The free agents remaining with a home should be of interest to the St. Louis Cardinals. The real question, however, is whether the Cardinals even care.
The St. Louis Cardinals have contributed to the mess that is this offseason along with all of their counterparts in MLB. The Cardinals’ contributions are two-fold: (1) their paucity of action toward the decent free agents, and (2) their offering up of Lance Lynn into the FA pool.
While it looks very unlikely that the St. Louis Cardinals will play in the remaining pool of free agents, this doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t. There are simply too many good names remaining who the Cardinals should consider.
And, noting the news today of Luke Gregerson‘s oblique concern, perhaps an injury or two will force the birds’ tiny hands into action. But terribly unlikely.
ESPN’s SportsCenter tweeted the following list of remaining free agents today by position as though they were making a complete team. The results are shocking.
Let’s roll through these names to see if any of them could help the St. Louis Cardinals.
Jonathan Lucroy – catcher – is a name that any serious team should consider. His years of experience and his ability to command a game behind plate make him an attractive name. His age, however, might scare off a few teams. Oh, and he is probably looking for real playing time and not the appropriate backup role that he will likely receive.
The St. Louis Cardinals would likely only offer Lucroy a one-year deal as a backup role but with the likes of Carson Kelly and the other young catching studs, I don’t see them doing such a thing.
Mark Reynolds – first base – was a one-time Cardinal. He fared well for himself in Colorado and looked to be rebuilding his career. Reynolds, like Lucroy above, is more than likely going to land a one-year deal and likely as a backup. This probably doesn’t please him at all and is the best that the St. Louis Cardinals could offer. But they won’t and I don’t disagree.
Neil Walker – second base – is not a bad name either. That said, with Kolten Wong locked for a number a years with the St. Louis Cardinals, and considering his six steals this spring, the Cardinals are not likely to poke this sleeping bear.
J.J. Hardy – shortstop – like Walker above, Hardy is likely not a contender for the St. Louis Cardinals thanks to the extension signed by Paul DeJong, the need for a shortstop- a starter anyway- has diminished at least for 2018. If the Cardinals could snag Hardy as the real backup then, in my opinion, they should do so.
I doubt (1) that Hardy would accept a backup role (but he should), and (2) I doubt that Mozeliak is daring enough to even approach him with the option.
Jose Bautista – outfield – would look really nice wearing the birds on the bat. I have actually written about Bautista joining the Cardinals in the past. I would love to see the Cards add this name but my gut tells me his blood is too rich for the Cardinals and I am also realistic that the Cardinals do not need another outfielder.
Melky Cabrera – outfield – would have looked nice as a Cardinal in years passed but I’m finding it hard to find a spot for him now. I’m sure this is why the St. Louis Cardinals haven’t kicked the tires of Cabrera even noting his ever-so-slight ability to play first base. The Cardinals simply have plenty of young outfielders.
Carlos Gonzales – outfield – was often rumored to the Cardinals during the offseason. The Cards decided not to do much with that then, and I don’t see them doing anything more now. End of discussion.
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Matt Holliday – designated hitter – would look really good wearing the STL brand one final time. Hell, if the Cards can bring back Jason Motte, can’t they bring back Holliday on a one-year deal so that he can retire as a Cardinal? Do it, Mo, do it!
Jake Arrieta – pitcher – NEEDS to be a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. The starting rotation hasn’t looked terrible but also hasn’t looked stellar here at the start of spring training and Arrieta would shore that up quickly. The problem? Price and years and I don’t see the Cards matching the asking for either not considering Jack Flaherty and his outstanding start to spring.
Lance Lynn – pitcher – could work just as well as Arrieta as a Cardinal as he has for the past few seasons but my gut tells me that the offered-and-rejected qualifying offer may have sullied the waters between the parties. In all honesty too, Lynn should pitch elsewhere.
Alex Cobb – pitcher – would be a suitable solution to the starting rotation. Christian May-Suzuki took a deep look at Cobb recently and provides a good case for the Cardinals taking the gamble on Cobb. Read his piece below.
Matt Garza – pitcher – is really no better than Miles Mikolas and we’ve seen how well that is coming along. Likewise, Bud Norris is an equal comparable and we haven’t seen much else from him this spring. At this point, I beg that the Cardinals avoid Garza like the plague!
John Lackey – pitcher – has sullied waters similar in nature to Lynn. That said, I would think that Lackey’s lofty age should be enough to sway attention away from him.
Greg Holland – closer – is a MUST SIGN for the St. Louis Cardinals. We have written much about him here at Redbird Rants and I urge you to take a tour through these pieces. Bottom line is this: the St. Louis Cardinals don’t have a bonafide closer and this name would solve that problem.
As with Holliday, I beg that Mozeliak picks up the phone, mortgages his home, and signs Holland to the Cardinals.
What do you think? Would you take any of these names? Let us know and thanks for reading!