Looking at the Needs for Cardinals in 2019
The most pressing need for position players (some disagree) is a solid lefthanded bat. Currently, Carpenter is a lefty bat along with Wong and that is it except Dexter Fowler is a switch hitter. Therefore, the need for Fowler is there on the bench. That brings us to signing Bryce Harper. Let’s make one thing clear right now and that is the fact that NO ONE else has signed him. Therefore, the Cardinals still have a chance.
One plus item for Harper is he will be a hero in St. Louis. The fans love their players and worship their stars. He would replace Albert Pujols as the most revered player in the last 25 years. The contract can be done but there are some restrictions to inking him which include the length of a contract. If the team could/would include some opt-out language in a contract, they may have something. If he is allowed to leave after three years at the age of 29 years of age, he could top the baseball world in a contract including Mike Trout. Possibly another chance to get out by either party after six years.
St. Louis Post Dispatch beat writer Ben Fredrickson with the Cardinals tells us that the Cardinals are still in on Bryce Harper in a limited way. The team is in IF the contract demands are reduced in years included. Of course, so are the Yankees.
ESPN tells their readers that Harper wants to be a Dodger player in a bad way. But one of the sticking points is the length of the contract. One advantage to him going to LA for Harper is it is relatively close to his hometown of Las Vegas. The MLB Network on Sirius XM radio conducted a discussion of whether you would want Machado or Harper for the long term.
The Cardinals can do this signing!!!
According to Sportsbettingdime.com:
Paul Goldschmidt may not be the team’s last big addition this offseason. The team is a quiet contender for Bryce Harper, sitting at +1200 in the latest MLB free-agent odds and they also have the payroll flexibility to make a competitive offer for Harper so don’t be surprise if Harper signs with the Cardinals.
There are other needs in St. Louis. After the signing Harper as the lefthanded bat and right field, then the team needs a lefty reliever and/or closer. The media is keeping fans in the loop on the prospect of them handing a contract to Zach Britton. Redbird Rants gives some reasons why this makes sense to complete. Another name being leaked with a lefthanded pitching glove is Will Smith. Here is the latest on the Cardinal interest in Smith from Rotoworld.
A new idea has emerged out of the pen as lefthanded Genesis Cabrera who has been getting relief time in the Dominican League this winter. Here is what is being said at MLB Cardinals Website:
Genesis Cabrera, LHP, Cardinals’ No. 13 — Cabrera has been a bullpen force so far in the DWL and has now compiled seven scoreless innings, during which he’s permitted two hits with 14 strikeouts, over his last 10 appearances. Altogether, the 22-year-old left-hander — acquired from Tampa Bay last July in the Tommy Pham trade — has pitched to a 1.26 ERA and .152 BAA with 21/2 K/BB in 14 1/3 frames (20 appearances) for Tigres del Licey.
The starting corps for the St. Louis Cardinals appears to be set but there are concerns about including Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha who both come back from issues last season. The starters are led by Miles Mikolas and Carlos Martinez (unless he is inserted as the closer) along with Jack Flaherty and John Gant. The wildcard in all of this is Alex Reyes and his return from a second straight year of injuries. If he is healthy and back to 2016 form, the Cardinals are in good shape.
The infield is likely set with Paul Goldschmidt solid at first and Kolten Wong getting the confidence of manager Mike Shildt at second base. Imagine how few balls will et through the right side of the infield. Paul DeJong anchors shortstop and now Matt Carpenter shifts to third base. The backups include Yairo Munoz and Jedd Gyorko but look for one more infielder added in the mix.
Back to the outfield, we find Harrison Bader sitting in centerfield and covering as much ground as he can. He is flanked by Marcell Ozuna in left field. The question mark will be the arm strength from Ozuna. If it doesn’t improve the Cardinals are in trouble in the field and at bat. If needed but certainly not the same quality as Ozuna is Tyler O’Neill can fill in at each of the outfield spots.
Catching just needs a decent backup for Yadier Molina.
Those things are doable but the “modus operandi” of the Cardinals front office is to sign one need and be done. That won’t work. Time to sign Bryce Harper for 8-9 years and the chances of postseason jump dramatically.
Just a reminder. The Cardinals core players, the ones they are counting on, are aging and not much has been done to replace that.