Cardinals conservative approach is rewarded … but for how long?
Despite another year of no splashes at the trade deadline, the St. Louis Cardinals are in the midst of another August win streak. Is the organizational approach being rewarded?
The St. Louis Cardinals are playing great baseball. After completing a sweep over the New York Yankees, one of the teams in baseball, the team has won seven straight. Sound familiar? It should. This happened last season too.
The Cardinals are nearly a lock for the playoffs, and this winning streak has solidified that. The front office did make a few moves at the trade`deadline, but they were of the typical safe and boring variety. Despite being heavy in the Juan Soto rumors, the organization predictably stood aside and watched him go to a team also battling for a playoff position in the National League. Soto would have been a franchise-changing move, one that would have pushed the Cardinals back into the conversation as a baseball powerhouse. But that would have required trading prospects and that would have altered the organizational goal of being good enough for a playoff spot every season. Why maximize your World Series chances this year and the next few years to come when you can count on being consistently competitive a decade for now?
Simple. Simply being competitive isn’t what the goal should be. I must have missed the banners hanging for not having a losing season since 2007. I do, however, notice the 11 World Series banners and it’s been a decade-plus since the most recent. Perhaps I m greedy but that is what I care about as a fan.
Instead of pouting like I am, the team has responded to the post-trade deadline schedule by winning game after game and pushing into first place in the NL Central. The additions the Cardinals made at the trade deadline were great, but that’s not the point. The point is that this team is not good enough to win a World Series. They improved, but so did many other teams. The Cardinals probably boosted their odds of winning the weakest division in baseball. By doing just enough, and winning by doing so, the front office approach will never change.
Call me a bad fan, or a pessimistic fan, if you want. Maybe you would be right. But the Juan Soto trade would have signaled a change in philosophy and a new aggressive approach. Instead, it was more of the same.
If the Cardinals were to miss the playoffs, would that have been enough for them to change their approach? Probably not, but we may never know now.
I want to see the Cardinals win. But I want to see them win championships. Winning mid-eighties games and sneaking in the expanded postseason is not what I want to see the team strive for. Another August win streak is amongst us, and that will be confirmation that the current approach is working.
Does this Cardinals team match up with the Braves, Dodgers, or Mets?
No … and maybe it wasn’t built to do so.