St. Louis Cardinals: Replacing the lost WAR in 2016

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Oct 9, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Scott Kazmir (26) heads back to the dugout after being relieved in the 6th inning against the Kansas City Royals in game two of the ALDS at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Value Signings

Now don’t get me wrong here, I like what the Cardinals have in house right now. However, I think the Cardinals very well could make a signing or two to make this team even better. Here’s some of those potential signings that I see out there.

Scott Kazmir

Kazmir is by definition a value signing for the Cardinals. He won’t command a whole lot of money and is a traceable asset if a guy like Cooney/Gonzales emerges while filling in for injury. Kazmir had a decent line last year for Oakland and Houston going 7-11 with a 3.10 ERA (3.98 FIP) and netting a 2.4 fWAR.

Currently, Steamer has him projected with a 3.80 FIP and 2.5 fWAR, which isn’t bad considering we don’t know where he will be playing next year. However, in Busch Stadium that number could considerably be better given his success against left-handers and his HR/FB% likely being closer to his numbers in 2014, his only full season with Oakland. So, a 2.7-2.9 fWAR couldn’t be out of the question for Kazmir. 

More from Adam Wainwright

I am a little concerned about offering a guy like Kazmir at age 31 a three year deal at $14 million per as Fangraphs crowd sourcing puts him. So, I wonder if the Cardinals could convince him to sign an incentive laden one year deal at around $14-15 Million.

Rajai Davis

I really like the potential here. While there isn’t much room in the outfield, the Cardinals have always lacked that real speed threat, and the tried to have that in Peter Bourjos the past two years and that just didn’t work, Bourjos’ speed never translated on the base paths and he never got his fair shot in the lineup.

Davis is a player that I think would fit well on this Cardinals’ team, he would be an excellent bench player that would give the Cardinals’ a viable option in CF should something happen to Randal Grichuk’s elbow.

My only concern with signing Davis is he’s likely looking for a deal to be a starter or a 4th OF getting starts regularly, as Steamer projects him to collect over 400 plate appearances in just over 90 games played, but coming in right at replacement level with a 0.0 fWAR.

This to me is where the Cardinals can make their pitch, he would be a useful player in the realm of how they used Bourjos most of the time. That would be as a defensive replacement and pinch running specialist. The Cardinals can offer what other teams can not in terms of team success, giving Davis a chance to play in the playoffs, something he has only done once in his career.

It’s hard to really give Davis a fWAR above what Steamer projects, as a role with the Cardinals would probably be in 300 PA area, with his value primarily coming on the bases and in the field as opposed to at the plate.

Next: Cardinals' offseason plans are changing

Due to the signing of Jonathan Broxton, and emergence of Dean Kiekhefer and Sam Tuivailala in AAA, as well as a potential return for Jordan Walden. I don’t see the Cardinals going after another bullpen arm.