While most St. Louis Cardinals’ fans want the team to re-sign Jason Heyward, there’s another side to the argument.
If you believe the rumors, Jason Heyward wants anywhere from $200 Million and $300 Million, paving the way for him to become one of the highest paid players in baseball. There have been numerous pieces on Heyward’s value, and I for one believe that he is worth every penny he will receive this offseason. But, something on my mind and on a lot of St. Louis Cardinals’ fans mind has been whether the Cardinals should go with the crazy number and give Heyward what he wants to come back to St. Louis.
I know, I know it’s not our money and why should we care if the club doesn’t want to spend an extra $30-$40 Million. We want them to do it regardless of what their reservations are. But, my thought process has been, “Do the Cardinals even ‘need’ Heyward?”, I know Heyward’s value and I know what he brings at the plate, in the field, and I the bases. I have been championing Heyward’s value to the team as much as anyone this offseason.
However, maybe the Cardinals don’t need him as badly as one would think. Without Heyward, the Cardinals plan to trot out an outfield of Matt Holliday, Randal Grichuk, and Stephen Piscotty; with Tommy Pham being the fourth outfielder filling in at all three spots. The Cardinals’ would also have last year’s trade deadline acquisition Brandon Moss also able to fill in at the corner spots.
It just so happens that the Cardinals have a lot of outfield depth in the organization right now. In AAA, the club will have options in Charlie Tilson and Anthony Garcia both being players who could fill in as soon as next season with the big club.
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The team also has top prospect Magneuris Sierra moving his way through the system, a prospect that many in the organization and around the league highly regard. The team also drafted four players in the first five rounds of the draft who either are outfielders, or project to potentially move to the OF in Nick Plummer, Bryce Denton, Harrison Bader, and Paul DeJong.
I know that prospects don’t always turn out to be the great and sometimes they turnout to be busts. However, one would think that at least two of these prospects will pan out. So, it’s easy to see why this team doesn’t want to overdo themselves in terms of paying for Heyward.
Financially the team also has to be able to extend guys like Kolten Wong, Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha, Piscotty, Grichuk, and more. Yes, the Cardinals do expect to have quite a bit of money coming off the books soon, with the Holliday, Molina, and Wainwright deals all coming to an end in the next couple of years. So, the Cardinals could conceivably spend a great amount on Heyward but it’s possible that they will be just fine and potentially better off if they don’t.
With talks said to be progressing between Heyward and the teams in the running, keep an eye here and on our Twitter for any breaking news on the deal. Also, for more in the topic of Heyward’s worn/value check out Tom Verducci’s fascinating piece for SI.com, where he talked to numerous managers about Heyward.