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Meet Your 2018 St. Louis Cardinals! (I hope!)

Updated on October 5, 2017
Giancarlo Stanton
Giancarlo Stanton | Source

If wishes and dreams could come true...

I am a dedicated St. Louis Cardinal fan, but even I am getting tired of falling j-u-s-t a bit short each year. Mike Matheny can shoulder some of the blame, some players as well, but the majority of the blame lies in the Cardinal management team not getting in players who are true difference makers. No offense, Dexter Fowler and Mike Leake, but you ain't exactly the cat's meow, y'know.

And so, trailing the hated Cubs again this year in the division and several other teams in the Wild Card race (not that we CAN'T catch up, but I do not expect us to play any better than .500 for the rest of the month) I turn my eyes to the future and begin to make my Christmas List, and settle down for a long Winter's nap dreaming, ever dreaming.

Dream #1, Sign Mike Moustakas

Mike Moustakas, the Gold Glove third baseman currently playing for the cross state rival Kansas City Royals will become a free agent this off season. Those in the know do not feel KC can sign CF Lorenzo Cain, 1B Eric Hosmer and 3B Moustakas this off season. All three have become part of the very fabric of the KC resurgence but which two will they try to keep? My bet is on Hosmer and Cain, leaving Moose to sign elsewhere.

Let's keep him close to home and sign him right here in good ol' St Louis! Currently he is making $7,500,000 and his season cries out for a significant pay increase. I say offer him 5 years at something close to $100,000,000. You get a bonafide left handed slugger to compliment the right handed Stanton; an RBI machine and a Gold Glove defense. Pretty good deal if I do say so myself. This would eliminate having to play Gyorko at third and allow him to become a backup to all of the infield positions, thus strengthening the team and making a true power right handed hitter available to come off the bench should we need it.

Dream #2, Trade For Giancarlo Stanton

Yes, I know everyone and their brother wants Stanton, but most either A) do not have the cap room or B) don't have the assets available to make a trade. The Cardinals have both.

Send Dexter Fowler, Stephen Piscotty and a minor league pitcher to the Marlins, take on some of Fowler's salary and get Stanton. I love Piscotty but we need a true home run machine worse. Fowler was a mistake, period. Eat some of his salary and get him gone a la Leake. Bringing in Stanton makes the lineup fearsome and with someone like Moose to follow, balls will be flying out of the stadium like they did in the late 1990's.

We have pitching depth to trade, and by giving up a known salary (Piscotty) and eating some of Fowler's the trade works for both teams. Miami is a small market town and cannot remain competitive if they were to keep Stanton. By getting Piscotty and Fowler they get two Major League talents, ready to go now. And at a much smaller cost. I think they would go for it.

So, what would the lineup look like? I'll give Matt Carpenter another year to get himself straight and have him bat leadoff and play 1B. Paul DeJong has been a pleasant surprise and I would bat him second, playing SS. Stanton bats third and plays RF; Moose bats cleanup and plays 3B; Tommy Pham is next in CF. Yadier Molina's had a great year offensively so leave him batting sixth playing catcher; Randall Grichuk still may pan out so bat him next playing LF, followed by Kolton Wong at 2B.

Player
Position
Average
Home Runs
Runs
Carpenter
1B
.275
20
100
DeJong
SS
,275
25
90
Stanton
RF
.265
40
125
Moustakas
3B
.275
35
100
Pham
CF
.295
25
85
Molina
C
.275
10
60
Grichuk
LF
.255
20
60
Wong
2B
.275
7
75

What would this mean?

Well, in home runs, there would be a 25% increase over the top eight St. Louis players of 2017. Big increase. Runs could increase by close to 50% and RBI's around 40%. These numbers are based upon 2017 numbers extrapolated to a full season for all concerned. DeJong, Pham, Carpenter, Grichuk and Wong all lost time to either the disabled list and/or being sent down to the minors to "get things worked out". A full season with these players would result in a major increase in runs scored which SHOULD result in more wins as a team, challenging Milwaukee and Chicago for the division. To stay competitive we need drastic changes and these would work.

Pitching

Leake is gone, basically for nothing. Okay, we did that; move along. Wainwright has had a, well, strange year. High ERA yet he gets wins. His velocity is down but is that due to his legs and the injury last season or just getting old? He has one more year on his contract so we will see. Carlos Martinez is the true ace in ability who just needs to keep his head in the game so get rid of those dreadlocks and pitch! Wacha is young and it shows but he has talent, leave him alone. Weaver is a star in the making, look out for him to take over where Waino left off. Then we have Flaherty. Not sure about him but he should be more than serviceable as a fifth starter until Reyes returns.

As for the bullpen, yuck. Goodbye Oh, the Stone Budda. Rosenthal is back, maybe as as closer. Not sold on Cecil but he has gotten a little better. Bowman, Lyons, Brebbia are good, keep them. Tuivalala has heat, serious heat and should be a good setup man for whoever closes. We took a flier on Nicasio and boy did it work out. I say sign him and let he and Rosey fight it out for closer, then let the other be the setup man. Can't go wrong there. For the final bullpen slot, I guess Gant. Lots of strikeouts, not too many walks. Ok, we'll keep him until someone better comes along.

Memphis influence

The AAA Memphis team has some players challenging to make the big league team already. Journeyman Jose Martinez has been a pleasant surprise but making it to the bigs at nearing 30 years of age does not bode well for his long term future here. Harrison Bader is an up and comer; going from AA Springfield to St Louis in one year is impressive and with his combination of power and speed he could take over CF soon. Then again, Magneuris Sierra is another CF. He lacks power but my oh my can this guy run! I think during his first stint in the big leagues this year he had something like a dozen infield hits in his first few games. Simply putting bat to ball will result in a hit for him and from there, look out second and third. If he can learn to steal bases he will be the second coming of Vince Coleman.

Alex Reyes will return to the mound some time in 2018 with his 100 mph fastball. I do not know what to make of Aledmys Diaz' disappearance; I thought he was the future SS for the Cards; now I don't think so. Maybe a super sub playing 3B, 2B and/or SS like Gyorko.

Then we have Patrick Wisdom, a 6'2" 220 lb 3B who hits homeruns; a lot of homeruns. Thirty-one this year but at a cost: averaging more than a strikeout per game. If he came to the big leagues yes he might hit but he WILL strike out a lot, maybe 200 times as a full time player. More like a Mark Reynolds so I think he should be trade bait for someone.

The Minor League Cardinals are full of pitchers like Austin Gomber, another long tall pitcher the Cards seem to find. Much like Wacha but left handed.140 K's in 143 innings this year; I'll take that. Poncedeleon (yes, that is his name) is another Gomber-like pitcher: long tall and with a good motion but right handed. He will be up before we know it.

From there who knows? Luke Voit could be the first baseman of the future; Carson Kelly is the catcher of the future; and there are any number of pieces to plug into a lineup that would compliment Stanton and Moustakas.

Mo, pull the trigger. Get these guys in and move the Cardinals above the median payroll for MLB teams, make us relevant and playoff bound. Two little changes, two little dreams: that's all I want for Christmas! Night night!

© 2017 Mr Archer

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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 7 months ago from Oklahoma

      Way to get a jump on next season.

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 7 months ago from Missouri

      I feel your pain Bill.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Another year of disappointment here in the Seattle area. Bring on football!

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