The Cardinals, who in the past two seasons alone have jettisoned a near roster’s worth of offensive talent, are still searching for a reliable middle-of-the-order presence, hears Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. On the back of landmark drafts under the direction of former Scouting Directors Jeff Luhnow and the now-imprisoned Chris Correa, St. Louis, by the middle of the decade, found themselves dripping with projected regulars across the diamond. Though a trimming of the surplus was surely in order, the current offensive version of the Senior Circuit’s most distinguished franchise is still left, aside from the ever-reliable bat of corner infielder Matt Carpenter, without its coveted level of thump. Franchise officials, at this juncture, could be lamenting the ’18 dumpings of Tommy Pham (.343/.448/.622 after a midseason trade to the Rays) and Luke Voit (187 wRC+ with the Yankees), but seem to have a number of potential targets in mind as the offseason approaches its zenith.
- The club “has spoken” with the Diamondbacks about Paul Goldschmidt, says Goold, though the 31-year-old might be a disjointed fit on an already-unbalanced roster. The club’s second-best hitter in 2018, by a wide margin, was former minor league journeyman Jose Martinez, whose recent forays in the outfield have been mostly disastrous. Goldschmidt, for his part, hasn’t played a single inning at a position other than first base in his MLB career thus far, and the club’s corner-outfield spots are already manned by high-profile acquisitions in Marcell Ozuna and Dexter Fowler, the latter of whom is owed nearly $48MM over the next three seasons. Former top-40 prospect Tyler O’Neill, who showed promise, if an undiscerning eye, last season, is also in the mix, though the club could certainly dangle one (or perhaps two) of the four to make a room for the all-world bat of the six-time All-Star.
- Once the envy of executives across the league, the Redbird farm has thinned considerably in recent seasons, though it’s continued its longstanding tradition of churning out under-the-radar performers. Ben Frederickson, also of the StL Post-Dispatch, offers a wonderful overview of former third-round pick Harrison Bader, who broke out to the tune of 3.5 fWAR on the back of sterling center-field defense this season. Quotes from team president Bill DeWitt III aggressively paint the 24-year-old as an “emerging star,” though caution should certainly reign in the case of the University of Florida product. Bader, after all, did struggle in consecutive AAA stints in 2016 and ’17, and posted just a .251/.317/.378 line against right-handers last season while whiffing in over 31% of his plate appearances.