It’s official, #Stanton2STL is not going to happen. To put it bluntly, THIS SUCKS!!!!! Once again the Cardinals come in second place (kind of…) when trying to acquire the marquee player of the offseason. Stanton was the one player that we could add to this roster and the Cardinals would become an instant World Series contender. It was quick fix to what is a poorly constructed roster.
I do give the front office credit though they went all in to get the top player available this offseason. I think Girsch and Mo are learning from their mistakes from last year in which they sat still and this team was exposed over 162 for what they really were, mediocre.
Now we are back to square one of the off-season. So where do we go from here? There are few players that the Cardinals have already been linked to in this Hot Stove Period, such as JD Martinez, Josh Donaldson, Evan Longoria, Chris Archer, Alex Colome, as well as many others.
The same issues still remain, we need to add a big bat to this lineup, sure up the bullpen, and add a starting pitcher. We have sort of done the last item but I don’t think signing a guy spent his past three seasons in Japan is a marquee move that solidifies the rotation.
As far as the power hitter goes here are some of the Cardinals options:
I know I have stated in previous articles that I really like JD in a Cardinals uniform, but now that Martinez and Boris have announced the kind of numbers they will be asking for in his upcoming contract (8 years/ 200 million), I really do not believe he is worth that kind of money, especially since he is one the wrong side of 30 and most MLB players these day start to decline around 33-34. That means you’re getting production from JD for half of his contract. But on the other hand if you look at JD’s numbers compared to Stanton’s in 2017, JD beats him in most categories.
Stats from 2015-2017
- PA: 1434
- AVG: .263
- OBP: .354
- SLG: .580
- wRC+: 143
- PA: 1631
- AVG: .293
- OBP: .361
- SLG: .573
- wRC+: 145
There has also been talks thrown out that the Cardinals weren’t just talking to the Marlins about Stanton. They were in discussions about all three outfielders, including both Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna. Personally, I would take either players in the Redbirds roster right now. They both have their upsides and I think getting either off these guys would be the second-best option behind what could’ve been with Stanton. They are both young, will be entering their prime in the coming years and both seem to only be rising in production.
Ozuna may be the best option out of the two. He quietly had a great year last year, its just that he was in the same lineup as the NL MVP, so he was overlooked. His slash line (AVG/OBP/SLG) was .312/.376/.548. Those numbers would rank him in the top 2 of each category if he were in the Cardinals lineup last season. Now that’s a guy I can get behind.
The Cardinals have also been linked to Eric Hosmer. I think Hosmer gives you a lock down guy at first, a man you pencil in every day in the three hole of your lineup. In 2017, the 28-year-old hit for .318, slugged .498, and drove in 94 runs. Baseball Reference has come out with his projections for 2018 and they have him hitting 22 HRs, driving in 87 RBIs, with an OPS of .825. Which are numbers that this lineup needs.
There have been other names thrown around like Josh Donaldson, Evan Longoria, or the long shot possibility of Manny Machado. At this point, I really don’t care who the Cardinals get. Sure, some options are better than others but as long as they are trying to build up this roster I am fine with that.
On the other hand, The Cardinals really need to make moves this offseason to get back into contention or it is going to be another long 162. As I have stated before, and will continue to repeat until they show me otherwise, I still have trust in this front office that they can get things done.