Cardinals listed as having top offseason in baseball
Did the St. Louis Cardinals have one of the best offseasons in baseball?
The moment the St. Louis Cardinals acquired Nolan Arenado, they became an instant contender in the National League. He is a transcending talent at third base entering the prime of his career who figures to be a cornerstone player for the franchise for years to come.
So it is no surprise that the Cardinals were listed as having the third best offseason by Andy McCullough of The Athletic, who listed them under the “Going for it” category.
The addition of Arenado drew league-wide praise. Acquiring a player of Arenado’s talents should have cost the Cardinals a significant prospect capital and perhaps a major-league player or two. Instead, the team did not part with any of their top-8 prospects and were *given* $50 million in addition to Arenado. That’s right. The Rockies basically paid the Cardinals to add one of the best players in baseball.
The move in itself launched the Cardinals into World Series contender status. Then they re-signed Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright. There are concerns about the starting rotation, of course, but there is little question that the team got significantly better this winter despite losing second baseman Kolten Wong.
The rest of the National League Central did not come out favorably in McCullough’s offseason rankings. The Cincinnati Reds were listed No. 29 and under the “What are we even doing?” category. The Chicago Cubs were ranked No. 27. The Pittsburgh Pirates, who traded away almost all of their top players, were listed No. 20. And the Milwaukee Brewers were ranked No. 18, having signed Wong and narrowly missing out on Justin Turner after he re-signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a two-year, $34 million contract.
So by little surprise, the Cardinals did not just have one of the best offseasons in the National League Central, but in all of baseball. We will see if it translates to success on the field, but it should lead to a postseason appearance — and likely a date with one of the Los Angeles Dodgers or San Diego Padres.