The Cardinals made a monumental move this week when they acquired superstar first baseman Paul Goldschmidt from the Diamondbacks, but the Redbirds certainly aren’t done yet. Currently mired in their first three-year playoff drought since the late 1990s, the Cardinals are emphasizing the need for immediate improvement, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak revealed after the Goldschmidt trade (via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch).
With the Winter Meetings on the verge of beginning, Goold has the latest on where the 2019-minded Cards could attempt to upgrade next:
- While the Cardinals have been connected to outfielder Bryce Harper, arguably the best free agent available, Goold hears their interest may hinge on the length of his next contract. If Harper’s desired length on his forthcoming deal drops to fewer than 10 years, St. Louis would be more inclined to get seriously involved, Goold indicates.
- With left-handed relief help high on the Cards’ list, they “remain engaged” on free agents Zach Britton and Andrew Miller, Goold reports. And though Mozeliak has expressed confidence in flamethrower Jordan Hicks’ potential to serve as the Cardinals’ primary closer in 2019, the team could offer the ninth inning to Britton or Miller, Goold writes. Both the 30-year-old Britton and Miller, 33, come with plenty of game-ending experience, having combined for 195 saves. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes, Steve Adams and Jeff Todd forecast both hurlers to sign three-year deals in the $30MM range.
- The Cardinals are also seeking a lefty-swinging utility infielder, which could lead to a reunion with ex-Redbird Daniel Descalso. The club has had talks with Descalso’s agent, according to Goold. A third-round pick of the Cardinals in 2007, Descalso played for the team from 2010-14, during which he was part of its most recent World Series winner (2011). The 32-year-old generally hasn’t been much of an offensive threat during his career, but he found another gear last season in Arizona, where he hit far more line drives and fly balls and far fewer grounders. The changes helped Descalso bat an above-average .238/.353/.436 (111 wRC+) with career highs in home runs (13), walk rate (15.1 percent) and isolated power (.198).