St. Louis Cardinals: Pre-Winter Meetings 2017 Position Predictions

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St. Louis Cardinals
Jun 29, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) in action against the Kansas City Royals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports /

2017 Pitchers and Catchers

Let’s start with the rotation.  I predict that the 2017 St. Louis Cardinals rotation will look like this: Carlos Martinez, Alex Reyes, Lance Lynn, Adam Wainwright, and Mike Leake.  While I would love to see the Cardinals land a starting pitcher, I’m just not sold that this happens this year.  I feel that these arms are formidable enough and could absolutely shut down any team when they are truly on their games.

So what do the Cardinals do with Jaime Garcia?  I predict that he is moved during the Winter Meetings to land some of the pieces named above.  I would not be surprised to see Jaime go to the Angels in the deal to grab Simmons.  In the same breath, I would not be surprised to see Marco Gonzales get a long look this spring to see if he could spell some starting depth.

In the pen, I predict that Tyler Lyons and Trevor Rosenthal will spell the long relief.  I also predict that Brett Cecil, Seth Maness, Kevin Siegrist, Matt Bowman, Jonathan Broxton, and Seung Hwan Oh will round out the pen.  This means, if you are reading correctly, that I do not anticipate the addition of any other arms in the meetings.

If you are reading correctly, as well, this would indicate that I predict that Michael Wacha is not with the 2017 St. Louis Cardinals.  Like Jaime above, I predict that Wacha is shopped and might well be included in the Simmons deal.  As I said in the previous slide, check back to our site in the coming days for my rumors piece on Simmons for more information on my thoughts.

St. Louis Cardinals
Mar 4, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros outfielder Andrew Aplin (77) is safe at home as St. Louis Cardinals catcher Carson Kelly (82) drops the ball while trying to tag him during the fourth inning at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /

What about the catchers?  It is easy to predict that Molina is the starter but the backup is where we find the need for discussion.  I definitely feel that Carson Kelly is the heir apparent and will be the backup for Yadi in 2017.  That said, I would not be surprised to see the organization add one more catcher to the mix.

Brayan Pena was recently designated for assignment so this leaves a figurative hole.  While the organization could choose to not fill this hole, I think a better choice would be to find another backup.  Some options might be to add Geovany Soto in the Simmons deal and allow Kelly to play everyday in Memphis, or a Dioner Navarro.  The Cardinals could also look at a veteran like Ryan Hanigan.

With so many catching options, I would recommend that we watch this position throughout the remaining winter as well.  While the pitching ranks might seem sleepy out of the gate, I predict that we will be happy with the hold this season.