Cardinals Rumors: St. Louis to consider external DH options
The St. Louis Cardinals plan to consider their external options at designated hitter, but should they stick with their internal options instead?
While the St. Louis Cardinals are being heavily connected to free-agent relievers, as expected, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak perhaps revealed a new possibility for his team: a designated hitter.
It has been widely assumed that the Cardinals were satisfied entering the season with Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez and Lars Nootbaar as their DH options, Mozeliak told reporters (including Katie Woo of The Athletic): Part of the discussion over the next few days will be about the DH. He mentioned the balance between the young players “we’re excited about” and “short-term solutions” on the market.
Put simply, they are evaluating the external options at DH. Kyle Schwarber remains unlikely – he is reportedly seeking a three- or four-year deal – though it’s possible that free-agent slugger Nelson Cruz could emerge as an option.
Cruz, 41, would give the Cardinals another big bopper in their lineup. He is right-handed, and they are right-handed heavy in their lineup, but a quartet of Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Tyler O’Neill and Cruz would arguably be the most fearsome in baseball. Better yet, he will command only a one-year deal, and leave the DH option open for their young internal options for the long haul.
If the Cardinals are indeed interested in Cruz, they would have competition for his services. The Padres and Dodgers are among the teams that have interest in the slugger and both have the financial capacity to outspend St. Louis. It’s why Cruz should be viewed as a longshot for the Cardinals – it can’t be ruled out, though – and another reason why they may prefer a cheaper alternative.
After all, it would allow them to spend more money on an impact reliever or two (Joe Kelly, Ryan Tepera, etc) and perhaps on another bench bat.
Cruz would be intriguing and it appears the Cardinals will consider him and their other options. It’s just not the most realistic.