Right now the Cardinals are estimated to be at just under $175 million payroll for 19 veterans, counting the anticipated arbitration awards. So with no other veteran additions (or subtractions), the team will be headed to $180 million. And odds are they will another veteran or two by the end of spring.
The only quick move available to Doug Armstrong is to change the head coach and/or the assistants. As noted earlier, making big moves ahead of the NHL trade deadline is almost impossible these days. And it's not like there are a bunch of future superstars on their AHL team.
They do have some clutter there and that will be sorted out in time. Ideally, the Cardinals will not have to play Yepez much, if at all, in the outfield. Alec Burleson could use more time at Triple-A and it remains to be seen how long it will take Jordan Walker to start realizing more of his massive potential.
The Cardinals are the most consistently successful franchise, by a lot, outside of the big coastal markets. That's why they keep drawing 3 million fans. We sense a lot of fan rage in these chats, but there is not much evidence of that rage at the ballpark.
Yes, a lot will happen between now and the trade deadline. There could be more moves between now and Opening Day, then the development (or lack thereof) of their top prospects will have a significant say what moves follow.
Yeah, there was the Stanley Cup run due significantly to that trade.
Sure, the Cardinals love the guy as a person and he found some things as a pitcher. Ah, but I'm guessing a team with a more obvious rotation hole will win that bidding.
There will be nine returning players getting raises through arbitration awards. Then there is the Contreras contract ($17.5 million), new deals for Giovanny Gallegos and Chris Stratton and (gulp) an increase in the final year of Paul DeJong's contract.
The Blues will retool, not rebuild, because a rebuild will kill the attendance. Having Thomas and Kyrou in place will make the process earlier.
I see Brendan Donovan getting most of the second base with Nolan Gorman spending a lot of time at DH.
Short answer: No. Long answer: He figures to see lots of action in Memphis. If that goes well, then he could be an injury replacement on the fly. A lot would have to happen, good for him and bad for others, for him to walk into a big league roster spot out of spring training.
Sure, those are issues. He will get a fair number of DH at bats next year. So Ivan Herrera has a new lease on organizational life. As it stands now, his development is critical. The Cardinals will need more from the No. 2 catcher than they go last season.
Lars is no sure thing. But there is promise there, promise in Walker, offensive promise in Yepez, offensive promise in Burleson, offensive promise in Gomez . . . so there will be plenty of competitive for at bats as the season unfolds. And if somehow they all flop, then the Cardinals will be shopping for outfielders ahead of the deadline.
No regrets. I saw a fanbase that feared it would never win a Stanley Cup finally rewarded for its perseverance.
Sure, adding Swanson, moving Edman to second base and using Donovan as a utility player would make the Cardinals stronger. Do I see the 2023 payroll topping $200 million for Opening Day? No. But I always enjoy pleasant surprises.
Quintana pitched more than six innings twice as a Cardinal. His prominent role here was dictated by injuries to others. When the Cardinals are healthy, Flaherty, Montgomery, Mikolas, Wainwright and Matz would all be ahead of him in the pecking order.
Everybody knew that Thompson had a NHL-level shot coming out of college. What people didn't know was, would he get strong enough and play with enough pace to succeed at this level? It took him until the age of 24 to realize that potential. That is not unusual for bigger forwards.
Yes, the Cardinals are counting on young players to progress and key veterans to stay healthier than they were a year ago. And if those things don't happen, the organization has a significant prospect pile to trade from while making in-season improvements.