Just like last offseason, this year’s free agent class is littered with great shortstops, and the Cardinals once again find their names in the mix. Unlike last offseason though, the club has to pull the trigger on one of these superstars, and they have the money to do so.
St. Louis needs that third elite bat in their lineup, and instead of banking on one of their internal options to be that, they can go out and acquire certainty in the form of Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, or Carlos Correa. Sure, the club has great options now in Tommy Edman and Brendan Donovan, as well as Masyn Winn on the way, but the talent available is just too good to turn down.
Just look at the difference in the kind of lineup the Cardinals can have if they make the major investment this offseason
DH Brendan Donovan
LF Tyler O’Neill
1B Paul Goldschmidt
3B Nolan Arenado
RF Jordan Walker
CF Dylan Carlson
2B Tommy Edman
This lineup is nine-men deep and has the firepower to compete with the best middle-of-the-orders in the game. Pressure is taken off guys like O’Neill, Walker, and Carlson to “be that guy”, and rather can thrive as complementary pieces.
You’ll see later that this frees up the Cardinals to use one of Nolan Gorman or Winn as trade pieces for another major addition. Assuming Gorman is that guy, Winn can still be a major part of the club’s future, as Edman may not be someone the Cardinals extend past his controllable years, or one of those names could become a full-time outfielder or DH to make room for Winn in 2024.