• Chris Lollis

St. Louis Cardinals: What Off-Season Moves Will Suffice?

John Mozeliak photo credit Scott Rovak (USA TODAY Sports)

Yesterday’s news of Josh Donaldson taking a 1-year $23M deal from the Atlanta Braves sent some Cardinal fans into an uproar on social media. While it’s a given that St. Louis is in need of both a 3-hole hitter & looking to upgrade at third base, Donaldson was never brought up as a “Plan A” for the club.

Of course John Mozeliak and company are catching hell from fans who are eager for the front office to make a splash this off-season. The numerous rumors linking them to Andrew Miller, Mike Moustakas & Michael Brantley have Cardinal fans wanting “better”, and even when a proven commodity in Paul Goldschmidt gets mentioned, they immediately voice their displeasure with it being a one-year deal and shifting Matt Carpenter to third.

So what is it that will suffice Cardinals Nation?

It’s almost a Bryce Harper or bust mentality for many. Even a stud like Manny Machado has turned off many Cardinal fans with his postseason antics & “dirty plays”.

Personally, I too would like to see St. Louis as players for either of the top two free-agents. In saying that, I have also been adamant in saying the Cardinals can’t just put all of their eggs in one basket and hope for the best. They have to look at other options and explore team needs and the risk/reward that each might entail.

The GM Winter Meetings are right around the corner, and I expect that some moves will start happening. Will it be moves that Cardinal fans consider “sexy” or “game-changing”? I have my doubts. Primarily because of the reason mentioned above that most are clamoring for Harper and anything else would be considered a front office failure.

Via free agency, I can see players like Zach Britton and Andrew Miller being the left-handed bullpen options as points of focus. For me, Britton would be more ideal with Miller coming off his worst MLB season, but I do think both will be seriously looked at by St. Louis.

The recent rumor linking Mike Moustakas as a third basemen the Cardinals may be looking at, could be a fit. However, Moustakas in my opinion, is a step up from Jedd Gyorko, but not enough of an impact piece that he alone would put the team over the top. A lefty bat that does have some pop and plays decent defense, shouldn’t be completely discounted because of his career .251 avg.

If the Cardinals went the route of trade with Seattle, they could ask for Kyle Seager. But again, that lefty power bat brings with him a career .258 avg. despite 7 straight seasons of 20+ HR. He’s also going to cost players to obtain, and has a contract through at least 2021 that might be similar to Moustakas’ asking price.

Jean Segura would be another player to consider. Being a shortstop, his speed and batting avg. are both attractive. But does St. Louis feel comfortable moving Paul DeJong to third base to make this play? Does that make more sense than trying for a Paul Goldschmidt? What players would it take to acquire him?

The Michael Brantley, Jed Lowrie type players aren’t moves that would likely get many fans excited here in St. Louis. Regardless of the social media bickering, I think many Cardinal fans could get behind the bigger name signs/trades, primarily because they would see it as the front office doing “something”.

With that said, there will be those that will find something wrong with any move the St. Louis Cardinals attempt and/or pull off this off-season. It’s not a jab at all of Cardinals Nation, but there is some truth in that.

Here’s to hoping whoever the Cardinals land, at least gets some respect and warm welcome from the fan base, and not just greeted with hearing shots at the front office with a “Why the hell did we get this guy?”.

You’re better than that, St. Louis.

Thanks for Reading.

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