St. Louis Cardinals: The real prize is in 2019 if we can wait for it
The 2018 offseason is going to be an important one for the St. Louis Cardinals front office, but Mozeliak and Girsch need to keep an eye on 2019.
The St. Louis Cardinals have been attached to countless players since the 2017 season came to a disappointing finish. Each player has the ability to make a big difference on this team and could be key to a playoff run as soon as next season. Adding a Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Josh Donaldson, Greg Holland would be an addition in attempt to fix this team’s problems.
Clearly a move is needed and, of course, expected. But regardless of what the front office does this offseason, next year could be even more important. I have spent plenty of time espousing this player in previous pieces. I recommended trading for him immediately or throwing money at him when he hits free agency. That man is Manny Machado.
Yes, this team has problems to fix now. Go ahead and do what you need to do to make things improve for next season. That doesn’t mean we can’t be looking to 2019. Machado brings things this team desperately needs: gold glove defense, MVP-caliber bat, and star power.
St. Louis Cardinals fans got a chance to see Machado’s incredible defense this season. The play when he stole a hit from Jedd Gyorko was just another day at the office for Machado.
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He is consistently posting web gems. It seems that almost weekly people are in awe of his prolific glove. The Cardinals don’t have a glove in the entire organization that rivals Machado. That alone would be a wonderful addition to what has been a subpar defensive team.
Machado’s glove is undeniable, but his bat is what has made him a true MVP candidate. Even after a brutal start to the 2017, Machado finished with his third straight 30+ home run season. That is the kind of power that would slide in perfectly into the three hole for this team from Day 1.
At the start of the 2018 season, Machado will be only 25 years old. Going into his free agency at the end of the season he will be 26 years old; just hitting what most would consider a player’s prime.
Machado is a well-known name. He has a national brand and will continue to grow in popularity as long as he is on the field. If Machado were placed on the St. Louis Cardinals today he would have the most recognizable brand on the team and would surpass Yadier Molina as the most recognizable Cardinal on a national level.
Signing Machado to a long term deal after next year makes too much sense for a team that is in need of all the things that he brings to the table. Girsch and Mo need to make some moves to improve this team for 2018, but they need to have a plan for 2019 too. Machado will be in high demand, no question, but the Cardinals have no reason to not be aggressive and try and bring him to St. Louis for the long haul.