For the second straight year, the Cardinals overcame a lackluster offense to reach the postseason, though 2020 also saw the club emerge from a widespread COVID-19 outbreak. St. Louis now faces some tough decisions on veteran cornerstones, while also figuring out how to make further needed upgrades despite a potential lack of payroll flexibility.
- Paul Goldschmidt, 1B: $103.5MM through 2024
- Miles Mikolas, SP: $51.75MM through 2023
- Paul DeJong, SS: $21MM through 2023 (includes $2MM buyout of $12.5MM club option for 2024; Cards also have $15MM club option for 2025 with $1MM buyout)
- Matt Carpenter, IF: $20.5MM through 2021 (includes $2MM buyout of $18.5MM club/vesting option for 2022)
- Dexter Fowler, OF: $16.5MM through 2021
- Carlos Martinez, SP: $12MM through 2021 (includes $500K buyout of $17MM club option for 2022; Cards also have $18MM club option for 2023 with $500K buyout)
- Andrew Miller, RP: $12MM through 2021 (club option vested into a guaranteed deal)
- Kwang Hyun Kim, SP: $4MM through 2021
Note on arb-eligible players: this year’s arbitration projections are more volatile than ever, given the unprecedented revenue losses felt by clubs and the shortened 2020 schedule. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz, who developed our arbitration projection model, used three different methods to calculate different projection numbers. You can see the full projections and an explanation of each if you click here, but for the purposes of our Outlook series, we’ll be using Matt’s 37-percent method — extrapolating what degree of raise a player’s 2020 rate of play would have earned him in a full 162-game slate and then awarding him 37 percent of that raise.
- Harrison Bader – $1.2MM
- John Brebbia – $800K
- Jack Flaherty – $2.2MM
- John Gant – $1.5MM
- Jordan Hicks – $900K
- Alex Reyes – $1.0MM
- Non-tender candidates: Brebbia
- Kolten Wong, 2B: $12.5MM club option for 2021 ($1MM buyout)
On the plus side of the payroll equation, the Cardinals don’t have a big arbitration class, and they have quite a few major contributors who are either just becoming arb-eligible or are still in their pre-arb years. The released Brett Cecil’s contract will come off the books and the Yadier Molina/Adam Wainwright free agent duo represents $25MM in salary, so the Cards could have some money to play with this winter.
The question is, however, whether these savings will be reinvested into payroll. While St. Louis has a lot of inexpensive players, it also has almost $110MM committed to eight players for 2021 (that isn’t counting Kolten Wong’s $12.5MM club option, which we’ll cover later). Like every other team in baseball, the Cardinals are dealing with revenue losses and will be looking to make at least some cutbacks whenever feasible. That said, this is also a veteran win-now team, so the Cards will still be looking to contend.
It leaves president of baseball operations John Mozeliak and GM Mike Girsch with a difficult offseason ahead of them, in part because the 2020 Cardinals are a particularly hard team to evaluate. The coronavirus outbreak affected multiple members of the roster and kept the entire team sidelined for over two weeks, only adding to the stop-start nature of an already abbreviated season. A case can be made that the front office could try to run it back with mostly the same core group, yet the Cardinals have enough weak points that some changes definitely need to be made.
Molina was one of the COVID-19 positive Cardinals, and the longtime catcher simply never got on track, hitting .262/.303/.359 over 156 plate appearances. That makes it consecutive seasons of subpar offensive production for Molina, but he is still looking for a two-year contract that would take him past his 40th birthday. Letting Molina go would open the door for noted prospect Andrew Knizner to assume at least a share of everyday duties (maybe alongside a veteran such as a re-signed Matt Wieters), and yet are the Cards willing to let a franchise icon depart?
Wainwright represents perhaps a slightly easier decision, as the 39-year-old was still a very effective player last season. Statcast metrics didn’t love his performance, but Wainwright still posted a 3.15 ERA, 3.60 K/BB rate, and 7.4 K/9 over a team-high 65 2/3 innings. Even with a big decline over a fuller season of work, Wainwright still looks like he has something to offer a team, so the question now becomes whether or not the Cardinals could be that team. Wainwright has said he wants to stay in St. Louis but hinted that his fate could potentially be linked to wherever Molina ends up.
