I want to start this article by saying I have complete faith in the front office, going into the offseason, that they will take this very mediocre Cardinals roster and make it a contender in the National League. I know this season they left room for doubt by not making a move for a big bat at the deadline but if you dig deep Mo and Girsch did restructure this roster for the better.
They added a wealth of talent to this roster through Memphis, through the likes of Paul DeJong, Tommy Pham, Jose Martinez, and John Brebbia. DeJong currently paces this team in homeruns with 24 and he is fourth on the team in WAR (Wins above of replacement). Tommy Pham has been arguably the best player on this Cardinals team in this 2017 season. Tommy’s slash line is .308/.408/.522 (Batting Average/OBP/SLG) and he leads the team and is currently ranked 7th in the National League in WAR at 5.9. Jose has been a pleasant surprise in the lineup providing a spark that they have needed to keep this team in contention and Brebbia has been a workhorse in the bullpen with a 2.25 ERA, 47 SO, and a 0.917 WHIP.
Also if you look at past off-seasons the Cardinals have already made it a priority to upgrade their roster. After 2016, a lot of the talk was about how this team lacked speed, athleticism, and leadoff hitter. What did Mo do? He went out and got Dexter Fowler. In my personal opinion, I think Dexter has been great asset to this team in 2017. He brings a solid bat and good glove to the table. Another thing he also has is a big personality, which helps bring a little spice to what is a kind of bland team.
Lets take a look at 3 possible signings:
Problem: Big Bat in the lineup
Possible Free Agent Solution: JD Martinez
JD would be great fit for this team, he has the power bat that would slide nicely into the 3 hole in this Cardinals lineup. The only problem is he would join what is already crowded out field with Fowler, Pham, Piscotty, Grichuck, Bader, O’Neill. I think if the front office does decide to sign Martinez, they could look to move 1 or 2 of these other outfielders to fix another issue on this Cardinals team.
Problem: Bullpen Arm
Possible Free Agent Solution: Addison Reed
Reed was traded from the Mets to the Red Sox to help a struggling Boston bullpen. Since joining the Beantown club, he posted a 3.75 ERA, 28 SO, and a 0.875 WHIP. He was in the closer role during his time with the Mets but has been used more a setup guy in Boston, either way I can see him helping out this Cardinals bullpen in either role.
Problem: Defensive Shortstop
Possible Free Agent Solution: Zack Cozart
I know what you are all thinking, we have Paul DeJong, why do we need another shortstop. Here me out as I play couch GM and Manager. I love DeJong and think he is going to be solid player in the future, but I think defensively he would be better served playing at third base. A guy like Cozart is not going to bring much to your lineup offensively (even though he is hitting .302 this year) but defensively he is a stud. Cozart currently ranks third among shortstops in defensive runs saved. He would tremendously help out the pitching staff and bring that defensive prowess to a team that is lacking heavily in that area.
These are just some of the possibilities from the free agent market that the Cardinals can explore. They could look to move a young outfielder or pitching prospect in a trade, you never know. Again I have full faith the Cardinals will make significant roster changes this offseason and will be a contender in the National League.
Thanks for your time…..