The St. Louis Cardinals need an outfield bat and while George Springer would fit the role well, the hype train for the outfielder shouldn’t even start.
It’s no secret, the St. Louis Cardinals need offense. They need offense bad, and they need it from an established player that they don’t have to worry about continuing to develop.
In 2020, with an outfield manned mostly by Tyler O’Neill, Harrison Bader, and Dexter Fowler, ranked in the bottom five in offensive production. The mixing in of Tommy Edman, Lane Thomas, and even Dylan Carlson did next to nothing to improve the production of the group.
It’s clear that there is a lot in flux for 2021 with this group and the only name that should be written in pen for next year is Dylan Carlson’s. Even with all the help the team needs, one name that should not even start to be considered for the Cardinals is George Springer.
Springer is going to be a free agent and had a good year in 2020. Over 51 games, Springer hit .265 with 14 homers and an .899 OPS. His 146 wRC+ would’ve tied Goldy for the team lead. However, there are plenty of reasons why Springer shouldn’t be considered for the Cardinals and why you shouldn’t get your hopes up in the first place.
No. 1: Price
Even with COVID-19 suppressing revenues, Springer’s market will still likely be robust. Unless Springer decides to take a one year deal, he is likely going to command well over $100M deep into his 30s. As happens most of the time when a 30-year-old signs a long deal, the Cardinals would be paying for past production, not future.
Add to it that the Cardinals will likely be cutting payroll not adding it, and you should wipe Springer off your radar.
No. 2: Age
The Cardinals need someone established, but they can go too far with that. Springer will turn 32 during the 2020 season. Again, unless Springer decides to sign for one year while the market rebounds, he’s going to take at least a five-year deal. Three years of Springer would be perfect, but that is not how these things work.
The last time the Cardinals signed an outfielder for five years on the wrong side of 30 was Dexter Fowler, and we see how that deal has worked out. Now, I know Fowler is and was a different player than Springer, but I don’t think this is an age group and length of contract that the Cardinals are going to be excited to dive back into.
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No. 3: The fallout from the cheating scandal
The Cardinals have not been afraid to sign players who had formerly been caught taking PEDs, but the Astros’ cheating scandal is a whole different animal. There has not been a single scandal as bad as theirs in a long time. Out of principle, I would expect that to take interest away from Springer from the Cardinals’ standpoint.
I don’t think many fans would be able to look past the scandal when cheering for Springer and I think the upper brass for the Cardinals would recognize that.
There’s no doubt that Springer could help the Cardinals in the short term. Sadly, there is just too much standing in the way of the union.
Fans frequently hop aboard one player’s bandwagon each winter. This year, don’t even start that bus up for Springer.
It won’t happen. It shouldn’t happen.