St. Louis Cardinals: The final rant of the off-season…hopefully

jmcdonald
ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 14: St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak introduces Mike Matheny as the new manager during a press conference at Busch Stadium on November 14, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 14: St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak introduces Mike Matheny as the new manager during a press conference at Busch Stadium on November 14, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Cardinals off-season started off with a bang, but ending with a whimper. Has the front office done enough?

Over the weekend, the Chicago Cubs bolstered their rotation by adding free agent Yu Darvish to their ranks. The Cubs, attached to a few arms including their own free agent Jake Arrieta , finished up a deal to lock up Darvish for six years on Saturday. Whether the length of the contract comes back to bite them, the Cubs got better and the St. Louis Cardinals didn’t.

Not exactly in response to the move, the St. Louis Cardinals added known “Cardinal killer” Bud Norris on a one year deal today.  The move helps add an arm to a bullpen full of question marks, but depth is usually a good thing. It’s not exactly the move fans have hoped for (i.e Greg Holland) but at least we saw the front office show some signs of life. Signing Norris isn’t exactly a fire up the presses type of deal either. Sure he provides depth, but it really just adds to the off-season long question: is this really it?

Adding Marcell Ozuna was a wonderful addition and fans will soon see how important he is to this team. Unfortunately, that’s where the praise for the front office ends. While Mozeliak and Girsch did add some potential high upside guys (see Miles Mikolas) they had a chance to make a real move this offseason and just didn’t.

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By most projections, the St. Louis Cardinals appear to be either on the outside looking in or just squeaking in to the playoffs thanks to the second wild card.

This is an incredibly important year for everyone in the Cardinals organization.  It doesn’t need to be said but let’s do it anyways. Missing the playoffs two years in a row is unacceptable. Missing three in a row? Heads will roll.

If the St. Louis Cardinals are positioning themselves to unload boatloads of money in next years stacked free agent class, fine. But maybe you should hint to your fans that you have that sort of mindset.

With the way things have gone, the term “sleeping at the wheel” seems too fitting. This has been such an incredibly odd off-season. With the vast majority of the top free agents still on the market, it seems like a time for the Cardinals front office to strike.

Sure there are questions about potential fits, but your biggest rival just got better. A real response to that would be nice. This isn’t just your rival either; this is a team you were already chasing and they just widened the gap.

The off-season is almost over. Spring Training will soon be upon us and baseball will officially be back and that is exciting. A first look at this year’s team in Spring Training isn’t going to tell you everything you need to know. The dog days of summer and the stretch run is when we will truly see if the front office built a winner. This team could very well defy all the projections and make a real run at the Central.

Next: Which pitcher is most important to the Cards?

It just feels like the front office could have done a bit more to help them in that pursuit. Of course there is still a chance the front office could also shock the fan base and make a surprising move to answer the Cubs, but I don’t recommend holding your breath on that one. I can’t imagine it would end well.

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