5 Realistic Moves St. Louis Cardinals Could Make This Offseason
St Louis Cardinals: 5 Realistic Offseason Moves
The St Louis Cardinals came within a hair’s breadth of claiming glory in 2013, falling only to the red hot Boston Red Sox in the World Series, but as they get set to begin their offseason business, there are plenty of directions they can take.
For a start, the main weakness in their lineup is a lack of power. Home runs were an issue in St Louis all season, and in free agent Carlos Beltran, St Louis risk losing their most productive power hitter, yet it is a bigger worry that those who once offered some pop failed to live up to expectations last season.
David Freese, perhaps most famed for his walk-off homer in Game 6 of the 2011 Fall Classic, went deep 20 times in 2012, but with nine in 2013, he didn’t even register 50 percent of that production. Whilst fellow infielder Matt Carpenter led the league in hits, doubles and runs, the Cardinals certainly missed a solid SS. Rafael Furcal was never known for his power, but his full time replacement, Pete Kozma, could only .217 average, 25 percent less than that of the injured Furcal.
So, it seems obvious then that the Cardinals are searching for help at both shortstop and third base, but the rest of the roster looks strong, doesn’t it? Well, Jake Westbrook will be departing the Gateway City, and with Lance Lynn continuing to demonstrate inconsistent form, there is potentially a spot in the Red Birds’ rotation.
Their farm system is certainly stacked with pitching potential, as shown by the exhilarating performance of Michael Wacha through the tail end of the regular season and postseason. John Gast, Tyler Lyons and Carlos Martinez combined for seven starts in 2013, whilst Jamie Garcia’s career continues to be hit by injury. During October, Martinez impressed from the bullpen, and may be a fixture in relief next year.
With all that in mind, here are five guys that are potential targets for John Mozeliak and his staff over the coming weeks.
5. Eric Chavez, 3B
2013 Team: Arizona Diamondbacks
Eric Chavez is a veteran 3B, with six Gold Gloves to his name, and whilst they were a long time ago, he offers consistency on the corner. Since leaving the Oakland Athletics, he has started just under 150 games in three years with the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks, committing just six errors. In the past two seasons, he has hit .281/.348/.495 with 25 HRs, and even though none of that lights up the box score, he offers the Cardinals a solid option.
4. Juan Uribe, 3B
2013 Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Coming off one of the best seasons of his career, Juan Uribe can expect to have options as to where he plays his ball in 2014. The Los Angeles Dodgers free agent hit for a better average, and more power than Freese last season, whilst committing half the 12 errors the current Cardinals' 3B notched.
3. Dan Haren, SP
2013 Team: Washington Nationals
It is safe to say that Dan Haren's best is likely behind him. He is no longer the 200-plus IP starter he was for the A's and Diamondbacks, but he still offers a strong presence on the mound, and after registering 151 strikeouts for the Washington Nationals last season, Haren may wind up being signed by the team he began his career with back in 2003.
2. Jhonny Peralta, SS
2013 Team: Detroit Tigers
Jhonny Peralta was looking in good form when he was handed a 50-game suspension for his role in the Biogenesis scandal. The Detroit Tigers SS hit 11 HRs, and ended the season batting .303, and was named an All Star. With the shortstop hole St Louis face, he is easily worth consideration.
1. Troy Tulowitzki, SS
2013 Team: Colorado Rockies
Did you spot the difference? The No. 1 target for the Cardinals is the only guy on the list that is not a free agent. Tulo is one of the premier shortstops in the MLB, and despite some injuries worries, he is a very desirable trade option. The Cardinals have a plethora of great prospects, and, when push comes to shove, could easily get a deal done. There is no doubt this wouldn't fall under the Cardinal Way, but the Colorado Rockies could benefit greatly, whilst the Red Birds would gain a career .295 hitter, who notched 25 HRs last season.