After the blockbuster trade for superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado, fans are excited. What will the St. Louis Cardinals do next?
Let’s get greedy. The St. Louis Cardinals made one of the biggest acquisitions in recent history by trading for Nolan Arenado from the Colorado Rockies. The applause for the front office and ownership is well deserved. The team is much better today than they were last week. It almost seems distasteful to ask for more after seeing them trade for a new franchise player, but what else could be on the shopping list?
For clarification, John Mozeliak and company could punt on the rest of the offseason and I’d be satisfied. But what if they explored other moves? By adding Arenado they have established themselves as the overwhelming favorites in the NL Central division. They could roll into spring training in a few weeks and be in great shape.
But what if they really went for the jugular? Another move or two could take this team from division favorites to a team that could stand toe to toe with the reigning champion Los Angeles Dodgers. At the introductory press conference today for Nolan Arenado, Mozeliak provided this interesting nugget.
Now, this could just be foreshadowing the probable re-signing of Yadier Molina, which seems to be on the horizon. Or Mozeliak could be giving fans a hint that more moves are coming. There are a few areas that I think the team could benefit from adding to.
One area is pitching depth. Despite trading Austin Gomber in the Arenado trade, the pitching depth is still a strength. However, a team can never have too much pitching. With spring training approaching and still a variety of free agents available, it could make sense to add some depth. Many intriguing starting pitching options remain, such as Jake Odorizzi.
There are still some good relief pitching options on the free agent pile, as well. Could it make sense to bring in an established closer or late inning reliever in case Jordan Hicks is eased back into the closer’s role? Giovanny Gallegos is great too, but you can never have enough pitching. With so many free agent pitchers still looking for a team, there could be an opportunity for the St. Louis Cardinals to add to their depth.
The next area would be in the middle infield. If the team doesn’t bring back Kolten Wong, I’d like to see them bring back Brad Miller. As a utility guy and bench bat, Miller is an asset to a team. His role on the 2020 Cardinals was important.
Another good option could be Jonathan Schoop. Schoop has great power and could provide an excellent platoon partner at second base with Tommy Edman. Adding both Arenado and Schoop to the lineup would inject a tremendous amount of power into this offense.
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Lastly, the outfield. Before the Arenado acquisition, the attention was on the outfield. Over the past few seasons, the outfield production has not been great and it seemed like a place the team could upgrade. That’s still the case, but I’m not sure how ambitious the Cardinals will be in continuing to look for offense after getting Arenado.
They have certainly added an impact bat so maybe they decide to roll with this outfield alignment for another season and assess it after the 2021 season. With a lot of money off the books after next season, they could adjust and pivot if needed.
The St. Louis Cardinals have already earned a passing grade for this offseason. Nolan Arenado was a possibility that many fans only spoke of in hushed tones and imagined in their wildest dreams. The Cardinals’ front office and ownership made those wild dreams a reality. Nolan Arenado is a St. Louis Cardinal and hopefully will be for the rest of his career. The Cardinals have every reason to be satisfied with their work for the offseason.
With a few weeks left until spring training, let’s see what Mozeliak and company do next. Do they continue shopping or head for the check out line, content with their prized item? Either way, one thing is for certain… the St. Louis Cardinals are exciting again.