Cardinals: St. Louis still eyeing shortstop market despite recent reports
Recent reports seemed to throw cold water, but new reports indicate the Cardinals will still explore the shortstop market.
The last few days have been a rollercoaster of emotions for St. Louis Cardinals fans. After beginning the offseason with the mantra of the payroll will increase, there seemed to be cold water on the idea that it would be anything more than a marginal increase at best. Derrick Goold is now reiterating that the Cardinals are not out of the shortstop market.
Goold has this to say via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about the Cardinals interest in the free agent shortstops.
"In that market, the Cardinals are lurking, strolling the edge of the pool and considering whether to dip a toe in to test the temp.The Cardinals were described as “milling about” the available shortstops, unlikely to take the plunge on one of the headliners, according to sources, but interested in seeing where the bidding goes for the next group. Turner, one of the top players in the game, and Correa are considered the class of their class, with Bogaerts, Swanson, and Jose Iglesias also available. The Cardinals’ initial focus is on adding a catcher, and their wish is to acquire an experienced bat for the middle of the order."
Goold is very particular with his words here – the headliners of Trea Turner and Carlos Correa are unlikely, but the door is still open for Xander Bogaerts or Dansby Swanson. Although all four of those shortstops have been grouped together this offseason, it is clear that Turner and Correa will be getting 8+ year deals at an AAV between $30-$35 million, while Bogaerts and Swanson will sit in the AAVs of $20-$28 million over 4-7 years.
Lurking, milling about, and considering tipping their toe is by no means guarantees of a run at those guys, but it remains very much in play that the Cardinals are one of the main suitors for the likes of Bogaerts or Swanson. Jose Iglesias was mentioned as well, but he does not fit the profile of an “experienced bat for the middle of the order”.
The Cardinals have a variety of ways they can increase their available budget in the coming weeks to go after Bogaerts or Swanson, especially if the club decides to address catcher through the trade market. I estimated that the club will eventually have about $35 million to spend after trading for a catcher and freeing up money, which is plenty of room to get one of those two shortstops and bring in a reliever.
The situation is fluid, but as Cardinal fans began to give up hope on the offseason, let’s take a moment to remember that it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. A lot of things are still in play for the Cardinals, and they are still very much in play for big moves this offseason.