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Prepare for the What If?

Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.com

It has arrived, it being the long awaited 2019 Free Agent signing period. You would have to be a Cardinal fan living under a rock, in a windowless box, or off the power grid without an antenna to not be aware of the potential names out there that would be a fit for the Cardinals in 2019. Every Cardinal fan wants something: Machado (yep I am still on that train even with all the bad publicity lately), Or Harper, or Donaldson, or Kuechel, or Kimbrel, or maybe even Kershaw opts out and makes himself available, that would be 3 great K’s to have on a pitching staff.

Let’s not forget Moose, and Corbin, or Andrew Miller, or Joe Kelly, David Freese, and Adam Ottavino (there I said it with the last 3). How about Pollock, CarGo, McCutcheon, Dozier, Lemahieu, Galvis, or Asdubal Cabrera. And just for good measure let’s sign Ankiel and Rosenthal both. I see now why it is so hard to keep Cardinal fans happy.

What if? What if none of the above comes true? Yes there are fans out there that want none of it to happen and rely totally on the farm system. Listening to MOspeak, or the sMOkesignals, clues me in on a couple of things. "When you talk about key names, these aren't one-year solutions," Mozeliak noted. "We understand that there is opportunity in this market, and we have to be open-minded to see where that takes us," Mozeliak said. "We have a collection of really good players, but you've got to find a way to improve upon that. … And maybe the way to answer your question is we may have to take some risk" "These are sort of long-term bets. I feel like a lot of times when you have these types of roundtables where we're talking, everybody is solely focused on next season and how that's going to impact the organization. But a lot of these types of opportunities are seven, eight, nine, 10 years down the road. That's something that, when you sit in my seat, you have to be pragmatic and understand what that might look like." When he says we have to take on some risk, that does not sound like a $350 million contract to me. Sounds more like an $8 million guy for a couple of years. Maybe that Tyler O’Neill kid can really hit 30 HR a year for a whole lot cheaper than Harper.

What if? What if we don’t get the coveted bullpen lefty guy that will be our World series savior. Cecil, Lyons, Shreve, Webb, Sherriff, Duke, Siegrist, Choate (who?) Yep Randy Choate 2013-2015 196 appearances out of the pen in 3 seasons. Not that all those guys were terrible but 0-8 trying to find a LOOGY leads me to believe we wont spend another $15-20 million to go 1 for 9. Maybe we already have that guy in Austin Gomber or Genesis Cabrera, or Evan Kruczynski.

What if? What if we are patiently waiting for the 2020 Free agent class. Maybe the Cardinals buy out Carpenter and Gyorko contracts in 2020 and spend the money on Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt instead. I for one might be okay with that if we stay status quo in 2019 if those two were really the targets we sign.

What if? What if we have to replace Yadi in 2021? Oh wait we probably do have to replace him in 2021 after his contract expires in 2020. If Carson Kelly and Andrew Knizner do not pan out maybe we have to think about spending money on JT Realmuto. Pssst: Mike Trout is a FA in 2021 as well. I wonder how much he will cost then.

Easy to see the dilemma now that the front office faces. We have the money but What if? What if you spend it unwisely? You might not get a second chance to spend it unwisely for a long time.

What if? What if 2019 leaves Mo scratching his head again?

Thanks for reading and I also update our minor league players progress in the Fall and Winter leagues at St. Louis Cardinal Minor League Spotlight on Facebook and share on the Cardinal Nation 24/7 page and Cardinals Nation group as well

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