The MLB is currently in a lockout that shows no current signs of ending anytime soon, despite a glimmer of hope recently. Even still, rumors are still swirling around the hot stove, particularly concerning St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jack Flaherty. Flaherty isn't due to be eligible for free agency until after the 2023 season, though it would make sense for St. Louis to lock him in with a new contract extension before that time arrives. However, according to a recent rumor, there's a reason why Flaherty isn't likely to sign the extension with the Cardinals this offseason, besides the obvious lockout reason. Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and MLB Trade Rumors detail why.

Jack Flaherty is scheduled for free agency following the 2023 season, but even with the Cardinals’ team control winding down, Ben Frederickson of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch figures the club will wait until next spring to really delve into extension talks. After a big 2019 season, Flaherty ran into some struggles in the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, and then tossed only 78 1/3 innings last year due to oblique and shoulder injuries. Since any Cards extension offer in the near future is likely to be tempered by this recent track record, Flaherty himself would probably prefer to re-establish his value with a healthy and productive 2022 season before committing to a longer-term deal.

Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty is coming off an injury-riddled campaign that saw him pitch just 78 1/3 innings due to oblique and shoulder injuries. For the Cardinals sake, it probably makes sense to have contract extension talks sooner rather than later while the hurler's value isn't as high.

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Which is precisely why, according to the Cardinals rumors, Flaherty would prefer to wait on contract extension talks. The right-hander is still just a few seasons removed from a standout 2019 campaign, where he pitched to a 2.75 ERA in 196 1/3 innings with 231 strikeouts.

If Jack Flaherty can put together another season like that, then extension talks with the Cardinals will likely heat up.