The “what” is the simple part … it’s the “how” that gets complicated.What the Cardinals
and their fans desire is a go back to the playoffs.How they get there is the part that takes
effort from Costs DeWitt Jr., John Mozeliak and Michael Girsch.Let’s begin by looking at what the Cardinals most significant offseason concerns are:1)A huge bat.The Dude. The Man. A Superstar. Call it what you want … the Cardinals require somebody to
support the middle of the order. They need a legitimate 3-hole hitter.2)A dominant lefty for the bullpen.It would be great to have a lefty who can get left handed players out, would not it? 3)Much more bullpen
depth.I’m okay with a few of the young possible beginners operating in the bullpen next season however they’ll require another arm on top of the previously mentioned lefty.
Generally, they need another Bud Norris.It’s not a long list however the components on it are exceptionally essential. The nice aspect of 2018 is that the Cards found out that they have some actually good pieces to construct around. Those pieces are mostly inexpensive and under team control for numerous years which means the Cards are effectively placed to spend some money.The Cardinals spent more than$163 million on payroll in 2018 (according to Spotrac.com)and as of now they have almost$101 million devoted for 2019. Marcell Ozuna, Michael Wacha, Greg Garcia, Tyler Lyons, Dominic Leone, Chasen Shreve, and Matt Bowman are arbitration eligible so that$
101 million will have plenty contributed to it. The Cardinals will certainly be keeping Ozuna, Wacha and Leone but the others might all be non-tendered if agreement arrangements can be reached without a hearing. Ozuna was$9 million this year, Wacha was $5 million and Leone was$1 million. That$15 million for those three will most likely jump to $20-25 million in 2019. Still, that leaves $37-42 million in payroll space.It’s also crucial to bear in mind that the Cardinals do not have any substantial long-term commitments. They only have about$44 million presently committed to the 2021 roster. Molina is up after two more years. Is Carpenter(in fact there is a team choice for 2020 so they’re just bound for one more year).
Wong only has two more surefire years. Gyorko has one more guaranteed year. Fowler has actually 3 years left at$16.5 million per. Basically, the Cardinals have sufficient loan coming off the books over the next two years( and they have a great deal of young gamers to fill spots progressing )that they will not have to fret about being hamstrung even if they offer a beast long-term offer this offseason.Now that we have actually developed what they require to do and how they can afford it, let’s talk about who they can target and how they can go about getting them.The Big Bat This isn’t a situation where some limited or good gamer being available in will be excellent enough. They require”The Guy, “a genuine # 3 hitter to stabilize the lineup. In free agency you have Bryce Harper and Manny Machado as the certainties, the rockstars
in their prime. You have Josh Donaldson, a year gotten rid of from a. 944 OPS but a man who just missed out on most of his age 32 season. They’re the finest FA
alternatives. After them the photo is a little less clear. A.J. Pollock is a great gamer however injury susceptible and utilized to playing CF– the Cards would have to encourage him to transfer to RF and even then you have the Dexter Fowler Issue. They could look at Brian Dozier but they ‘d require to move him to 3B, an unfamiliar position, and he’s coming off a down year. Mike Moustakas will be out there but I’m unsure he’s much of an upgrade over Gyorko. Michael Brantley is an excellent player but he’s restricted to LF and is injury susceptible. Carlos Gonzalez can play RF however his numbers outside of Coors have never been great and he’s 33. Andrew McCutchen will be out there however he’s not the hitter he utilized to be. Very same chooses Adam Jones, really.The bottom line is easy: Harper and Machado are the people who certainly fit what the team requires and Donaldson is the only other one even close.The trade market won’t exactly be filled with fantastic options. It is difficult to find a player of the caliber the Cardinals need on a team that would be prepared to deal him. For instance, the Rockies just made the playoffs for the second straight year so what is their inspiration to trade Nolan Arenado?Here are a couple of names that might be readily available on the trade market
who could fit the Cardinals needs: Jose Abreu, CHW– He ‘d in theory be available but the White Sox are planning on turning the corner soon and appear to like him, plus he’s not a protective suitable for the Cards.Robinson Cano, SEA– You ‘d need to move him to 1B or 3B, which is not perfect, and the Mariners would have to consume a lot of the cash(or perhaps take Fowler in return?). Nick Castellanos, DET– Not good enough for what the Cardinals need and a defensive liability no matter where you play him.Paul Goldschmidt
, ARZ– Appears more most likely to me that they ‘d pack up to make one more run with him however if Pollock goes maybe they think about kicking
off a re-tool. Andrelton Simmons, LAA– I do not believe the Angels trade him however he ‘d be a man to go after hard. He’s been a strong hitter the last couple of years and he’s the best protective SS in the video game.
