St. Louis Cardinals State Of The Union For 2016
Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead Analyst) Follow @chuckbooth3024
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The Cardinals continue to be the model franchise in the Major Leagues. With 9 NLCS births since 2000, this club has thrived with rolling over the roster, and not making mistakes on the Free Agency watch.
2016 shouldn’t be any different for competing for a playoff spot. St. Louis won 100 games in 2015 – and may top the century mark in 2016 again. Crazily enough though it might not be enough for a Division win.
I think I can safely say the Cards and the Cubs are the two best all around teams in the big leagues right now.
I am still giving the nod to Chicago as the favorite right now, but that may change with some winter alterations.
Word has come down that Matt Holliday has been taking reps at 1B this offseasons. If he were able to convert that to his positional arsenal for the next few years, than that would free up Matt Adams to be traded.
Kolten Wong could also be traded if need be. Although losing Gyorko’s ability to cover SS/3B and 2B would be a tough idea. They would have to acquire a stalwart player in return for Wong’s services.
John Mozeliak doesn’t have to worry about losing anyone even into the 2017 winter as well, as only 1B/OF Brandon Moss is listed as a Free Agent. Moss could also be dealt to a team that needs a quality 1B bat.
Matt Adams is projected to earn only $1.5 MIL in 1st year Arbitration, as oppose to Moss’s projected salary of nearly $8 MIL in 2016, so he would be the cheaper player to hang onto. I also don’t see much of a difference between the two right now.
St. Louis was said to be in the Chris Davis sweepstakes, however if Baltimore has offered the big 1B a 7 YRs/$150 MIL it would be ludicrous for the team to enter that bidding war.
The Cards are already nearing around $133 MIL in projected salary. They may have room for one more decent contract to go with.
Michael Wacha asserted himself as a legitimate top end of the rotation chucker in 2015.
Carlos Martinez also finally lived up to his prospect billing, as he went 14 – 7, with a 3.01 ERA in 2015, lugging 29 starts and close to 180 Innings.
Jaime Garcia rallied from a couple of injury riddled years, to post a 10 – 6 record, with a 2.43 ERA spanning 20 Starts.
Tyler Lyons and Marco Gonzalez should battle for the #5 starter.
I also think with Wainwright, you never know about his health either.
St. Louis may also seek a Starter via trade. I would not be surprised if they orchestrated a deal for one of the Rays Pitchers (like Jake Odorizzi), and offering a player back in return like a Tommy Pham or Matt Adams.
The Outfield should be set with Stephen Piscotty and Randall Grichuk nailing down everyday slots after breaking out in 2015. Moss could be the other OF if Holliday goes to the Infield at 1B. Pham is a great backup option.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cards go after another OF on the Free Agent Market either. Don’t look for them to overpay, and they certainly could ride out the winter until some of the guys have their price dropped. I am not sure they would go for any of the premiere guys either.
Lord knows Tampa could use a DH like Adams right now. Pham has also played Shortstop in his career, and may be a great backup plan for a player like Brad Miller.
As the club sits right now, their bench is strong. Pham, Adams, Gyorko and Brayan Pena have all had success at the Major Leagues before.
St. Louis was also smart enough to bolster its Relief Core again by adding Jonathan Broxton back. Trevor Rosenthal, Kevin Siegrist, Seth Maness and Jordan Walden all have plenty of experience out of the Bullpen.
All of the Bullpen guys are right handed and so that may factor on Mozeliak trading for a guy. Again, going back to a potential for a deal with Tampa Bay makes sense for a setup man like Jake McGee.
For remaining Lefties in Free Agency, there is: Jeremy Affeldt, Matt Thornton, Randy Choate, Buddy Carlyle and Ross Detwiler all on the open market. Perhaps only Affeldt and Thornton would come close to what the squad needs in 2016.
Choate did appear in 71 games during the 2015 season, although incredibly he only pitched 27.1 Innings – and faced 117 hitters, That is just over a batter and a half per inning.
Whomever the Cards decide to rely on – or trade for, they are looking to upgrade an already stellar team that is coming back for the 2016 season.
This squad should be in the playoff mix for a 6th straight year -with another 90+ win campaign. Whether or not they have enough to win it all could depend on what happens the next 8 months.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
I am happy to be back at the helm of the MLB Reports, after completing my record 224 Games in the MLB Trip in 2015. It was the 4th time I have seen all 30 MLB Parks since 2008.
During that time away I was fortunate to do 100 Media Interviews and be named the Baseball Blogger Alliance President.
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Posted on December 23, 2015, in MLB Teams State Of The Unions and tagged 2016 St. Louis Cardinals Roster, albert pujols, brad miller, brandon moss, brayan pena, Buddy Carlyle, busch stadium, chicago cubs, chris davis, chris sale, cincinnati reds, doug fister, Jaime Garcia, jake odorizzi, jason heyward, jedd gyorko, Jeremy Affeldt, john lackey, jon jay, jonathan broxton, jordan walden, jose fernandez, kevin siegrist, kolten wong, lance lynn, Louis, Matt Adams, matt holliday, Matt Thornton, michael wacha, Mike Leake, NL Central, Randall Grichuk, randy choate, ross detwiler, sonny gray, St, st louis cardinals, St. Louis Cardinals Payroll in 2016, Stephen Piscotty, Tommy Pham, trevor rosenthal, tyler lyons. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.