The rush to assume this says anything about how Flaherty and the Cardinals are going to handle his long-term future is one I would not join.
I repeat: He is not a free agent until 2024.
There will be a lot of conversations and chances to revisit plans before he departs via free agency.
Flaherty won a round.
Maybe he really is determined to get to free agency as soon as possible.
Maybe he's not.
Maybe he feels that way now and changes his mind.
Assuming the tone of the conversation as it stands before spring training in 2021 is going to define the relationship forever? No thanks.
I don't think the Cardinals should have taken Flaherty to arbitration over $250k, but they did. I imagine there is an extension offer they could pitch him at some point before free agency that makes him forget the slight. First he has to pitch well enough again to push that envelope. He was not the Cardinals' best pitcher last season.