The St. Louis Cardinals need to make changes this offseason and one place they should look would be to free-agents-to-be who are playing now in the postseason.
Let’s start with the NL-Central hopeful but first-to-be-removed from the postseason, Chicago Cubs. The much-hated NLC rival has a few names projected to hit the free agent market. While it would make the front office vomit in their collective mouths, this should not keep them from kicking the tires on these names.
Daniel Murphy will once again shop for a new home. Murphy was added to the Cubs at the trade deadline in 2018 and helped the club find its way into the postseason. The 34-year-old second baseman/first baseman managed to hit .299 with an OPS of .790.
He earned $17.5M in 2018 and with the qualifying offer hovering around $17.9M, it is unlikely that Murphy would receive the QO since his value is estimated by Spotrac at approximately $15M.
The St. Louis Cardinals have Kolten Wong at second and Matt Carpenter looking to repeat his 2018 August. These two things should keep the Cardinals from kicking the Murphy tires. Unless the front office has serious concerns about Wong’s injuries…
Let’s get this one out of the way immediately: Jaime Garcia. No, please God, no. Moving on…
Next up, Anthony Bass. Bass, a 30-year-old right-handed reliever came from the Texas Rangers to the Cubs in 2018. His Rangers’ ERA was an inflated 14.29 through only two games in 2017. With the help of the Cubs, Bass’ ERA became an impressive 2.94 through 15.3 innings.
Bass received $545K and will likely have many suitors on the free agent market. The St. Louis Cardinals need to be one of these.
Next up, Jesse Chavez. Chavez, a 35-year-old right-handed reliever also came from the Texas Rangers to the Cubs in 2018. Like Bass before him, his Rangers’ ERA was high, but not as high as Bass’, at 3.51 through 30 games. Through 32 games and fewer innings pitched with the Cubs, Chavez now has a 1.15 ERA.
The Cardinals should definitely kick these tires. Chavez earned $1.5M in 2018 and the Cardinals could easily offer up a 1-2 year contract around $2Mish.
Last up, Justin Wilson. Wow, what a blast from the past. I wrote about Wilson a year ago around this same time. Wilson was then with the Detroit Tigers. Want to read my thoughts from a year ago? Click the link below.
To today, then. Wilson threw for the Cubs in 2017 where he posted a 5.09 ERA through 23 games. In 2018, through 71 games, Wilson earned a 3.46 ERA. To his detriment he was paid $4.25M in 2018. To his credit, he is a left-handed pitcher.
To me, with the loss of Tyler Lyons, the Cardinals could and should at the very least kick the tires on Wilson.
Others not interested
The Cubs will also have two over-30 catchers hitting the free agent market. These are Bobby Wilson (36 years old; and can we all agree, who?) and Carlos Corporan (35 years old). Zzzzzzzzzz. The St. Louis Cardinals should pass on these. Period.