St. Louis Cardinals: Cardinals leave winter meetings hopeful

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 29: Alex Colome
ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 29: Alex Colome /

The St. Louis Cardinals have left the building. As is their normal custom, the St. Louis Cardinals left the winter meetings earlier than most.

The St. Louis Cardinals always seem to leave the winter meetings in the middle of the final day. Without knowing the actual reason, I can speculate that Mozeliak has grown tired of sitting stuck in a hotel suite talking on the phone and in person with other GMs about players. And, in all likelihood, any supposed deal is in the works and not needing hands-on work.

So, as is the custom that has been established for a few years now, John Mozeliak and the rest of the St. Louis Cardinals contingency departed Orlando around midday on Thursday. This was not indicative of disgruntlement but just that their work on the ground was finished and that any work remaining would be completed via the telephone.

In leaving the 2018 winter meetings, the St. Louis Cardinals did so with incredible wind at their backs. After picking up Luke Gregerson to secure the pen, Miles Mikolas to secure the rotation, and Marcell Ozuna to fill the number-four batting spot, the Cardinals have plenty of reasons to leave with their heads up and with hope looking toward the coming week.

Pitchers and catchers will report to Jupiter, Florida on February 13 to begin the spring. This means that the St. Louis Cardinals- should they wish to do any additional dealing before the unofficial start to spring training- must complete any potential deals before then. This doesn’t mean that they must but it certainly sets a timetable.

To that end, then, the St. Louis Cardinals boarded airplanes departing sunny Orlando for freezing St. Louis with a few pokers still in the fire. The Cardinals are rumored to be one of two front-running clubs for Manny Machado. The Cardinals are also rumored to be working a deal or deals with Tampa to grab Alex Colome, Evan Longoria, and/or Chris Archer.

I am thrilled with all of these rumors!

To this point, the Mozeliak team has done well to make the 2018 St. Louis Cardinals better than the 2017 club. The pen is more secure (save for an absent closer), the rotation has some security at the back end and even more so with Alex Reyes returning (could he cover Adam Wainwright‘s slot if Waino no es bueno?), and he has found a slugging outfielder who carries great defense as well.

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The names rumored as still connected to the Cardinals shows that Mozeliak- who, with his own words stated that the Cardinals have two-to-three deals still sitting out there- is invested on closing all loops before the spring arrives.

At the time of this writing, it has been rumored that the talks between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Tampa Rays are continuing but are “on-hold.” General thought is that this is directly related to St. Louis’ drive to get Machado. So, in other words, while the first domino of the offseason sat securely on the shoulders of Stanton, another domino is impeding progress for clubs in the way of Machado.

To that point, the belief is that the St. Louis Cardinals have the strongest chance at landing Machado thanks to (1) the prospects the Cardinals have, (2) the cash the Cardinals have, and (3) the unlikelihood that the Cardinals would flip Machado to the New York Yankees– something the Orioles are working to prevent for 2018 and 2019.

Next: How to win the winter

So here we are, at another crossroad. What do you believe will happen? Are you looking forward with hope? Let me know on Twitter and thanks for reading!