HomeTeamsCardinalsBrandon Crawford Joins The Cardinals For The '24 Season

Brandon Crawford Joins The Cardinals For The ’24 Season

The St. Louis Cardinals made it official on Tuesday by announcing that the team has signed free-agent shortstop Brandon Crawford to a one- year deal for this season. To make room for the All-Star infielder on the team’s 40-player roster, the Cardinals have designated infielder Buddy Kennedy for assignment.

Since being drafted out of UCLA by the San Francisco Giants in 2008, Crawford has played his entire 13-season career with them. As such, his coming east to play for St. Louis is something of a shock. Not that Cardinals fans didn’t see it coming as the rumors started flying on Monday about Crawford playing for the club. The 37-year-old shortstop brings depth to the team’s infield with three All-Star appearances (2015, 2018, 2021), four Gold Gloves (2015-17, 2021), and two World Series championships (2012, 2014). Crawford isn’t just bringing depth to the team but adds veteran leadership to a team that is now going to be playing their first season without Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina, and Albert Pujols.

“We’re excited to be adding a player with the winning credentials and pedigree of a Brandon Crawford,” stated Cardinals’ President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak. “He is someone that will provide us with valuable depth and experience on the infield and can also be a great resource for our younger players, such as Masyn Winn.”

In 13 seasons, Crawford hit a slash line of .250/.319/.396 with 146 home runs and 744 RBI over 1,655 games played with the Giants. His 1,655 games with the Giants are good enough to be ranked in the Giants top ten in team history. Even then, it’s the most games played for an active shortstop in Major League Baseball. His played an MVP-caliber season in 2021 and finished 4th in voting after hitting .298 with 24 home runs and driving in 90 RBI. Crawford has played in 43 postseason games.

In signing Crawford, one can see the Cardinals occasionally starting the veteran shortstop by giving their 21-year old shortstop the day off. The 2020 draft pick entered Spring Training with plans of auditioning to be the team’s Opening Day starter and that could very well be the case. The signing of Crawford does not appear to be throwing a curveball in those plans because the team is all in on Winn. It would not be a surprise if the team were to end up alternating between the right-handed Winn and the left-handed Crawford, depending on what type of pitching they are facing. Crawford has 12 consecutive Opening Day starts under his belt with the Giants. Whether he ends up making a 13th consecutive start when the Cardinals face the Los Angeles Dodgers remains to be seen.

The 2023 season was something of a down year for Crawford as he only played in 94 games during the season. But even then, he hit the ball well with runners in scoring position, accounting for 33 of his 38 RBI.

In signing with the Cardinals, Crawford is also reuniting with a pair of teammates from the 2017 World Baseball Classic as Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt also took home a Gold Medal for Team USA.


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