Wacha would have a better chance to be in it than Flaherty and perhaps Reyes, at least at the start of the season. .
Martinez could be that four outfielder/extra first base type that gets 400 at-bats. But I do not deem him a good enough defender to play every day.
Unless you go after J.D. Martinez, if he becomes a free agent, the bats you would seek are trade items (Donaldson, Stanton, Ozuna, perhaps Yelich).
As he would say, at the end of the day, you're probably right. But it seemed strong enough in the spring. For a variety of reasons, it just didn't happen. I would choose to look at it as that the roster the Cardinals did have didn't play nearly as fundamentally soundly as it should have, with baserunning and defense particular sore thumbs.
Lynn has been having blister issues from time to time although not so much lately, it would appear. His fastball is live, so fatigue doesn't seem to be a factor. He has had more trouble harnessing what he does have. Next year, another year removed from his elbow surgery, he will have a better idea. Somebody else might get the chance to find that out, though.
Teams always are upgrading their benches but that always is their last priority. Garcia didn't have a great year but lefthanded-hitting infielders who can play three positions are highly valued. The Cardinals do need to figure out what they're doing at third and first. Shortstop, with DeJong, is not a problem.
Grichuk is not going to be a .270 hitter, as he was his first year. The Cardinals will have to decide if .240 with 20 to 25 homers plus good speed and good range is enough. My guess is that they already have.
For one thing. they could put a limit on some of the armor the hitters wear on their elbows, when they go to bat.
The front office will trade some of those players. All I can think of otherwise, is that somehow, some way, even more time needs to be allocated to defensive and base running fundamentals in the spring, even if it comes at the expense of extra swings in the cage.
Insanity will be if the Cardinals bring back even 70 percent of the players who are here now. The DeWitts very much value winning. They are not happy with this season, even though there was a late-season rush. Change is in the wind.
Bader is the most likely to be on the club, followed by Flaherty and then Sierra.
Beat the Cubs. The Cardinals are 4-11 overall and 1-8 at Wrigley. If they were close to .500 in both categories, they would be neck and neck. Seriously, the club needs a closer like the Cubs have in Wade Davis and an impact bat like the Cubs, who have two.
Jay and Heyward hurt the Cardinals this weekend. But Heyward is a .260 hitter without much pop and not nearly worth the $22 to $23 million per year it would have taken to sign him.
They did get into a bidding war for Price and they thought they had him. They also were second on Robert. Machado and Harper will be on everybody's list a year from now, including the Cardinals'. .
They may very well "ride" Wainwright for one more year, since he already is signed. I would look at Arrieta maybe but with caution. And also Lynn, of course. But I think you plan A is what is going to happen.
A little strong there on Contreras as a superstar. The Davis/cecil comparison is valid. Davis has had some arm issues the last couple of years but not so far this year. Cecil didn't work out _ at least not yet. The talent gap overall isn't huge, though. The Cubs aren't likely to have Arrieta or Lackey next year and they would trade their old starting staffs with the Cardinals' young one in a heartbeat.
Why would they have to do that? He's a starter now.
I would think Wacha would be agreeable to that sort of thinking. He has shown his arm is sound and he still has a chance at leading the staff in wins this year, although nobody is likely to win more than 14. And that's not good.
Just because there are 29 other teams, I would say Cardinals. But the best answer probably is neither.