Re-signing Wainwright to something close to the one-year, $5MM contract (plus several incentives) that he inked last year would seem like a logical move for the Cardinals, who head into 2021 with some question marks on the pitching staff. Nominal ace Jack Flaherty struggled in 2020, Carlos Martinez battled a severe case of COVID-19 and then suffered a late-season oblique strain, and Miles Mikolas’ status for the start of next season isn’t yet known after the righty underwent flexor tendon surgery in late July. On top of that, Dakota Hudson will almost certainly miss all of 2021 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in September.
A lower-tier move like a reunion with Wainwright might be all the attention the Cards focus on their rotation, since they still have some solid in-house depth. Kwang Hyun Kim proved to be a real find last winter, and the South Korean left-hander solidified his spot in next year’s starting five following an outstanding rookie season. Beyond Kim and Flaherty, the Cardinals also have Daniel Ponce de Leon, Jake Woodford, Johan Oviedo, and Austin Gomber to pick up starts, and top prospect Matthew Liberatore could also potentially work his way into the conversation.
There’s also oft-injured Alex Reyes, who stayed healthy (apart from an asymptomatic case of COVID-19) and pitched well in a relief capacity. St. Louis could opt to just keep Reyes in the bullpen to avoid any further injury concerns, and the same logic could also extend to Martinez, who was returning to starting pitching in 2020 after an impressive season and a half working as a reliever. Depending on Martinez’s health situation and the overall state of the rotation, returning Martinez to the closer role (or maybe situational closer duties shared with Reyes) could be a canny way of bolstering an already solid relief corps. Jordan Hicks also figures to be in the ninth-inning mix, though his status is somewhat up in the air after he opted out of the 2020 season due to health concerns and a setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery in June 2019.
The Cardinals’ ability to deliver consistent pitching and quality defense made them a playoff team, though that path would be much easier with any sort of regular help from the lineup. Paul Goldschmidt wasn’t quite a one-man hit squad in 2020, as St. Louis got an unexpectedly big contribution from utilityman Brad Miller and center fielder Harrison Bader at least crushed left-handed pitching, even if his splits against righties were mediocre.
Goldschmidt is obviously a cornerstone player, and the Cards would be pleased with Bader as an everyday player (with some platoon possibility) if he continues to mash lefties and provide solid center field defense, though Bader’s glovework dropped from excellent in 2018-19 to merely good in 2020. Beyond those two, however, the Cardinals will go into next season unsure of whether or not Matt Carpenter, Paul DeJong, or Dexter Fowler can turn things around at the plate.
DeJong’s struggles could be explained by a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, though Carpenter has had two straight subpar seasons and Fowler has been hit-and-miss for much of his St. Louis tenure. On top of that, Tommy Edman followed up his strong 2019 rookie year with an underwhelming second season, so it remains to be seen if Edman just had a sophomore slump (on top of everything else in 2020) or if he can adjust and become a regular contributor within the infield.
For now, the Cardinals’ infield picture lines up as Goldschmidt at first base, DeJong at shortstop, Carpenter at third base, and Edman as the nominal second baseman until a decision is made on Wong. Though Wong hit only .265/.350/.326 over 208 PA last season, the Cards know what they have in the Hawaii native — roughly average offensive production (a 99 wRC+ and 98 OPS+ from 2015-20) and an often spectacular second base glove. In a normal offseason, exercising that $12.5MM club option would seem like a relatively easy call for St. Louis, but the team is thought to be exploring a contract extension with Wong that would lower his salary for the 2021 season but give him more long-term security.
If an extension can’t be reached, could St. Louis consider simply declining Wong’s option? It seems a little unlikely, given Wong’s obvious value to both the Cardinals and other teams, yet the possibility can’t be ruled out if the Cardinals are lacking in payroll wiggle room. The Cards might have some confidence they could get Wong to re-sign at a lower price tag, but a number of second-base needy teams (i.e. the Athletics, Indians, Yankees, Rockies, Phillies, Angels, Cubs, and probably others) would provide a lot of competition for Wong’s services.
With Carpenter a question mark, St. Louis will probably look for more infield depth beyond Edman, and re-signing Miller would certainly seem feasible given how well he played last season. Miller has quietly hit .247/.343/.510 with 20 home runs over 341 PA since the start of the 2019 season, with much of that production coming against right-handed pitching. Signing a player of Miller’s ilk will become even more of a need if the National League again has the DH for 2021, as Miller instantly provided the Cardinals with some pop from the new position.
