At 44-47, the Cardinals currently sit in fourth place, nine games behind the Brewers for the National League Central lead. But the Cardinals aren’t ready to tear it down and start shedding trade assets. It’s not at all likely that the Cardinals become sellers this July, despite their current place in the standings, per The Athletic’s Katie Woo (via Twitter). Of course, that’s not unusual for the Cardinals, one of the most stable and competitive franchises in the game.
In terms of their chances for contention in 2021, nine games isn’t an inconceivable margin to overcome, though leapfrogging the three teams ahead of them might be as much of a challenge. That said, the Cubs do seem likely to sell, and therefore slip further down the standings as we move into August and September. The Cardinals are also 8.5 games out of a wild card spot, however, so there’s no clear path to a postseason spot.
That said, there are some reinforcements on the way. Both Miles Mikolas and Jack Flaherty threw bullpens yesterday, per Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat (via Twitter). Mikolas made just one start this year, but he’s been a productive member of the rotation in years past. Flaherty, of course, could be a difference-maker if he’s able to return from his torn oblique.
Jordan Hicks, however, may not return this season, notes Jones. Hicks has been out with elbow inflammation since May 2nd, and there’s still no telling when he might be ready to take the hill again. Given Hicks’ injury history, this latest chapter is particularly disheartening for the 24-year-old flamethrower.
Pitching hasn’t necessarily been the issue for the Cardinals, however. With 360 runs scored, they’ve outscored just the Mets and Pirates, and they are tied with Cleveland for 26th in the Majors with a 88 wRC+. They rank 25th with a .379 SLG and 26th with a .302 OBP. They’re putting the ball in play — 21.9 percent strikeout rate is tied for third-lowest in the Majors — but those balls are largely being turned into outs, as they’re also third-lowest by BABIP with a .272 team batting average on balls in play.
While the Cardinals are built around their pitching and defense, it’s safe to assume they expected more from the offense. They are healthy as a unit now, however, so perhaps the Cardinals expect a second half surge. Regardless, outside of a few veterans like Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright, Andrew Miller and Kwang Hyun Kim, most of the Cardinals’ roster is controlled beyond this season, so it’s not wholly unreasonable to avoid a sell-off, even if their playoff odds, at the moment, are a slim 1.8 percent, per Fangraphs.
Doesn’t make sense for the Cardinals to sell. All of the pieces that could give them a return are controllable and they don’t seem like the kind of franchise to ship iconic Cardinals like Wainwright or Molina away mid season. Maybe they look to move Kim for a MLB-ready player, but I wouldn’t say that’s selling.
Selling controllable assets makes a lot of sense if the return is worth more than what you have up. I’d see what I could for some the Cards’ young cheap outfielders.
Yea like maybe arozerana and adolis Garcia. Oh wait….
But why would the Cards do that when the division isn’t really strong and they could easily compete next year as well as this year if some things go right? Cards are in the prototypical hold kind of situation.
Agreed. They also have a large chunk of payroll coming off this offseason and can get the pieces they need. If they spend said dollars….
All eyes are on Arenado with what he plans on doing with his opt out.
He has already came out and said he is not opting out.
How many times does he need to say he is staying in St. Louis before people like you stop talking about his opt out clause?
trading young players is the last thing the Cardinals need to do. They should rely on the core of vets they have and then double down on youth around the Arenados and Goldschmidts.
I gave you a thumbs up—— But, when Arenaldo & Goldschmidt are in the Starting Line up next season, there are some key minor leaguers who will be blocked out of playing positions. Some double blocked on the depth chart.
In that respect—-some of those players could be used to rent a player such as Trevor Story for 2021 to solidify the line up—-knowing he’d want to resign for 2022 to stay with the Cardinals and Arenaldo. (Making DeJong the every day utility man who can play all 4 infield positions. With him in that roll—- offense and defense would not suffer in any direction!!!). Thus leaving Sosa as trade bait too.
Enough blocked talent is still left enough to rent a Starting Pitcher for 2021. A solid starter who consistently throw strikes like a real professional pitcher ought to be able to do.
All of the time protecting Their top 2 major league ready prospects.
The addition of that one Impact Starting pitcher plus the addition of Storey—- plus the fact the Cards have Flaherty coming back—— makes 4 solid starters for the remainder of the season and on into 2022.
