The St. Louis Cardinals’ thriftiness could pay off

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Oct 10, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals pinch hitter Randal Grichuk (15) is congratulated by right fielder Stephen Piscotty (55) for hitting a solo home run during the fifth inning in game two of the NLDS against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Internal Options

Let’s take a closer look at what the Cardinals have now.  The team has virtually every spot on the roster filled with except for right field and first base.  At those two positions, we can estimate anywhere near 700 plate appearance and lets take another 100 plate appearances in left field when  Holliday has the day off.

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Piscotty in right, Girchuk in center, and Pham off of the bench gives the Cardinals flexibility and youth throughout the lineup (despite Heyward’s comments). The three of them combine for about 3.4 fWAR according to Steamer’s projections for them, but as Steven McNeil told you these numbers are “very conservative” and with them all playing a full season one could easily expect them to put up 6-7 fWAR.

If the Cardinals are doing a sort of long term investment, it is better spent retaining flexibility for a trade or locking up players like Martinez, Wong, and Wacha past their arbitration years. Signing these players that are over the age of 30 with plenty of internal options available and younger players who will need locked up, just doesn’t make sense to me.

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When it comes down to it, the Cardinals have money.  We know all about the “payroll muscle”, 3.5 million fans, the new $1.5 billion cable deal beginning in a few years, as well as five straight postseason runs.  The Cardinals have a TON of money, but that does not mean that they should waste it, or spend it on top dollar marginal increases.