That leaves the outfield, a big problem area in 2020 that nonetheless has hope for improvement. St. Louis outfielders combined for an 82 wRC+ in 2020 (the sixth-lowest total of any team), but Bader did hit lefties well, and star prospect Dylan Carlson seemed to turn a corner in mid-September after being recalled from a demotion to the alternate training site. The Cardinals likely have Bader and Carlson penciled in for two outfield spots, or perhaps 1.5 spots if Carlson plays center field on days when the Cards face a right-handed starter.
That puts no small amount of pressure on a 22-year-old, of course, and it would help the Cardinals immensely if they could count on anything from Fowler, Tyler O’Neill or Lane Thomas. COVID-19 limited Thomas to only 18 games, so there is some expectation that he can rebound as at least a part-time outfield option if healthy. O’Neill is only 25 and not far removed from being a top prospect, but he has yet to translate his hitting potential into big league numbers.
This much wait-and-see is risky for a team hoping to win in 2021, so if St. Louis makes any sort of notable addition this winter, the outfield is the logical landing spot. As much as trading Randy Arozarena might still weigh heavily on the front office’s mind, the Cardinals could shop O’Neill, Thomas, or Bader for a more proven veteran bat. With only one year left on his contract, Fowler might also be moveable in a bad-contract swap or if the Cards are willing to eat some money. If the trade market isn’t the preferred route, the Cardinals could look at free agents, whether it’s pure outfielders like Joc Pederson, or perhaps multi-position types like Jurickson Profar or Enrique Hernandez that could help in both the outfield and infield.
There’s probably bound to again be speculation about the Cards trying to swing a bigger-ticket trade like their acquisition of Goldschmidt two offseasons ago, or their rumored interest in Nolan Arenado last winter. But, if payroll concerns were an obstacle to an Arenado trade last year, a deal seems even more unlikely now in the pandemic’s wake.
It’s easy to imagine either a pretty quiet or a pretty busy offseason for the Cardinals, depending on how much change they feel is necessary. After all, this is a club that has been to the postseason in consecutive years, albeit via the expanded playoff field in 2020. The potential departures of Molina and Wainwright have more than just symbolic importance, as the Cards would be left with two more areas of need on a roster that is lacking in sure things.
Let’s go doyers!!!!!!!!!!
Molina and Wainwright will return. The team will make Carlis Martinez available… but hopefully just put him in the bullpen. Flaherty Wainwright Kim and Mikolas make a solid foundation for the SP. Hicks, Gallegos, Miller and Martinez, if he’s kept.. makes a good end of the bullpen. Then you have Reyes, Gomber, Woodford, Ponce and Gant fighting it out for the 5th starter. Then whoever doesnt start competes with Cabrera and Helsley for the final 5 spots in the bullpen. Either CF or 3b needs to be addressed. You can stand one of Bader or Carpenter in the lineup every day but not both. But easy to see another division title or WC run again just based off the pitching staff
I’d give Martinez one more shot at the starting rotation given the extenuating circumstances. You forgot to mention Webb for the bullpen, and of course Brebbia should be coming back. Anyway, the Cardinals will once again have excellent pitching depth, especially if they once again resign Wainwright.
I’d rather just play Edman at 3B most days and bench Carpenter, although an outside upgrade at 3B would be nice if they can swing it. I have no idea why Schildt was playing Carpenter over Miller in the playoffs.
I like Edman as an unofficial starter spelling everyone. It allows you to target certain things like specific PHs on your bench, especially now that it seems there wouldnt be a DH in the NL next year
I did forget Webb… even more depth. I wouldnt count on Brebbia until the All star game. With Carlos, he’s a middling starter it seems. Been too long since he was difference maker as a starter. His year plus in the pen… he was definitely a difference maker tho.
You aren’t the only one who was wondering why they played Carpenter over Miller. Off the top of my head I don’t think Miller had an at bat until their last game. Then again, they sat Randy Arrozarena too last year in the playoffs even though their outfielders couldn’t hit a baseball off of a batting tee in the 19 playoffs.
Justin Turner tests positive for covid!!
Wonder how many players on the field will get it too
Prob 0. Don’t think rays got anybody to 3rd base all night lolz.
So did the test results come back mid game ?? Seems kinda shady to me. We had a baby this year and the nurses sat on my wife’s results bc it effected their ability to all be in the room.
Kinda disgusting that mlb trade rumors won’t congratulate dodgers but will site justin turner for having covid. The dodger hate is real.
Dodgers winning is not a rumor. Turner’s mysterious disappearance from the lineup mid-game was. They didn’t know anything til the postgame, so all the folks lighting off fireworks still have no idea.
