The St. Louis Cardinals offseason in review: there is a lot of continuity from 2021 to 2022, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
During spring training, as well as the first week of the regular season, it’s been pretty apparent that the 2022 St. Louis Cardinals look a lot like they did in 2021. Sure, there are differences, but the primary foundation of the team remains the same.
Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Tyler O’Neill, Tommy Edman, Harrison Bader, Dylan Carlson, Yadier Molina, Jack Flaherty, Adam Wainwright and others have all returned. The only additions that the Cardinals made, meanwhile, were Steven Matz, Drew VerHagen, Nick Wittgren, Corey Dickerson, T.J. McFarland and Albert Pujols.
It went against most fans’ wishes, with many hoping for a high-end reliever such as Joe Kelly, Ryan Tepera, Collin McHugh or someone along those lines. Instead, the Cardinals re-signed McFarland and added VerHagen and Wittgren. So far, that has looked like a worthy gamble, but it remains to be seen how it plays out for an entire 162-game regular season.
In an offseason review, MLB Trade Rumors said the Cardinals are set up once again to be a force in the National League Central. It’s hard to dispute that notion. Their primary competition, of course, is the Milwaukee Brewers. But the rest of the division – the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates – figure to be relatively mild competition, with the Cubs easily being the most competitive of that bunch.
The Cardinals’ offseason strategy was clearly geared toward 1) supplementing the Opening Day roster with more talent; 2) maintaining flexibility for midseason additions; and 3) long-term flexibility. Sure, some fans may be sick of hearing those three key phrases, but it’s how the Cardinals front office is operating and will continue to operate.
It’s set them up for a sustained period of success. With this roster, and the farm system as currently constructed, there is every reason to believe that the Cardinals will continue their winning ways. Which makes a quiet, and sometimes frustrating offseason, a win.