Using past retooling teams as a template for the Cardinals

Rather than tearing it down and rebuilding, the St. Louis Cardinals will likely retool this year once again. These past retools provide a good blueprint.
League Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game Seven
League Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game Seven / Elsa/GettyImages
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2016 New York Yankees into 2017 season

2016 record: 84-78 record (4th in American League East)
2017 record: 91-71 record (2nd in American League East, lost in ALCS)

This type of retool would be the most complicated to replicate. The Yankees brass was exceptional at flipping players in the 2016 season to set themselves up for success in 2017. After knowing they wouldn't be serious playoff contenders, general manager Brian Cashman began dealing away players.

He traded Aroldis Chapman, an impending free agent, to the Chicago Cubs for Gleyber Torres. They also traded pitcher Andrew Miller to the Cleveland Indians for Clint Frazier. Lastly, New York traded away Ivan Nova and Carlos Beltran to offload some salary.

The retirement of Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez increased the financial flexibility of the team for the upcoming offseason, and top prospects like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Tyler Austin made their debuts later in the 2016 season, setting them up for success next year.

During the 2016-2017 offseason, the Yankees signed outfielder Matt Holliday, and they brought back closer Aroldis Chapman on a five-year, $86 million deal. The 2017 Yankees team is most known for the "Baby Bombers", a moniker given to Aaron Judge, Greg Bird, Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez, and Luis Severino for their prowess in 2017.

The 2017 Yankees also had a very young rotation led by Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery with veterans such as Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, and Sonny Gray on the back end. In addition to their strong rotation, the primary cause for success for the 2017 Yankees was their bullpen. They had 7 pitchers who threw at least 35 innings with an ERA+ greater than 117.

The Yankees were able to trade away players who were of no help to them during the lost second half of 2016. They also leaned heavily on their young players in 2017. The Cardinals can easily mirror this in 2024-2025. By trading away players like Keynan Middleton and Andrew Kittredge, the Cardinals can bring back a young player or two who will be ready to contribute very soon. Resigning these veterans during free agency would be a shrewd move. A formidable bullpen, a reliance on power, and a focus on youth can help the Cardinals match the 2017 Yankees retool success.

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