The St. Louis Cardinals’ 2018 season may have changed its trajectory of late not at the hands of adding a high-dollar name and this is a very good thing.
While many rumors had linked the St. Louis Cardinals to Manny Machado – the big name for MLB’s trade deadline – the Cardinal brass either (1) decided to not play in that sandbox, or (2) decided that their own agenda (team improvement from the inside-out) was more important than giving the required prospects for such a large name.
Okay, I know, that was one long sentence. In it, however, is a great deal of truth and information. The fact that the St. Louis Cardinals did NOT dive in to the Manny Machado final race speaks volumes for the direction of the remainder of 2018.
First, the St. Louis Cardinals have signaled to her fans that they are not willing to part ways with the amount of prospects required to land such a name as Machado. That, or they simply don’t have enough interesting prospects to get a name like Machado. I want to believe it is the former of those two.
Second, the St. Louis Cardinals showed that their own internal agendas are currently outweighing the idea of digging outside. With the recent dismissal of Mike Matheny, John Mabry, and Bill Mueller, the Cardinals have had their hands full and it seems that adding a big name like Manny at this time just isn’t in the cards (see what I did there?).
Looking specifically at Machado, I was never sold that he would fit with the St. Louis Cardinals. Not with his desires to play short stop. I didn’t want a rental to boot Paul DeJong from playing time. And I certainly did not want a lesser defender at short stop to bump DeJong.
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Had Machado any interest in playing third base, then he might have been a decent enough fit but not as a rental. In this regard, I would hate for Machado to bump Jedd Gyroko from playing time at third. I’m okay with Machado bumping Matt Carpenter, but not Gyorko.
Thinking of Gyorko, I would rather the St. Louis Cardinals pay his salary even with his impending free agency in two years than pay an inflated salary for two months. I’ll take the two years over two months and I’m sure the Cards front office is thinking similarly.
One final thought: Machado’s move to the National League, I feel that this move has more to do with his future in 2019 than it does for 2018. In other words, I feel that Machado plans to increase his value as a free agent and is therefore moving to the NL to show ALL teams that he has value.
If Machado plays well in the NL, look for him to earn big bucks in the offseason. Depending on the amount, my guess is that some big market, deep pockets team will land him. I doubt this will be the St. Louis Cardinals, but I’d rather they risk it in the offseason than now for the rental allowing Machado to only add to his stock value elsewhere.
Do you think the Cardinals did well to not ‘rent’ Machado? Thanks for reading!