Another year has passed and the St. Louis Cardinals missed the postseason for the third consecutive year. The fan base is on edge now more than ever. The Cardinals front office is now tasked with preventing a fourth consecutive year without October baseball. It’s time for the DeWitt’s to put their money where their mouth is this Cardinals’ offseason.
This Cardinals‘ Offseason have to fix the offense. A no brainer right? You might think that, but then again that’s what the Ozuna trade was supposed to have done. The offense completely disappeared at the end of the season. Actually, I’m not sure the offense really ever existed to begin with. At least, there was not steady, consistency to the offense except that it was consistently bad.
Consider this, aptly pointed out by Bernie Miklasz in The Athletic: Over the last three years, the Cardinals 2-5 hitters in the lineup combined have ranked 24th in OPS and 27th in wRC+. It’s no surprise then that they have missed the playoffs for three consecutive years. What’s even more surprising is the fact they managed to finish in third place in the division.
The Cardinals need a true offensive threat. They need a superstar to replace what they lost when Albert Pujols left for Los Angeles. The time is now for the front office to break its mold and make a huge splash in free agency. There has never been a time in free agency like now where two superstars just entering their prime will both be available in the open market.
Manny Machado and Bryce Harper are both going to be available and shame on John Mozeliak, Michael Girsch, and Bill DeWitt, Jr. if they make it through this offseason without signing one of them. That’s right, I said shame. There may never be another time when two generational talents are available on the open market. With Adam Wainwright’s $19.5 million annual salary coming off the books and the team entering the second year of a billion dollar (yes, BILLION) television deal, the money is there.
Let me be clear here. There is absolutely no excuse for the Cardinals to enter Spring Training without Machado or Harper on the roster. They should offer $400 million for 10 years with a player opt out after year seven. They should front load the contract so that the player that signs gets paid big and allow them to test free agency again at age 33 if they so choose. Make them say no.
It’s time for the front office to flex that payroll flexibility they keep boasting about and actually do something big for once. I think I speak for nearly all of Cardinal Nation when I say to the front office, “Talk is cheap. We are sick and tired of you saying you want to win without making a serious and concerted effort to do so. Put up or shut up.” I doubt they hear it, but I hope they do. Otherwise next October will be just as boring as this October.