That ended up being the case, as both Jackson and Dotel played key roles in leading the franchise to a world championship. And as things played out, that's not the only legacy both left behind when signing elsewhere over the winter.
The departures of Jackson and Dotel gave the Cardinals a pair of extra compensation Draft selections, which were used to take college third baseman Patrick Wisdom and high school catcher Steve Bean with the 52nd and 59th overall picks. Those came in the supplemental round of the First-Year Player Draft on Monday.
The decision to take Wisdom, 20, as high as the Cardinals did was a reflection of perceived upside, not 2012 performance. After hitting .351 and earning a place on the All-West Coast Conference First Team as a sophomore, Wisdom's production took a dip this spring at St. Mary's College.
As a junior, Wisdom batted just .262 with 12 doubles and nine home runs in 53 games. In 191 at-bats, he struck out 43 times.
"On the surface, Wisdom's numbers were a little down this year," scouting director Dan Kantrovitz said. "If you look at his entire body of work, it's pretty impressive."
That whole body of work would include Wisdom's tenure playing in the Alaska Summer League, where he twice led the league in home runs. His 29 career homers ranks him third on St. Mary's all-time list.
The Cardinals are also comfortable with Wisdom's defensive ability. They project him as an above-average defender at third.
Though this was a Draft deep with high school talent, it wasn't until the Cardinals took Bean with their final pick on Monday that they strayed away from college players. Asked about that propensity to lean toward college picks, Kantrovitz said simply: "They were the best guys available when we picked."
A catcher out of Rockwall High School (Texas), Bean will have to be lured away from an awaiting baseball scholarship at the University of Texas if the Cardinals want to get him into the system.
Scouting reports list Bean as a player who will likely develop more power, as well as one who already has impressive defensive skills. He bats left-handed and throws from the right side.
In his senior season at Rockwall, Bean batted .427 with four home runs and 32 RBIs.
Both have until 11 p.m. CT on July 13 to agree to terms with the organization. The recommended slot signing bonuses for the two are $969,700 and $870,600, respectively.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.