Could possibly be the fact they broke protocols by playing Turner and the game should be forfeited
MLBTR didn’t congratulate the Nats last year either. They don’t cover the games, they analyze the performance of individual players and teams and work hard not to let their individual fan biases bleed through. That’s what I like about this site.
You know what’s disgusting? All these comparisons of Mike Trout to Mookie Betts through out the playoffs, as to who is the best player in the world. Not only are Trouts numbers far superior to Betts, but he never had the lineup protection of the Red Sox and Dodgers or any sign stealing allegations (redsox 2018, also his ONLY MVP award). Trout has a career OPS of 1.000, Betts .895, Trout has been worth 10+ WAR 3 times (8+, 6 times), Betts has had 10+ 1 time (8+, 2 times). MVP awards 3 to 1. I will give Betts the edge on the basepaths and in the field but Trouts offensive numbers have just been so consistently impressive through out his entire career.
Who cares? Get a life.
What did Dexter Fowler ever do to you? Yes, he’s overpaid and his 2018 season was terrible, but he’s since had 2 decent seasons in a row. If he isn’t traded (or injured in Spring Training), then he’ll be the Cardinals’ starting right fielder on Opening Day.
I could see him splitting time with O’Neill. Carlson definitely starts. Bader’s slash numbers made some improvements and that defense helps the pitching staff
Huh? .233/.317/389 slash line, paired with below average defense, is decent? Especially coming with a price tag of $16.5M dollars? What did he do for you?
Signing Dexter Fowler was one of the worst things to happen to the Cardinals IMO. Such a brutal deal, cost them a draft pick and they already had multiple outfielders and prospects that could’ve put up better numbers at a fraction of the cost (Grichuk, Piscotty, Pham) , he was probably a factor in Arozarena becoming expendable as well.
I couldnt agree more, fowler factored into randy being traded and possibly not offering ozuna a contract. An out field of Carlson, ozuna and randy a would have been pretty good
What everyone forgets, is that Randy got Liberatore. While Randy has mashed, and historically always did, at every stop in the minors. Lets let Matthew pitch a few games before we totally burn this trade to the ground. If they BOTH become all-stars, I’ll still take the LH Starting pitcher over an OF’er all day, every day. I’m not defending the Fowler signing, just making the statement that we didn’t “give” Arozarena away by any means. And I highly doubt if Fowler had any bearing on Arozarena. They saw a chance to get a very highly touted LH starter, and they took it.
Justin Turner, you just won the World Series! What’re you gonna do next?!
“Uh, I’m gonna go quarantine because I got the ‘Rona”
Hope it was a false positive but yea it sucks you know
With bubble, just hoping that could be on table still. Either way, hope it doesn’t hit him hard
It wasn’t a false positive. The question is why did they let him play at all since he also tested positive yesterday.
They didn’t know. Initial results came back inconclusive from the test taken in the second inning today. Then, results from the earlier test were expedited, came back positive, and Turner was removed immediately.
So no, he didn’t “test positive yesterday and be allowed to play” – the result from yesterday’s test came back positive TODAY. Unless you’re saying the Dodgers and MLB knew the results before the lab did?
It’s one thing to be misinformed – it’s another to be misinformed and continue to spread false information.
Well he didn’t test positive yesterday like you claim. His sample from yesterday was tested today and came back inconclusive. THEN they tested today’s sample and found it positive. He was then immediately pulled.
The team is also doing rapid testing tonight. Get your facts right before claiming a World Series game should be canceled or there’s some BS conspiracy theory
Sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan that in the second inning, the lab doing COVID-19 tests informed Major League Baseball that Turner’s test from Monday came back inconclusive. Samples taken from Tuesday then arrived and were run, sources said, and they showed up positive. The league then immediately called the Dodgers and said to pull Turner.
He was replaced in the field by Edwin Rios.
“We learned during the game Justin tested positive, and he was immediately isolated to prevent spread,” Manfred said.
Thanks for info. Well stated. MLBTR should open comments so fans can complete their article lolz
35 years old. Who would sign him longer than 2 years?
2 or 2 with an option is most I could see.
Decent money, he can still hit and pick it, just needs a solid backup. But if he even gets 3 guaranteed I’ll be quite surprised
Congrats to my fellow Dodger fans. Been a long time coming, and this was a special team
Wish JT got to celebrate with the guys. He was as integral as ever. I’m Sure it felt as surreal to a lot of you as it did to me. Enjoy everyone
Agreed let’s enjoy this one! Long over due!
