The St. Louis Cardinals: Yeah, they’ve got issues (a musical analysis)
4. Marcell Ozuna
” Can’t Live With ‘Em Can’t Live Without ‘Em” – Tompall and the Glaser Brothers
The Cardinals will have to decide whether to make a qualifying offer to left fielder Marcell Ozuna, estimated to be around $19m for a one-year deal… or, even sign him quickly to a long-term deal, which he says he covets.
Some early-season and pennant-race/postseason fielding gaffes bracketed a couple of relatively uneventful months of outfield play. He is back, at season’s end, to wearing a neon compression sleeve.
Many think the Cardinals could do better than Marcell, especially when it comes to on-field play. Still, others are frightened about whether the team could readily replace his 29 home runs and 89 RBIs merely through internal options.
The free-agent market may make the decision for the Cardinals. Ozuna may be much more attractive to a team that uses the designated hitter.
Before they pull the trigger on a qualifying offer, the Cardinals will want to get a read from a doctor on how Ozuna’s arm is faring.
5. Carlos Martinez
“I’ve Been Thinking About You” – Londonbeat
Carlos Martinez is a superbly-talented pitcher. But where and how to use the two–time All-Star is an issue.
The “first-inning blow-up” problem that plagued his career as a starting pitcher reared its head a few too many times this year in the closer’s role, suggesting that he may not be best suited for the final-inning of games. He wants to be a starter again anyway, and that is where he will be slated to be on the depth chart when Spring Training opens on February 22, 2020.
And then there is the question of whether Carlos would prefer to go to another team which would be more open to Martinez being one of their starters. Overshadowing that question is, “How valuable a trade chip would he really be?” Issues to be decided!