Now the Cardinals are loaded with the right players to make a World Series run, not just in 2021 but 2022 and beyond. When Waino becomes a Starting pitchier plus the teams pitching coach.
And of course I’d like to see Yadi as the starting catcher and hitting coach for 2022 also!!!!
If this could happen——- John Mozeliak would deserve to be extended. But—- Alberts and his inaffective philosophy of his hitting style is a total failure. He must go in 2022. Plus be ignored the rest of 2021
Imagine that. We will probably trade some prospects for Mike Foltynewicz. That seems like someone Mozo would like.
$260 million went into Ballpark Village when the Cardinals needed an Impact star player.
So don’t think you will see any huge improvements in the players in 2022.
Goldschmidt has been a Bust. That’s for Sure.
He’s a bust, eh? Straight up for Hosmer then?
Wouldn’t call him a bust really. Not exactly what we thought we were getting, but still solid.
For the amount that the Cards traded for him and for the size of the extension that they gave him, I think it’s pretty fair to say that he has been a borderline bust at this point. I doubt the Cards expected him to perform quite the way he did during his prime in Arizona, especially towards the end of the deal, but they were clearly expecting more than this from him the past two seasons. He hasn’t been horrendous by any means, but he really hasn’t been that good. Definitely not justifying his contract, and could become quite a liability in another year or two. He’s had rough stretches before and then got hot though, so I guess we shall see.
He’s not really a bust; this is just how these contracts go more often than not. The irrational expectations of so many fans that the player will repeat their best years over and over is where the confusion lies. Goldschmidt is performing as I’d expect. Those trades/contracts are rarely worth it.
Who did they trade for him a backup catcher and a starting pitcher that isn’t on the backs anymore.
For 26 million a year he’s a bust. Solid is not good enough for that kind of money.
Matter of perspective I guess. He’s not worth it, but they should’ve known that.
The extension seemed like a bad call at the time. He didn’t perform well his first year in Stl., I guess they maybe thought he’d rebound? But yeah, he’s giving them about the production you’d expect unless you thought he’d go back to his ARI #s.
What do you call Carpenter then? Lol
I’d still consider that a bust. They made a contract offer expecting to get a 26 million dollar per year player. Regardless of whether or not it was ever likely he would give them that production is irrelevant.
Look at the rest of the team! No wonder he’s slumping, the morale is horrible.
Goldsmith is far from a bust. You need to get your eyes checked. Nolan is not opting out and the Cardinals will never rebuild as long as Bill DeWitt is the owner. The thing is that the offense is terrible. They need to get a real hitting coach. I’ve always said that when Mark McGwire left us as the hitting coach. That’s when our offense died. Jeff Albert need to be fired. They should’ve kept Mark Budaska. Long time minor league hitting guru for the Cardinals and well respected by many of their former players. Tommy Pham credited him with fixing his swing when he was striking out a lot in the minors.
Bingo , well said .
I don’t belive in mlb team rebuilds though.
I believe the AA &AAA FARM rebuilds need to be every franchises #1 priority.
Journeyman players should still account for 75% of a MLB teams line up.
These Journeyman in reality should be mentors to young guys coming up.
Look at Pittsburgh, this clown of an owner should be back balled from baseball. It is what it is he’s a very low class joke, has zero respect for the game.
In all reality, the Cardinals are watching to see what Nolan Arenado does in the off-season with his opt out. As of right now the Cardinals have a young guy in their system by the name of Nolan Gorman. If Arenado chooses not to opt out of his contract then the Cardinals will use Gorman as trade chip during the off-season. Arenado may want to test the market for a more lucrative deal but odds are that he will not opt out of his contract.
Nolan Gorman, as has been discussed in the media, is already playing a lot at 2b in anticipation of Arenado staying in St Louis and Gorman playing everyday at 2b at some point.
That makes sense if Arenado does not opt out of his career.
The potential stars in the minors like Gorman should either be traded now to help immediately if they are not sellers. Otherwise, start selling off the misfits they have on their MLB team. Simple as that folks. Either one way or another. This trying to have things both ways will leave us 18 out when the dust settles.
Just play the prospect at a different position; don’t throw him away counting on Arenado moving forward.
Yeah, even with Arenado playing pretty well this year, I’d be shocked if he opted out.
