The St. Louis Cardinals haven’t played a baseball game in 46 days.
There hasn’t been a professional baseball game played in 15 days by anyone.
(Insert hot stove pun here.)
Historically the Cardinals aren’t the biggest player when it comes to super-premium MLB free-agents or high-profile winter trades.
Think of them as a very well-off business person that occasionally gambles. Not afraid to go HAM on a trip to Vegas… but to a point. The mortgage will never be in jeopardy. The kid’s tuition fund won’t be tapped into.
Flight home will be miserable and vows to better ones self will be made – then forgotten by next Thursday when the weekend approaches.
Take Dex, for instance.
During the 2016 free-agent period, Dexter Fowler might have seemed like a big outlay.
He doesn’t even crack a (pretty long) list of 90M+ contracts. His is 82.5M.
Cardinals paid a premium for a reliever, but 8M for the next three seasons is going to be more of a nuisance than a hindrance for the team if he repeats 2017’s stat line.
Yes, both of these guys cost the Cardinals money. Yes, they both should have been upgrades from what the team had. But neither signing was or will be franchise changing – good or bad. Just a couple of real solid pieces for a team that was OK in 2016.
This off-season, though?
The Cardinals seem to be in the running for every single free agent.
- Gio Stanton
- Alex Colome
- Yu Darvish
- Jake Arrieta
- Charlie Blackmon
- Chris Archer
- Greg Holland
- Mark Melancon
- Josh Donaldson
There’s probably more, but I’m tired of cutting and pasting links.
You get the idea… pretty much every good player that is a free-agent or openly on the trading block has been mentioned in association with the Cardinals.
Funny how that happens when everyone knows a new 1 billion+ TV deal kicks in.
Agent spin or not, the thirst for the Cardinals to do something this season from The Nation is high.
In case you need a visual:
I think the Cardinals are in a real bad spot at the moment.
After a disaster 5-14 season series against the Cubs in 2017, EVERYONE know that the team needs to do something to try and get back in the NL Central race.
Because they’re flush with a new TV deal EVERYONE expects them to do something big to try and improve the team ASAP with all that fresh cash.
Negotiating from a place of need is never, ever good.
Yet, here they are.
Meanwhile, outside the office walls, us fans are over here counting this tremendous player haul.
Debating if Stanton should bat 3rd or 4th.
Wondering if Darvish can teach Carlos how to make his slider even more nasty.
NO cares about what the other teams want in return or just what the contracts these player’s agents are demanding.
The Cardinals have the unenviable task of now trying to live up to the hype.
Can they do it?
If they do do it, what is the new threshold for satisfaction from the fans where we can claim it was did?
The off-season is getting interesting.