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To Harper or Not to Harper with $350M

Photo credit of USATSI

The winter meetings are over and the top 2 2019 Free Agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain unsigned. My feeling was that Machado was the better fit for the Cardinals, but he became tainted and the Cardinal's saw better and traded for Goldscmidt. Bravo to Mo and company for accomplishing what might be one of the best trades in history.

I believe we could all agree that the Cardinal's have the money to make another huge deal(I calculate $350-$400M over ten years).I want them to spend it. After all Goldschmidt only takes up $14.5M of that in 2019. What can the Cardinals do moving forward?

For the get Harper now crowd, I just do not believe it would be a wise move at this point, even though the rumors indicate that we might still be lurking around the edges hoping that his price ,which I believe is $350M, comes down. Maybe that is the reason Boras is out barking about the Cardinal's still being interested(trying to artificially drive his price up). That being said if the Cardinals do decide to make that move, for what could realistically be called the face of the franchise for the next ten years, I am all aboard that train. But lets look at some other ways to spend that money.

Bullpen: still in search of the LH shutdown reliever Zach Britton 3 years/ $26M or how about Andrew Miller 3 years /$55 million. Britton would be my option if we are going to buy something. I think we may already have that LH guy in Genesis Cabrera. Need a closer? Kimbrel is around 5 years and $80M, I dont think we do that but could. besides that we have Hicks and Reyes that could fill that role as well.

Some of this money has to be used to get Goldy to resign. He is projected at 6 years and $164M. That would put him at 37 end of contract with an average value of around $27M.

The other huge prize in 2020 pictured above is Nolan Arenado. He hits FA in 2020, and projected as 8years/$240m. Can we sign Arenado and resign Goldy both? Perhaps not but a Harper signing would make that a big no. Carp is FA in 2021 at age of 35, will Gorman or Montero be ready by then if we dont buy Arenado?

Let us not forget Ozuna, 5 years and $98M in 2020 FA. We have some internal OF options in Oneill, Adolis Garcia, Lane Thomas, that may replace him when the time comes. SP begins to get more expensive in 2020. A healthy productive Wacha may command $15M/ year. A repeat performance by Mikolas probably earns him $20M/ year. Rick Porcello, Madison Bumgarner,Chris Sale, Gerrit Cole et al.. will be available by then but will not be any cheaper.

To Harper or Not to Harper? that is the question. My answer would be not to Harper, keep the powder dry, buy or extend 2 or 3 guys for the price of one. Allow your prospects to develop and lets look forward to a winning Cardinal baseball franchise that we expect for years to come.

Market Value Free Agent values courtesy of www.spotrac.com

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 group. On twitter as well Jeff Schrader @StlCardsMinor

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