No market for him. Angels already have a old over paid declining 3b.
Cardinal fans know what’s going on with them far better than outsiders so how about seeing what intel we have before talking like you’re the expert, BeeVeeTee? You are completely wrong on both Gorman and Arenado…Gorman isn’t going anywhere. At the minimum, they plan on using him at DH, if not at 2B next year.. Arenado isn’t going anywhere either. He’s basically already said so.
DH? There is no DH in the National League as of right now unless the rules change with the CBA.
They are counting on it because it’s a 99.9% certainty. Both the league and players want it. It is guaranteed to be part of the next CBA. Gorman is already INKED in for it.
Nolan is not opting out. I don’t know where you’re getting your information from but you’re wrong. I know because I live in St. Louis. I get the legit information.
How about sending a little of that cash back to the Rockies for Trevor Story. We could toss in Carp. The change of venue to Coors field might do him well.
Oh I forgot Jeff Birdich is gone. 🙂
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Carpenter is a waste of roster space. The last few years he has been south of terrible.
Good. Selling, of tanking, indicates a multi-year rebuild. That’s not the Cards situation. Nothing wrong, however, with a regular trade or two that helps position the team in the near term.
The Pirates are gonna dominate for five years or so come 2023/24. The rest of the division may as well play things out until then…. apart from maybe the Cubs who probably should go full rebuild right now.
Gonna take a complete turn around at the top of the organization for that to happen. A drastic change in philosophy.
You have to spend money to win. The rebuild is part of it but you have to spend once the prospects are ready, something Pittsburgh has done very little of.
Oh yeah… like the Rays spend, spend, spend!
More like 10 years. Unless you think they aren’t going to keep drafting well or trading players / comp picks. Long as mlb doesn’t change the rules much. Cubs could battle them if they part with Baez Rizzo. A team capable of spending 200 million is always a worry. Hopefully they sign those guys though.
The last successful window under Coonelly and NH was about five years. I’d expect a similar result from GMBC’s quality drafts.
They became incompetent dinosaurs. Hoping BC doesn’t.
“With 360 runs scored, they’ve outscored just the Mets and Pirates, and they are tied with Cleveland for 26th in the Majors with a 88 wRC+.”
They put all hopes in Goldschmidt and Arenado carrying the team and ignored the other positions. Neither player will approach their levels of 3-5 years ago. Sure, they might have above average seasons but not elite MVP type seasons.
That’s the problem with allowing name recognition to get in the way of talent evaluation.
ONeill is the best hitter on the team just so we are clear. He doesn’t get national recognition or even local but he’s the best player making league minimum.
The problem is there is no depth because we traded it away for the right to pay Goldschmidt and Arenado. It’s not the contracts that are the major problem it’s the depth that was lost in the trades. Those 2 deals and the Ozuna deal took a TON of young talent from the team. And in a year like this with all the injuries the talent would have finally had a chance to play.
Nolan is on pace for ~ 5 fWAR which is pretty close to COL numbers. The bat has fallen off a bit even after park adjustments, but he’s still a pretty solid player so far this year. Goldschmidt, not so much. Especially not for a 1b.
Thats with goldschmidt not getting anticipated results, Tommy edman only having value on the basepaths, dejong playing awful, and bader and oneil being hurt. If dejong is halfway back to normal, goldy gets better results, and the OF is healthy, the cardinals can very easily go from a terrible offense to an above average offense. The real problem is the starting pitching. They entered the year with too many question marks and could not handle a flaherty injury.
Goldy is about to turn 34. He’s likely to get worse, not better.
Goldy could get worse, and still have better results than he’s currently getting. His hard hit ball percentage is a sign of some bad luck. He could have a big 2nd half.
Getting rid of those 3 could lead to a World Championship!!!
Obviously there won’t be another Championship until they finally are out of the organization.
The Cards as sellers? Start with Mozeliak, Albert, and Maddux.
I hope them 3 are gone for sure!!
Bill Smith 2
What will be done eventually, must be done immediately. The writing is on the wall, this group of players just isn’t deep enough or good enough this year or going forward.. Went all in with aging Goldy & Arenado so if Mo sells now he admits failure and it *might* put his job at risk. The organization is just putting off the inevitable. Imo, the birds need a new organizational voice, get rid of Mo (let him give Waino and Yadi the bum’s rush so he takes the inevitable heat, then jettison him) and let the next leader have a clean slate to make the significant forward looking moves.
