 season where he slashed .298/.373/.522 with 24 home runs and 90 RBIs. He finished fourth in National League MVP voting that year.

Analysts believe this signing could benefit both Crawford and the Cardinals. Crawford lands in a contender with a championship window, potentially revitalizing his career after struggling offensively in 2022 and 2023. The Cardinals, on the other hand, gain a veteran presence and defensive insurance for their young infield core.

However, some fans and analysts express concerns about the potential impact on Winn’s development. While Crawford is expected to primarily play a backup role, his presence could limit Winn’s playing time and experience at the major league level.

Whether this gamble by the Cardinals pays off remains to be seen. Only time will tell if Crawford can contribute effectively as a role player and if Winn can continue to develop into a future star for the St. Louis Cardinals.

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