Another WS deserving an asterisk. The game should’ve been called as soon as Turner’s test results came back. God knows how many players will now have covid thanks to Turner
Yawn. They followed the protocol of pulling him and quarantining as soon as the test came back positive
If they didn’t want him to play, MLB should have tested him earlier in the day.
such an embarrassment for MLB that he came out and celebrated tho. I can’t believe the stupidity (on his part)
Seeing as that of the 200k covid deaths only 70K were actually caused by covid (less than 1 percent death rate) I’d be out there too. He already potentially contaminated the whole team with back to back tests so he should still be able to enjoy the victory. Go be angry elsewhere
Yeah, not according to the actual public health experts. 220K, third leading cause of death, to a great extent due to folks without the sense and decency to wear masks and socially distance. It’s actually an undercount if you look at all the extra deaths occuring this year. But let’s not let experts get in the way. You know, actual science by people educated, trained, experienced, and practicing in the field.
As an expert, if your mask works (which they don’t) then why do I need one? Mr. MoRivera Stalin. Funny how since COVID, there are no more diseases of ANY sort, its taken the place of them ALL. No more pneumonia, no more RSV, no more Influenza, h e l l, if you die in a car wreck, but test positive, you’re getting labeled as a COVID death. But you keep preaching there “Mr. Educated”. Oh, btw, I DO work in the field.
Your posts deserve an asterisk for their idiocy.
Mikolas is owed 57 million? I’m sorry, that’s up there for one of the worst contracts of the decade.
He had 1 good season, I missed that extension
Considering even as a number 4 starter… that contract isnt horrible in today’s game. So I have absolutely no idea how you think it’s a horrible contract
Given the Cardinals are going to cry poor about payroll, spending 17M a year on a backend starter is not good business
It may not be a big deal in LA/NY/Bos/Chi. But STL? That hurts. A bit hyperbole by SD I agree, but it’s a bad deal
stan lee the manly
…he’s not a backend starter though, he’s a 2-3.
I mean, if you ignore his 2020 and pretend it’s February still, sure maybe that’s a reasonable statement
But in his 2nd year back in the majors, his era+FIP both jumped an entire run. His ERA+ was 102, so he was 2% better than the league average pitcher. But making 17M.
LAD’s ace, their 3rd starter, 4th starter and 5th starters salaries combined were less than 33% of just Miles
His 2020 also is much more on line with his pre overseas tour. We can say let’s give him a more normal 2021, that’s valid. But I wouldn’t be penciling him into a competing rotation in the 2 slot and expect that to go well. Atm, it appears he got paid based on his aberration season. For cards fans sake, I hope he rebounds. But it sure looks like a bad contract man
it is. the market has cheap SP options every year and most teams have young SP who can fill that role for cheap. Mikolas might have been a floor 4th starter before the injury. he might be worse now.
Gotta disagree there… worst contracts of the decade?? Cmon now
Pujols says hello
Please Cardinals, make sure you don’t play Matt Carpenter too much. You sure don’t want to vest that option for 2022!! Or just dump him and replace him with a cheap rookie. What’s 18.5 vs 19.1 million for that roster spot.
And I agree with another comment that Edman should be a multi position sub.
So pickup or renegotiate Wong’s contract. Make sure that DeJong gets more rest. He can’t play full time without wearing out. Find a SS or 3B and if necessary move DeJong to 3rd.
As I have said before on the MASN site, signing Molina, if he is game, to the Orioles, he would be excellent in helping the pitching develop and helping Adley R as well
Molina knows what it takes to be a Major League Catcher and perform at a high level and the Orioles don’t really have that in their organization
don’t know if he’d take a deal (or if they were either willing to overpay him or promise him a full time spot), but considering he has his awards, a world series ring, etc.. might be willing to give them a try (and if can mentor adley, great).
He would be great if he wants to walk and if he wants to join the Orioles
Plus would the Orioles want him
molina wants another ring
Cards Fan PA
As a Cardinals fan you should know that it has been reported in the past that Yadi isn’t real keen on tutoring or at least diving into full on tutoring. He’s great 1 of my favs but there have been young catchers that the cards have brought up hoping Yadi would show the ropes to and while he does be the veteran catcher to them he does not go full on tutor. It’s just not his way. In his defense he does dive 100% into understanding the game and the pitching staff. He has been amazing for the Cards and for baseball but he may not be the best candidate for you guys for a tutor situation.
he does dive 100% into understanding the game and the pitching staff.
I would even take him just for this.