Good move, better luck next year boys. Get an Ace in the off season.
Built on pitching and defense…wait a minute, that’s not what the plan was when they used a good chunk of their payroll on Goldy & Arenado! Those two anchors were supposed to seal the division.
A lesson in why you don’t attempt to build your offense around fading superstars in their 30’s. In fact, the Cubs paid attention and that’s why they plan to move on from the wrong side 30 players.
IMO, Cards are too sentimental with their players…no way should Carp take a roster spot, Bader is what he is and there are plenty better options than that. Also I think they tend to lean too heavily on young arms and look what happens with all the young arms blown-out.
Young arms blowing out is misuse by the manager imo.
The farm desperately needs rebuild , Carp needs to be DFA’d.
Time to wash your hands of that deal and take the hit.
Couple Yadi and Bader in a Trade to the W.Sox , for 3 good prospects. Reinsdorf / Larussa would Jump on Yadi in a split second flat. And the Sox would option Bader to the minors where he belongs.
Then couple Waino and Dejong together in a trade to Boston or TB for 3 prospects . TB farm system imo is best in the Biggs.
Now you just added 6 depth peices just be sure you have 3 that can play now at big league level.
Bader may be an excellent CF’r but he cannot hit.
Dejong is a capable SS but whiffs 16 to 20 times for each homerun.
Neither can exceed a lifetime career BA over .230
They stink at the plate. And should be minor league call ups as needed .
They may be built around defense but it isn’t working. They are bottom third in the MLb in fielding % and errors committed. This team is terrible and will be for the next few years. Arenado is having a good year and the team sucks, must remind him of COL, why wouldn’t he opt out and get more money or go to team that has a chance the next few years. The cards farm system isn’t very good. They need to blow the whole thing up starting with Mo and the ownership. They have conditioned the fans to accept a .500 team that may make the playoffs every couple of years.
As a Reds fan I think it would be foolish to sell, given the pieces they have coming back in the next few weeks. This division is definitely up for grabs and it wouldn’t shock me one bit to see the Cards come charging back. I’m betting MIL, CIN, and STL will be all within a few games of each other going into September tbh.
That has kind of been our MO (not to be confused with our do-nothing GM). But the only way there is a chance for that this year is if we get a lot of our pitching back, healthy and pitching their best. For all of that to happen is highly unlikely. The only other way it happens is if Mozeliak gets a couple of decent starters before the deadline. Based on his track record, he won’t be back from his annual 60-day mid-summer vacation to do anything.
Yeah I just looked at their team stats.. if Edman and DeJong can tighten up a bit and Goldy and Arenado ramp it up then they’ll have the offense, but that bench looks pretty bleak yikes.. I don’t think MIL is bulletproof by any means and the Reds are a coin flip, but if the Cards add a decent bench bat and a serviceable bullpen arm I think they’ll have a fighting chance, although the Reds basically need the exact same thing, more bullpen less bat.. if I had to place a bet I’d still pick MIL, I think all three are viable though.
You can’t be sellers when you have nothing to sell. It was easy to see this was a 3rd or 4th place team at best going into this season. They didn’t have a 2B, SS, CF/RF or a rotation and nothing has changed.O’Neil was a nice surprise though.
The Cardinals expected to compete this year but with injuries and piching depth not to mention all the walks and hit batsmen they hit a wall. Front office knew they may fall a little short. Realistically they knew that 2022 would be the year for them to excel. With A Reyes,Hudson, Liberatoreand Mikolas joining Flaherty in the rotation. Also 40 mil coming off the books will give them a much better chance to compete for the division crown. The have a team with speed and defense and without pitching consistency they have issues. Hard to build a consistent winner when they always pick low in draft.
Finally a good post…the Cardinals seem like a bad luck team this year…look at the lineup when healthy they aren’t bad at all…Goldy is really the biggest disappointment along with Dejong…when the outfield is healthy they look good…but between Bader and O’Neill the outfield hasn’t been healthy…which makes the depth a concern…with tons of money coming off the books the cardinals hopefully get a shortstop and some pitching…they could be the best team coming into the 2022 season…I hate being the wait till next year guy but unfortunately I don’t see them topping Milwaukee…I think the Cardinals will make it interesting in the second half
You listed 3 pitchers who would be on innings counts and one that can’t stay healthy and when healthy isn’t very good. This team is a bottom of the division team for at least the next two years unless major additions are made.
