The St. Louis Cardinals should add another impact bat to compliment Marcell Ozuna.
Marcell Ozuna shouldn’t be alone in the middle of the St. Louis Cardinals’ lineup. Certainly, he’s a welcome addition. But the Cardinals need more if they want to return to the postseason.
The Cardinals don’t have to sacrifice their farm system to accomplish this. Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas are both free agents, and the Cardinals have the money to outbid another team for either of the two.
St. Louis is searching for a corner infielder as it is, and either Moustakas or Hosmer would instantly become one of the Cardinals’ better options to hit in the middle of the order.
Signing a corner infielder with a big bat would allow the Cardinals more flexibility with their infield. Matt Carpenter, Jedd Gyorko, and Paul DeJong could move around as utility infielders and still get plenty of playing time.
A stagnant offense was one of the Cardinals’ biggest issues in 2017. Even in 2016, despite all the home runs, consistency was lacking in the St. Louis lineup.
Ozuna and either Moustakas or Hosmer would certainly bring power to the Cardinals’ order. At the same time, the Cardinals could use more high-average hitters with gap-to-gap power as well. That’s what keeps a lineup churning.
Even with the projected lineup the Cardinals have right now, there’s plenty of potential for it to be one of the better offenses in the National League. But if the Cardinals have learned anything from previous seasons, not every player reaches his potential at the same time.
More quality options for Matheny to write on the lineup card, much like the bullpen, will ensure a better overall offense in 2018.