The 2020 MLB season is looking less likely by the day, and there is a growing belief that the owners' proposal of 50 games with prorated salaries will end up being ratified, much to the chagrin of players across the league. With several St. Louis Cardinals on the verge of big paydays, it's time to consider sitting the year out if it ends up so drastically shortened. With so much on the line, this trio should leave nothing up to chance.
3. RP Jordan Hicks
Hicks has star written all over him, as the 23-year-old closer regularly exceeds 103 miles per hour on the radar gun. Unfortunately, Hicks' hard throwing style got the better of him last year, as he is still in the middle of Tommy John surgery recovery. Playing in 2020 was unlikely before the pandemic hit, and rushing him back for just a handful of games this year could risk ruining his pro career. Let him spend 2020 on the sidelines so the triple-digit flamethrower returns at full strength in 2021.
2. 2B Kolten Wong
The Redbirds will need to make a decision on Wong, who is a free agent at the conclusion of the 2020 season. Long thought of as a solid defender first and foremost, Wong set a new career high in batting average in 2019 while reaching double-digit home runs for the first time since 2015 and earning himself a Gold Glove. Riding directly on the coattails of that tremendous 2019 season is a much better way for Wong to secure the bag as a free agent compared to playing for 50 measly games that could damage his value.
1. 1B Paul Goldschmidt
Goldschmidt signed a five-year, $130 million contract with the Cardinals following his trade from the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was scheduled to make around $26 million during the 2020 season, but 50 prorated games would only land him just north of $8 million. There is not much that Goldy can gain financially from playing in this shortened season, as he already secured himself a contract that will pay him until 2024. The best course of action is sitting this year out and starting up again in 2021. If nothing else, it sends a message that the players won't be forced to go quietly if the league and its owners try to strongarm them.