This is why you have to continue upgrading your farm through trades while you’re not a serious contender.
This is why we were successful under Larussa, he could call up minor league players that made it hard for him to send back down. But he sent them anyway.
It made them better as time went on bc under Larussa those kids knew when there time is now they were ready.
They better spend some of that cash that comes off the books next season. Resign Wanio and Molina again and then let them go the following year.
Imo , Waino coupled with either Bader or Dejong in a trade to a playoff team could get you 3 prospects 2 being decent prospects for Wainwright.
Same coupling Molina in a trade with either Bader or Dejong.
This is a perfect time to build up the farm.
And possibly get 3 healthy young guys ready now to play.
Neither Waino or Molina are going to be playing long enough as a Cardinal at this point to be part of another Championship.
They however could benefit greatly from being traded to a team like SD , SF , the WS or TB .
Only to be brought back a year or two from now to retire as a Cardinal.
So why not , this season is a washout benefit from it by not doing nothing to help your future.
I love that people think Carpenter or Dejong have trade value. Carpenters trade would be like a Fowler trade and Dejong would maybe get us a low disposable guy. If we make any deals to get anyone of value it will take guys that all the comments state are u touchable unless we want to take a bad contract.
Lol agreed..people act like the cardinals would get something of value for who they want to trade…they aren’t going to trade anything because they control most of their players that have value…plus next year they have a ton of money to invest back into the team
I’m not sure who is saying Carp and DeJong have trade value. I haven’t read any comments to that effect in this post.
Carp is a DFA deal no more than that.
Dejong has no strike zone conscious approach at plate.
High heat will strike him out every time and pitchers know this.
He a sucker for the chin music that he can’t dance to.
Couple him in a trade with Waino or Molina to a contender now. Same goes for Bader … can’t hit but a defensive CF that a contender with a potent batting order can use come post season.
DeJong is an averae-ish player scuffling this year. I don’t see any other team wanting to take on his contract.
Wainwright and Molina are not going to be traded.
Bader is a terrfic defensive center fielder and average hitter who’s still in arbitration. There’s no reason whatsoever to trade him.
Bader isn’t but a career .230 guy , and for a CF that isn’t good enough in post season. He is a late inning defensive double switch guy for when you’re bringing in the set up man to the closer.
Get the lead with using your best line up then do defensive player switches in the 8th inning while ahead in the game.
With Bader and Dejong tallying up 7 and 8 men LOB in most games in the 8th inning you’re trailing 4-1 or 5-2 .
An argument that begins with batting average doesn’t carry much weight, especially with league-wide BA so low this year. That being said, Bader’s .239 BA this year is close to the league average.
Looking more deeply, his career OPS is 96, 112 in 2020-21. He has room to grow and is still on a cheap contract. Yes, there are better CF, but there’s little reason to trade him. What the Cards FO needs to avoid is a long-term extension until and unless Bader proves he’s worth it.
Injuries to the Cards pitching is sure a key to their downfall as if healthy they would have been in a lot of games. However, even if healthy the starters are not a top of the line staff you can depend on to win a World Series with.
I know many will throw darts at me for this. And for good reason.
The two I’m about to mention are imo the faces of the franchise.
Fact is though cards have a hard time staying healthy.
Team’s right now in a serious pennant n world series push would give up a lot for a trade involving Waino n Molina.
At some point you have got to rebuild the minor league system and I’m sorry but I think if you put out feelers to Team’s like the White Sox, or San Diego, or San Fran you could possibly get 4 or 5 good prospects , with a bit of luck , 2 or 3 that make it to bloom as MLB’rs.
You couple Dejong and Waino , in 1 trade and Molina and Bader in another trade you could possibly add 6 or 7 farm hands.
Bring guys from the minors in now to fill these spots and evaluate now during a washout season.
Also , IMO Shildt should implement a 90 pitch maximum on young arms , and guys returning from rehab should work out of the bull pen for at least a month before being stretched to 90 pitches. Someone has got to look closely at why the arms are failing medically.