If Machado and Harper aren’t possible he ‘d be next on my target list with the idea that Paul DeJong would move over to 3B. Mike Trout, LAA– LOL … I understand, I know.Joey Votto, CIN– LOL. Not happening.Barring some unusual stuff playing out somewhere that’s about it. The other gamers who fit the 3-hole player description just aren’t going to be available.
They’re gon na have to invest in an FA. (BTW, my cash is on the Cards landing Josh Donaldson on a 3-4 year deal.)The Dominant Lefty Zach Britton and Andrew Miller are both FA and they ‘d be great … but they both had health issues in 2018 and they’ll remain in the market for significant agreements. Still, they’re dominant pitchers when healthy and these guys are what you require. The competition will be significant but the Cardinals have the edge of using either of them the closer’s role with Hicks acting as a setup male. Still, that kind of defeats
the whole”dominant lefty”thing due to the fact that if they’re closing they‘ll primarily pitch in the 9th. If either is open
to the function Miller had in Cleveland that would be perfect. Sean Doolittle might be a complimentary agent if the Nationals decide not to select up a$6 million group choice on him but I don’t see how they ‘d
let him walk at that sort of bargain price, they’ll keep him.Sorting through trade possibilities for LH
relievers is damn near impossible. There are
a lot of them and their accessibility is challenging to assess.Let’s assume the Cardinals are opting for the same roster construction they did in 2018– 8 position gamers, 4 bench players, 5 starters and 8 relievers. There are three relievers on the present roster that I ‘d certainly desire back.Jordan Hicks Dominic Leone John Brebbia So that leaves 5 more areas and I want 2 of them to be lefties. In all sincerity, I wouldn’t restore any of the existing lefties. They’re not trustworthy enough for what this group needs so I ‘d proceed from Brett Cecil, Tyler Webb and probably Shreve too( particularly because he’s due a little bit of a raise in arbitration). If you can bring Tyler Lyons back as a non-roster invite to see if he’s healthy that’s fine however you can’t count on him. Here’s what I wish to see on the LH side.FREE AGENT/TRADE ACQUISITION(needs to be a significant player)Genesis Cabrera would need to earn his area, no doubt, however he’s a lefty that tosses 95+Miles Per Hour as a starter. He could be remarkable as a reliever. With the SP depth the Cardinals have in the Majors and at the upper levels of the minors there is no requirement for Cabrera to start in 2019. He might be a major weapon in the pen.FREE AGENT/TRADE ACQUISITION(RH)This can be a Bud Norris-like deal. Short term, low wage flier on a guy with
this area. May even be an area for Adam Wainwright.IN-HOUSE PROSPECT INTERNAL CANDIDATE Plenty to select from here: Mike Mayers, Giovanny Gallegos or any of the prospective starters who don’t make the rotation (Luke Weaver, Dakota Hudson, John Gant, Daniel Poncedeleon, Austin Gomber ). These 2 spots can be righties or lefties, in either case is great. Since there will probably only be one rotation area offered(after Carlos Martinez, Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas and Michael Wacha)there should be a lot of prospects for these 2
- spots.Conclusion None of this will be simple. It will be tough to hire significant free agents and it will cost a lot of
loan. That said, the time for persistence is over. The National League is very competitive heading into 2019-2020 and hoping for 90 wins is bad enough.The Cubs aren’t going anywhere. They have a strong core, a terrific front office and heaps of money.The Makers are here for a bit too. They have a strong core, a strong farm system and adequate cash to maintain
- years in a row.The Diamondbacks are still competitive.The Phillies have a good core and they’re expected to spend whatever it requires to land Machado or Harper. They have LOADS of money complimentary to spend.If the Cardinals are going to maximize their chances at making the playoffs in 2019 they’ve got some work to do.The post How to Make the ’19 Cardinals a Playoff Group in an Ultra-Competitive NL appeared first on 101Sports. com.