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Winning: It’s Not Complicated

Artwork by Brian Swope

Recently, MLB.com Cardinals beat reporter Jennifer Langosch published an article stating that the Cardinals’ off-season moves prove the team is “all in” for 2019. While the moves made have been great, I disagree.

Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training this week and yet, the biggest free agents since, well, ever are still available in Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The Cardinals lineup is strong already, but imagine plugging in an MVP winner in Bryce Harper into that lineup.

Imagine a Cardinals lineup that looked like this:

3B Matt Carpenter

1B Paul Goldschmidt

RF Bryce Harper

LF Marcell Ozuna

SS Paul DeJong

C Yadier Molina

2B Kolten Wong

CF Harrison Bader

That’s a lineup that would be easily the best in the National League, and certainly could challenge for best in the majors. However, President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said that adding any other players at this point would “complicate” things. Really? That’s what we’re going with here?

There’s nothing complicated about this. There is no way anyone can say the Cardinals are “all in” if they haven’t put everything out there. The term “all in” is a gambling term where in a player puts all their chips on the line and risks losing everything. In that regard, the Cardinals are not “all in.” They are still betting conservatively.

The Cardinals have the resources to pull off a big deal. If they don’t want to commit long years to one player, then why not offer something like three years at $100 million. Would Harper turn that down? You never know unless you try. A superstar and former MVP at 26 could take that deal and still hit free agency again before he turns 30.

That kind of a scenario is a win-win for both sides. That is a move that says the Cardinals are “all in.” Right now, the Cardinals front office is still employing its strategy of “hope for the best.” That’s not going to reignite a fan base that wants to win now.

Making a bold move like signing Harper would put the entire league on notice. But then again, that would just “complicate” things. Spare us the company line there Mo. The truth is, Mozeliak is committed to Dexter Fowler because he doesn’t want to admit he was wrong.

This is only complicated because Mozeliak and Co. chose to double down on the much embattled right fielder it signed to a reactionary contract two years ago. Signing Harper means eating Fowler’s contract and finding a trade partner. It really isn’t that complicated.

Now I’m not saying sticking with Fowler is a bad idea. I’m saying that it’s a worse idea than signing Harper to a short, high dollar contract. I’m saying that a move like that would prove the Cardinals are “all in.” In short, Cardinal Nation isn’t buying it. This team isn’t “all in.” It really isn’t that complicated.

It’s another in a long line of “C” words from Mozeliak. The last three off-seasons we’ve heard Mozeliak say “confident, comfortable, and complicated.” How about I offer up another “C” word? CRAP. Because that’s what this line of reasoning is, a big load of crap.

No front office coming off of three straight years of no playoffs should find anything to be too complicated. If there’s a move that makes this team better, then pull the trigger. No hard feelings. It’s all bout winning. Get it done Mo.

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