Last week, I talked about several players the St. Louis Cardinals could look to if Jason Heyward is not brought back. Today, we are going to take a look at a player that the Cardinals won’t sign if they lose out on Heyward.
Yoenis Cespedes is a pretty good player. It would have bee nice if the Cardinals could have potentially acquired him at the deadline. However, with the emergence of Jason Heyward as the Cards best all around player and the emergence of rookies Stephen Piscotty, Randal Grichuk, and Tommy Pham ,as well as an existing contract with Matt Holliday and the belief that he was going to come back at some point in the season, it wasn’t in the cards.
Now, Cespedes is a free agent to be and will be looking to cash in on his hot second half and strong playoff run with the New York Mets. One thing is for sure, someone will see enough to pay Cespedes a lot of money and for good reason, since Cespedes was traded to the Mets he posted a 157 wRC+ (via Fangraphs) and slamming 17 homers in 57 games as a Met.
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The Cardinals will be potentially placed with the task of replacing the 6.0 WAR Jason Heyward brought to the team in right field this season, if he and the team are unable to agree to a deal. Cespedes on paper, sounds like an excellent replacement for Heyward. He posted a 6.7 WAR this season and the strong offensive game he brought to the Mets is something that could be potentially replicated in Busch Stadium.
However, looking at this a little closer shows us that Cespedes is on the wrong side of the 30 having just turned 30 12 days ago.Cespedes also does not play right , having not recorded one single inning in right in his career, despite his words that he was willing to play there for the Red Sox had he not been traded to Detroit before the season started. For the Mets, Cespedes has played in left field and center field, and has filled in admirably at both roles.
However, as a center fielder this season, Cespedes put up a -3.2 UZR and had -4 defensive runs saved above average (DRS). This is compared to the 18.8 UZR and 15 DRS he put up in left this season. So, expecting the Roc Nation client to sign in a place where he is not going to play in left field is crazy talk.
The St. Louis Cardinals are comfortable with at least one more season of Matt Holliday as the starting LF and even with the injury concerns, the team has insurance in Stephen Piscotty and Tommy Pham. Expecting the team to not trust the All Star Holliday is expecting the team to not trust the franchise’s most consistent performer the last seven years and that is not happening, at least not this year.
So, you can cross off Yoenis Cespedes on the Cardinals winter shopping list. Who else do you feel is not a worthy candidate for the Cardinals this offseason?