- The Cards will be looking for a middle-of-the-lineup slugger this winter to boost the lineup. “For us, we have a talented team, but when you look at our club, no one stood out as an All-Star, that threat,” president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said. Seven Cards regulars were above-average run-creators in 2017 as per the wRC+ metric, though injuries and a lack of regular playing time impacted that group. Josh Donaldson has been rumored to be one of the Cardinals’ offseason targets, and would certainly fit the bill as a big lineup upgrade if St. Louis is able to pry him away from the Blue Jays.
- With Trevor Rosenthal sidelined by Tommy John surgery, the Cards will look into adding ninth-inning help, even if they’re wary of shopping at the high end of the free agent closer market. “Ideally, you don’t pay retail for closers if you can avoid it, and we’ve been lucky for the last long period of not having to dip into that end of the market. But we don’t have an heir apparent at the moment, so we will have to evaluate what our options are,” GM Michael Girsch said.
- Flexibility seems to be the key word for this Cardinals’ offseason, as with so many multi-positional players on the roster, the club has several options in deciding who could potentially stay or go. (And who could be added, in regards to acquiring that big bat.) Mozeliak said that catcher Yadier Molina is the only position player who has his spot on the field firmly established for 2018. This means that Dexter Fowler could potentially move out of center field, which Mozeliak said will likely be discussed in the coming weeks. 2016 was the only season of Fowler’s career that saw him post positive numbers in the Defensive Runs Saved and UZR/150 categories, as he struggled to minus-18 DRS and -9.9 UZR/150 last year over 933 1/3 IP in center field.
- The Cardinals have yet to decide whether or not to issue a qualifying offer to free agent starter Lance Lynn. If Lynn rejected the QO, the Cards would be in line for compensation (an extra draft pick just prior to the third round) if he signed elsewhere. If he accepted, then he’d return to St. Louis on a one-year deal worth in the neighborhood of $18.1MM. After missing all of 2016 due to Tommy John surgery, Lynn returned to post very solid numbers this season and pitched 186 1/3 innings, which could quiet concerns about his post-surgery durability. Even with such a major recent injury on his record, Lynn is likely to find a good multi-year deal on the open market, so one would think he’d reject a QO.