Folks seems to forget that Boston had Mondesi under contract for 2023, but there is good reason for that. Mondesi had been rehabbing from a torn ACL and never could get healthy this season before Boston shut him down in August from any baseball activities.
If he can get healthy again, Mondesi's speed is a game changer, but there is no indication that he is close to returning and it is an open question as to whether or not his career is over. However, our guess is that he will try to catch on with someone on a non-guaranteed deal this spring to hopefully prove that he can come back from the knee injury.
Prediction: Minor league deal somewhere at best
Kluber is long past his prime and 2023 was a lost season for him altogether. In 55 innings pitched for Boston this season, he posted a 7.04 ERA before hitting the injured list with shoulder inflammation over the summer. Boston soon became convinced that he wasn't going to bounce back in time to help him and his transfer to the 60 day IL in August ended his 2023 season and the Red Sox very quickly declined his $11 million option for 2024.
Shoulder troubles are a big red flag for teams, so Kluber is going to have to settle for a one year deal that is probably going to have to be significantly cheaper than the $10 million deal he signed with the Red Sox for 2023. Starting pitching is still going to be in high demand, though, and St. Louis is going to have to add multiple starters this offseason which makes them the team fit here.
Prediction: Cardinals - One year, $4.5 million with incentives