The 2018 Cardinals roster has begun to come into view
It feels like the off-season just officially started, but the 2018 Cardinals are already starting to come into view. With awards season upon us, and Paul DeJong being named a National League ROY finalist, the Cards have made several personnel moves that they hope will help make them a better team in 2018.
At the end of October, the Cardinals announced some changes to their coaching staff. Jose Oquendo will be returning to the Cardinals’ 3rd base coaching box in 2018. He had spent 16 years coaching 3rd base for St. Louis before moving to a front office role in 2016 to recover from knee surgeries.
1985 National League MVP Willie McGee will also be joining the coaching staff. McGee spent 13 seasons in St. Louis, and is a Cardinals Hall of Famer. In 2013 he served as a special assistant to the GM. His new role has not yet been defined.
Former Cardinals bench coach David Bell accepted the position of Vice President of Player Development for the San Francisco Giants, leaving the Cardinals in need of a bench coach. Mike Shildt, former quality control and 3rd base coach, has been named the bench coach for 2018.
The Cards officially granted reliever Trevor Rosenthal his unconditional release earlier this week. Rosenthal had late surge in 2017, however his season ended pre-maturely in August when he underwent Tommy John surgery. His immediate future holds significant time on the DL with whatever team he signs with as he goes down the road to recovery.
His time in St. Louis may not be over, however as the team is considering bringing him back on a new deal that would extend past his recovery time. Since Rosenthal was on a hot streak before he went down, and he already has the single season record for saves with 48 in 2015, don’t be surprised if the Cardinals bring him back under a new deal.
The Redbirds also removed infielder Alex Mejia, and Catcher Alberto Rosario from their 40-man roster. After a September call-up, Rosario is also going to free-agency. Mejia, on the other hand was simply sent back to AAA Memphis after a 2016 filled trips back and forth from AAA to the main roster.
Earlier this week, the Cardinals extended a qualifying offer to starting pitcher Lance Lynn. The offer is just a one year deal worth 17.4 million dollars that Lynn is likely to decline in order to look for more long-term deals. If Lynn does decline, the Cards aren’t expected to engage in any further negotiations with the 30 year old.
After a fairly successful return from Tommy John, Lynn will be one of the top pitchers in this free agent class and will look for a more lucrative deal elsewhere. Even if he does choose to return to the Cardinals, he will be a key piece of a hopefully reformed pitching rotation.
Now that the offseason is underway, the Cardinals will look to make more roster moves. Free agency is around the corner, but St. Louis is also on the list of teams possibly trading for Giancarlo Stanton. With the Marlins shopping the slugger this offseason, the Cards may look there in order to fill their slugging needs.
Photo Captured By: USA Today Sports – Jeff Curry
Stats from Cardinals.com