The offseason is finally upon us.
The Rangers secured their first World Series title in franchise history with a win over the Diamondbacks in Game 5 of the World Series, which means the Cardinals can finally get to work on what should be one of the most crucial offseasons in recent memory.
The Cardinals finished 71-91 and in last place in the NL Central. At the top of the priority list for President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak is pitching.
In order to add pitching, the Cardinals are going to have to pony up and either spend some significant money or possibly even trade away some of their young position players.
We know that there is a logjam in the outfield. Too many outfielders and not enough places to put them. But trading Tyler O'Neill or Dylan Carlson won't get them the kind of pitching they need. It's going to take getting rid of somebody like Brendan Donovan, Tommy Edman, or Nolan Gorman.
That's the cost of business these days, and it's something the Cardinals must do to adapt to the changing times.
Every good trade hurts to make a little bit. It's what is called the "puke point." But even with that bit of information and how much it will hurt to trade one of those three stars, a bright spot could emerge.
In addition to bringing in quality pitching, it might also help the Cardinals offense. Let me explain.
Despite how poorly this season went, one bright spot that emerged late in the year was Richie Palacios. Palacios proved to be a solid left-handed bat off the bench, and he even drew several starts in the outfield and at second base.
Palacios showed power at the plate and took full advantage of all opportunities he was given down the stretch. The 26-year-old hit .258 with six home runs and 16 RBI in 93 at-bats with the Cardinals this season.
I was quite impressed by what I saw from him and recently realized that the Cardinals do have some options, even if they are forced to trade Gorman, Donovan, or Edman.
Simply put, Palacios could seize an everyday role with the team. It would certainly hurt to lose one of the three young stars listed above, but the Cardinals do have options.
Palacios came over from the Guardians in June and didn't make his team debut until late August. But when he finally did, he provided a spark, proving himself as the latest hidden gem that the Cardinals found.
For all the flaws of the front office, they have been good at finding hidden gems, such as Palacios.
Palacios also possesses some elite speed and defensive skills. If St. Louis were to trade Donovan and move Tommy Edman back to second base, then Palacios could take over in center field. It would also help the team clear out its outfield logjam.
It could also open the door for more opportunities for guys like Juan Yepez and Alec Burleson. These are guys that are currently somewhat blocked and unable to establish themselves at the current moment, though Burleson showed plenty of promise this season.
So, even if Edman, Gorman, or Donovan are traded, the Cardinals' offense isn't at a total and complete loss. If given the opportunity to play every day, Palacios could help offset some of the losses.
St. Louis would also get the pitching they so desperately need.