With an incredibly slow offseason, this St. Louis Cardinals fan has placed her wishlist for the remainder of this offseason in the hands of the jolly one. In order to give our fanbase a Merry Christmas, Miranda provides St. Nick with some options to consider.
Dear Santa Claus,
What a year! In order to improve things for my beloved St. Louis Cardinals, the team is going to need a lot more options going into 2021. For that, I think we need a little bit of your jolly intervention.
At the top of my list this year, Santa, is to see a conclusion to the saga of will they or won’t they re-sign Yadier Molina and/or Adam Wainwright. The two Cardinal legends deserve the respect of a swift resolution. But as time goes on, it’s become incredibly frustrating to watch. The team should sign them reasonably or just move on.
That said, I’d prefer signing them as the thought of either in another team’s jersey is disgusting. But, I know baseball is a business.
Next up on my list, Santa, it’s time to have a real third baseman.
As Kolten Wong has entered free agency and all but left the Cardinals, the option of using Tommy Edman everyday at third base is disappearing. If this is how we are going to roll, it’s time to a get a real third baseman. Matt Carpenter proved he’s no longer the teams dependable hot corner man and added insult with the realization that he wasn’t a really good designated hitter. He’s declined at the plate and in the field.
Carpenter spent most of 2020 as the team’s designated hitter and that was a bad decision, really. Looking at Baseball Savant, it doesn’t take long to see why teams keep using the shift on him. His 2020 numbers with or without the shift were abhorrent but staggering when compared to 2018. Carpenter’s 2020 weighted on base average in the shift was .292, and .174 outside the shift. In 2018, his average in the shift was .368 and outside it was .412. Be it changes in coaching styles or trying too hard, it’s terrible to see coming from the man most say they want to see at the plate in clutch situations.
He’s in the final year of a two year deal worth $39 million. There is a 2022 option that I feel won’t be considered unless he returns to 2018 form.
For the Cardinals fan base, it would be an epic Christmas to land Nolan Arenado under the tree.
Until a shortened 2020 season landed Arenado with a WAR of 1, he averaged a career WAR above 5. Per FanGraphs, Arenado’s got a career batting average of .293 and an OPB of .349 and a slugging percentage of .541. In the field, Arenado has a career fielding percentage of .972.
He would be a force with Paul Goldschmidt in the lineup.
Interesting to note, Arenado is in the midst of an eight-year, $260 million contract that he can opt out of after 2021.
Santa, you know Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak would love to trade for Arenado and get him to opt out of that large contract for a more team-friendly contract in St. Louis. You can just see it.
It would be an intriguing option, Santa!
Next up on my list, Santa? An outfielder with a bat. Dylan Carlson was a new, exciting option, but he’s still a work in progress. Harrison Bader, Tyler O’Neill, Lane Thomas and Dexter Fowler all proved exasperating at times. A consistent option with a good bat and glove would be amazing. Joc Pederson and George Springer are a couple of intriguing free agents still available.
Pitching, Pitching, Pitching. Oh Santa, if Wainwright doesn’t return, the pitching depth will need help. Carlos Martinez is in the put up-or-go hot seat. He is the wildest of cards. Austin Gomber and Daniel Ponce de Leon are long relievers. John Gant is a reliever. Alex Reyes is working to return as a starter. Miles Mikolas is coming off a surgery-lost season. That leaves you’re dependable starts as Jack Flaherty and Kwang-Hyun Kim. While I totally believe in Flaherty and Kim, they are not enough to get through a major league season – no matter the length.
Don’t be afraid to trade. Santa, it may certainly become necessary to whisper some possible trade targets to Mozeliak. There are young bats and pitchers that could certainly land a good starter and or reliever. Or outfielder or third baseman or second baseman. An option! Folks get very attached to their team’s prospects, but if they can net an actual player – then wouldn’t it be worth it?
More than anything, Santa … I just want an improved St. Louis Cardinals team in 2021. I’m exhausted with the status quo this team has put out in recent year. I’m ready to unwrap a winning team in 2021.
Help us out, Santa!