Get ready – the GM meetings have arrived and the 2018 season is upon us

It’s been six weeks since our season ended, so it’s about time to start looking forward to next year. Yesterday was the first formal gathering to kick off the GM meetings in Orlando, FL this year. And this morning, the meetings officially began. It’s the 2018 season if we’re ready or not.

With the Cardinals front office and other baseball executives in position, this could be the most pivotal winter for the Cardinals in years. It’s all up to president of baseball operations John Mozeliak, general manager Michael Girsch, and chairman Bill Dewitt Jr.

With all 30 general managers in one place, this is the first official step into a successful 2018 season.

A lot comes up during these meetings: pace of play, the 10-day disabled list, the possibility of playing abroad, trades, negotiations with agents. But most importantly, the GM meetings are an opportunity to be face-to-face with the people who matter. In the past, these meetings have led to important contracts, like with Jhonny Peralta, Brett Cecil, and Jason Heyward. And this year, the Cardinals are going to need at least two major additions by March if there’s any hope for a postseason. If not, we’re looking at a third consecutive season of missing the playoffs.

The Cardinals are in as good of a position as any to make significant moves in the coming months. We have significant needs, it’s no secret what’s on the wishlist, and today is the official start.

Building the Bullpen for 2018

Giancarlo on the move?

At this point, all of the general managers have connected. Everyone has gauged where the other teams are and who could be a good match. There are several teams with strong trade prospects for us, but the one Girsch seems to be most focused on is the Miami Marlins.

Giancarlo Staton, Marlins outfielder, Silver Slugger award winner and potential National League MVP candidate, is the person to talk about at these meetings. With $295 million and 10 years left on his contract, Staton holds all the power with a no-trade clause. He hasn’t stated any preferences for next year though, so no one knows if he would accept a deal with the Cardinals.

That’s not to say that there won’t be conversations between Miami and St. Louis this week. With a new owner, the Marlins are looking to slim their payroll, and trading Stanton would be a heavy shed. But, if the Cardinals were to take Staton and cover some of his cost, it would most likely require at least one of their top pitching prospects.

The Cards could also be looking at Christian Yelich and Marcela Ozuna, the other All-Star-caliber outfielders featured on the Marlin lineup. Not to mention that the Blue Jays could be willing to trade former MVP Josh Donaldson. But the market continues to evolve and hopefully the rumors will start to gain clarity.

What to look for

The Cardinals are in a good position and have the ability to move several young talents in order to re-strengthen. And these moves are all starting today.

“We’re out to improve,” said Michael Girsch, Cardinals general manager. These are Girsch’s first GM meetings as a general manager since he was promoted in July. And along with John Mozeliak and Moises Rodriguez (the new assistant general manager) these big three will be the official Cardinals reps.

“The way we look at it – the way I look at it – is we need to get better,” commented Girsch. “If that involves a great defender, then it involves a great defender. We need to get better. There are areas where it is easier to get better. We’ll figure that out.”

“At some point, it’s really as simple as we just have to get better.”

It seems our objective is clear. The Cardinals roster has to step up for a successful 2018 season, and that process started today at the GM meetings.

Cardinals: A Fantasy Life


Statistics and Quotes Thanks to St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports