An argument for the Cardinals to sign Kyle Schwarber or Nelson Cruz
An argument for the Cardinals to sign Kyle Schwarber or Nelson Cruz: it maximizes their World Series chances in a must-win season.
The St. Louis Cardinals want to send Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright into retirement with another World Series ring.
Yet, with a glaring hole at designated hitter, they don’t appear interested in Kyle Schwarber or Nelson Cruz. To me, that feels like a mistake, especially with Schwarber seeking a reasonable four-year, $70 million deal and Cruz likely to once again sign a one-year deal.
Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch brought up a good point: the Angels, Red Sox, Twins, Yankees and Guardians all had above-average OPS from the designated hitter spot. The Red Sox, of course, had Schwarber and J.D. Martinez. The Twins had Cruz and Josh Donaldson. The Yankees had Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. The Guardians, meanwhile, had Franmil Reyes.
Yes, signing Schwarber would extend the Cardinals’ payroll well beyond what it was in 2021, and that isn’t even accounting for adding a high-leverage reliever or two.
But just imagine what the Cardinals lineup would look like with Schwarber, who hit .266/.374/.554 with 32 home runs and 71 RBI last season. Adding another big bopper alongside Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O’Neill would give them four players who can hit 30+ homers and make their lineup perhaps the most fearsome in baseball.
Besides, it would shore up their biggest weakness. Yes, their current plan is to rotate players like Juan Yepez or Nolan Gorman. Lars Nootbaar is another option. It could also be used to give Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt an off day.
But signing Schwarber gives them a sure thing at DH and wouldn’t block Gorman, who could play second base while shifting Tommy Edman to shortstop in place of Paul DeJong.
A lot of “what ifs” in this scenario, of course, but it’s a move that John Mozeliak and the front office should seriously consider. It could ultimately win them a World Series.