The Cardinals have had a good off-season that could easily turn into a superb off-season when it’s all said and done. All things considered…
They acquired Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden from the Braves. They found a 1B platoon with Mark Reynolds. They shored up the bullpen with Matt Belisle.
This was an elite NL team in 2014 and will be an elite NL team in 2015. As we enter the season here’s the starting rotation:
- Adam Wainwright
- Lance Lynn
- John Lackey
- Michael Wacha
- Carlos Martinez
Now, that’s possibly the best rotation in baseball top to bottom in terms of potential. It’s also rife with landmines. Is Mike Wacha healthy? Can Martinez actually be a consistent starter? Lackey is a big game pitcher, but can he still eat up 180+ innings?
GM John Mozeliak has continued to hint that the Cardinals are still in the market for a starting pitcher… if the price is right.
That leaves top free-agents Max Scherzer and James Shields off the table, right?
Until Ken Rosenthal went on MLB Network and predicted that James Shields ends up with the Cardinals.
Now, Rosenthal, for his part, is saying that he’s not reporting anything. And this is just all speculation on his part. So far from a done deal.
Rosenthal, like @TheBirdsOnTheBat13 says, isn’t “some Joe Smith” reporter. (Side: Joe Schmo, move over.) He’s as connected as they come in MLB. So the fact that he thinks the Cardinals have a chance to land Shields is not nothing.
In 2014 for KC –
34 starts | 227 IP | 3.21 ERA | 1.18 WHIP | 180 SOs | 3.3 WAR | 18-8 W/L
That line would fit beautifully right in the middle of the Cardinals rotation, wouldn’t it? The chances that the Cards get the deal done are still less than 50%, though.
Executives on other teams believe that Shields has a 5 yr/ 110M contract already on the table – enough to place him in the 12th spot on top paid MLB pitchers by annual average value (assuming Scherzer signs for more). That’s a hefty contract for the Cardinals.
Hopefully it happens.
And if it doesn’t, then let’s all get mad at Kenny for getting our hopes up.
Photo: Sporting News