The Cardinals could not hang with the World Series champion Cubs last year. Even in 2017, the Cubs seem like the definite favorite to win the Central again.
The real question lies in what should happen if the Cardinals are in a hole when July comes around. Would they push through to try to get a Wild Card or sell? If a team wants to trade, let them speak. Now I am not saying that the Cardinals should go in expecting to be sellers at the beginning of the season.
However, they should be open to offers if the team is not shaping up the be playoff worthy .Some solutions definitely do sound counter intuitive but need to be considered none the less. Here are some personnel changes that could help reclaim the division.
They Were Leaving Anyway
We have a few notable names that are free agents after this season such as Jonathan Broxton, Jhonny Peralta, and Lance Lynn. If they have good years and teams are willing to fork over prospects, then we should listen to them. Best case scenario, the Cardinals gain long term solutions at the cost free agents. There is little cost to the Cardinals here as the core of the roster remains intact while a one or two veterans move on. Also. who knows if the Cardinals would or could even resign them.
Sacrifice a Prospect
Don’t hate on the idea just yet. Say we are just on the cusp of overtaking the Cubs for the division and just need a little extra boost. What would you do? Would you sacrifice a Carson Kelly or Alex Reyes for the extra bat or arm?
It may sound crazy now but once July comes around, it may not sound so bad. This plan is high high risk long term for the Cardinals. It really only should be enacted if the Cardinals if they are positive they can win it all!
Let the Cubs have their fun while we retool
The Cubs do not seem like they are going to be slowing down anytime soon. With a core of young guys surrounded by a veteran pitching staff, they are downright gooooood. Not to mention the World Series even.
Maybe it is time to let them have their run while the Cardinals focus on regrouping. I am not saying that we need to demolish the roster in an everything must go fire-sale. We have a good core of players that will serve well in the future. The best course of action may be to aim for 2019 as a resurgence year. Meanwhile in 2017 and 2018 the farm system could be replenished and built up.
We will see come July
Cardinals fans have been blessed with a great run of postseason success over the past years. I think that maybe taking the time to rebuild rather than all out compete might be beneficial in a few years. Anything can happen between now and the deadline though. So, the only thing to do right now is to wait and enjoy baseball.
Photo Courtesy Jeff Curry USA Today