The O’s have a lot of hot shot pitchers up and coming and by Adley watching him, I think Molina could be still very valauble
Cubs fan here that watches a lot of Cards games due to the Cubs/Cardinal games. I think the finances might be better served letting Molina walk and resigning Wainwright. But it would be nice for Cards to resign both. Wong is a heck of a ballplayer but I could see the Cards declining his option for the money to resign Wainwright & Molina.
I’d keep Martinez in the bullpen. I know the value of his contract looks better as a SP, but with his injury history he’s probably better served in bullpen. And the way baseball has moved to using multiple pitchers every game there is more value in a bullpen arm with Martinez upside than at first glance.
The Cubs & Cards usually never make any trades but I wonder if a Fowler for Schwarber trade makes any sense? The Cubs have never replaced Fowler at lead-off and he is down to 1 year. The Cards would love to move away from his contract I’d believe. Schwarber is an obvious non tender candidate that might make $9 mill in arb. A change of scenery might do him good. If it doesn’t work in SL he only has 1 year of team control so Cards just let him walk after 2021.
dump carpenter molina wainwright martinez fowler
what a dupe trading luke and randy
wouldn’t have needed goldschmidt
hindsight is very much 20/20 on those two. chances they were blocked in STL.
out with the old, in with the new
So what is everyone’s prediction for the offseason for the Cardinals. I say they resign Molina 2 years and Wainwright for 1 year then either trade or sign for a middle of the order bat.
Total outsider here so all my opinions could be 1000% wrong. But how I see it,
Unless they get the a massive discount on the vets, or a hitter on a nice contract, I think it’s one or the other. I’m not confident based on the comments their FO has made over the last 6 months that they are spending much money this offseason
They have a lot of money coming off 2021’s books. Unless they can free up some cash, I think they’re more likely to assess some of their young guys and decide how close they are to being contributors to next great cards team, and look to 2022, hoping maybe they can be a wild card team
Maybe give Waino and Molina 1 or 2 year deals for final swan song, hope the kids mature and/or get healthy, then use that 65 mil(!!!) coming off the books to fill the still open holes for 2022.
I think they get a superstar shortstop, but next offseason. Maybe shop the non tender wire this year, which should have some good talent, and sell them on the kids blossoming together. Etc etc. don’t mean to be a downer, just my opinion
Cardinals should be in on Lindor, not Arenado. Do it while Goldschmidt is in his prime. They have enough pieces to get that deal done.
The Rays would like to thank the Pirates and Cardinals for making their run to the AL championship and World Series possible.
Um, the Rays lost the WS. I don’t think ANY victory laps are appropriate. Go ahead and feel good about what they accomplished, but rubbing it in anyone’s face seeing as they tripped over the finish line is more than off-putting. By your logic, every Dodger fan and supporter ought to be taking the opportunity to rub their victory in your face. And so far I’m not seeing that. Careful. You might bring it down on yourself.
I use to think locking up potential quality players young was a good strategy and applauded the cards for being so proactive in doing so- I was clearly wrong. Welp, atleast it ain’t my money
Rangers might be willing to talk Lynn and Odor for O’Neill and 60% of Fowler’s contract and DH him. Think it nearly makes sense to bring Yadier on at 2/12 and Wainwright 1/5 plus incentives in order give Huff time to be ready to join Trevino and Wainwright for year gives Cody, Benjamin or Palumbo time to be ready in 22 I would not be opposed to discussions about a Wong trade either. As for as SChwarber to Cards that makes sense, but he would also look really good in Ranger blue.
@rangers13 – St Lo would first have to exercise their $12.5 M option on Wong before they can trade him.. If they buy him out then he is a free agent and your suggestion about trade discussions is a moot idea.
Carp and Mikolas contracts dont help a smaller payroll team.
Cards stuck in neutral, looking another year older but no better.
They could probably afford Arenado in 2021 if the Rockies took Carpenter back. Seems like a pretty obvious compromise to me. Obviously with the Rockies getting more than just Carp.
Give them Carpenter,Gorman,C-Mart,Bader/O’Neil
They didn’t make it via the expanded playoffs – they would have made the postseason in the 2012-2019 alignment as well
Not much they can do. I think the roster is what it is for 2021. Plenty of money coming off the books next offseason.
They will have an opportunity to reload by trading Flaherty. I don’t see him wanting to resign, the FO not offering enough money, or a combination of those keeping him from being a long term part of the team. If they can’t extend him, they should hope for a bounce back and sell to the highest bidder.