St. Louis Cardinals could target this player from division rival
The St. Louis Cardinals are expected to add offense after the lockout, with a former Pittsburgh Pirates player listed as a possibility.
The St. Louis Cardinals have made only one free-agent signing – left-hander Steven Matz – and it’s solidified the rotation. The assumption has been that once the lockout is over, that the next move would be to add a reliever or two.
While the Cardinals will add another reliever or two, it may not be their first move after all.
The Cardinals “will” add another hitter after the lockout, according to Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and adds that it probably will be a left-handed hitter. Hummel lists another reliever and “perhaps a starter” as other items on St. Louis’ offseason shopping list.
Hummel lists former Pittsburgh Pirates left-handed hitter Colin Moran as a possibility, reasoning that “he can play first and third acceptably and hit with some power.” It’s a role that the Cardinals felt that Matt Carpenter could fill last season, but it quickly became clear that he was no longer willing to perform at a high level even in a limited capacity, hitting .169/.305/.275 in 249 plate appearances.
Moran is not a household name, but would certainly be an upgrade over Carpenter in that role. The 29-year-old has played in six major-league seasons, hitting .267/.329/.418 with 45 homers and a .747 OPS, and posted a .258/.334/.390 slash line with 10 home runs and 50 RBI in 359 plate appearances last season.
Better yet, he has performed really well at Busch Stadium throughout his career – .323/.368/.469 in 106 plate appearances – and is likely going to command a cheap one-year contract. That, of course, would give the Cardinals even more financial flexibility to add a high-end reliever (Joe Kelly? Ryan Tepera?) and maybe another starting pitcher, though it’s likely that it would be someone who could pitch in spot starts and in a multi-inning role out of the bullpen.
Also, the fact that the Cardinals appear likely to add a left-handed hitter is not good news for the people who want Albert Pujols to return to St. Louis. Nothing should be ruled out, of course, but having a writer who has covered the Cardinals for 50 years list Moran as a potential target is a good sign that he is someone firmly on their radar.