3 things the St. Louis Cardinals can learn from recent successful retools

While national media loves to see teams blow up, recent retools give the Cardinals a blueprint back to contention
World Series - San Francisco Giants v Kansas City Royals - Game Seven
World Series - San Francisco Giants v Kansas City Royals - Game Seven / Elsa/GettyImages
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1. Don't blow up your core

I've seen the argument from some that the duo of Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado "haven't accomplished anything" since coming to St. Louis. First of all, this is just the third year of the team having both superstars paired together, and they found a way to lead the club to the playoffs each of the first two years.

No, this core hasn't won a World Series or even a pennant to prove that they can accomplish big things in October, but I refuse to believe your chances get "better" if you trade away two perennial MVP candidates that probably won't bring back impact players in return.

Let's look at one of the best examples of a club that found a way to retool on the fly and get back into World Series contention in the 2010s - the San Francisco Giants.

San Francisco Giants

Here is a look at the Giants run from 2010-2014.

Year

Giants Record/Result

2010

92-70, World Series Champions

2011

86-76, missed the playoffs

2012

94-69, World Series Champions

2013

76-86, missed the playoffs

2014

88-74, World Series Champions

See a pattern here? Obviously, the Giants' intention was not to take a step back on a year-to-year basis. They actually didn't really even sell at the deadline in 2013 when they were way out of the race. They believed in their core and retooled in the offseason to make a better run the following year.

If you look at their roster from 2010-2014, you'll see that nine different players were a part of all three World Series teams (Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner, Sergio Romo, Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez, and Santiago Casilla). Had the Giants traded away some of this core during their down years, I doubt they maintain the level of success they had during those "even-year World Series runs".

Sure, the club made plenty of moves around the edges and even brought in other significant pieces to boost their chances year to year, but they never gave up on their foundational pieces.

The Cardinals should not, and will not, be trading away Paul Goldschmidt or Nolan Arenado. Jordan Walker is a part of their untouchable core now two. The Cardinals could look to capitalize on the value of one, maybe two of their young bats outside of Walker, but the majority of that core should remain. One down season does not constitute a blow-up, and if the Cardinals maintain their core, they set themselves up for a chance to make a run in 2024.