The Cardinals are looking for middle infielders. But who?
The St. Louis Cardinals rightfully have a reason to feel good about their current roster headed into spring training. They re-signed Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina and acquired Nolan Arenado in a deal that sent shockwaves throughout baseball.
Their only loss, of course, was Kolten Wong, who signed a multi-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. But the Cardinals have positioned themselves as the clear favorites to win the National League Central. The team, of course, has stated that they are not going to make any other significant moves – unless Jake Odorizzi comes down on his asking price – but they remain on the hunt for additional depth on the roster.
Specifically, the Cardinals are looking for middle-infield depth on minor-league deals, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, though he did not specify on which player(s) the team is interested in.
Among the top options available who could make sense include Eric Sogard and Joe Panik. When Sogard signed with the Brewers last winter, the team was hopeful he could be an everyday player in the infield. Instead, he struggled and was designated for assignment halfway through the year. He would come on a non-roster invite type deal, which is something the Cardinals are said to be prioritizing in their search to fill out the rest of the roster.
Panik, however, does not come with as much upside. While he was a strong player with the San Francisco Giants at second base for multiple years, his play has drastically declined to the point where he struggled to land a minor-league contract. Perhaps the Cardinals look here, but if they want a player who offers upside to play second base or any other parts of the infield, Sogard would be the best bet of the two.
There are other options, too, which our Matt Graves recently explored.