OK - I’m a huge cardinals fan and I’ve been waiting to see what they are going to do this offseason. As of yet, I haven’t seen much action. We’ve lost three key players from last years team, but I’m confident will at least get Placido Polanco to play 2B and Yadier Molina at Catcher. With that being said, will the cardinals be as good as they were last year? Who might some of the additional players we might aquire this offseason?
So far it’s been a bad offseason. They were one of the three teams who had a shot at getting Pedro Martinez, but didn’t. And they were pursuing a trade for Tim Hudson, but he went to Atlanta. It sounds like they really want an ace, which they lacked last year, but they haven’t managed to land one yet. I would think they don’t need the greatest replacements for Renteria and Womack because they have to many other quality hitters. They’d need some kind of table-setters, though.
In the playoffs and late in the season, lots of people said the Cardinals couldn’t win the World Series because they didn’t have any aces, and those people turned out to be right. So that would seem to be their big need. Kevin Millwood and Eric Milton are both still out there, I think most of the other free-agent names are taken.
Walt Jocketty scares us Cardinal fans every winter. He doesn’t go around dumping truckloads of money on last year’s big stars. The Cards are a small-market team, and they can’t afford to be Steinbrenner. He shops later, after some players find out nobody’s going to pay what they want. Some very good, experienced players become bargains at that time.
Some years, it works splendidly. Sometimes, all the decent pitchers are gone by the time Walt opens his wallet. Wait and see.
They lost the first game 11-9. After that, yes, nobody hit. But they gave up 11 runs in Game 1 and six in Game 2. Their pitching was also not as good as Boston’s, and from the way they pursued Randy Johnson last year, I do think they realized it had to be better.
They’re still a 90-win team, which will probably be enough to make the playoffs. The loss of Renteria will hurt, but they still have offense and there’s room to find a pitcher somewhere.
AskNott’s point about Jocketty’s buy low strategy is a good one. Forget the 105 wins last year, which was a fluke; they’ve won the division outright four of the last five years and just missed in the other. They’re still the team to beat in the NL Central.
Mulder should be just the ace they were looking for. I had a Cubs-fan friend over tonight and he was not happy to hear about this. I agree that the Cardinals are in good shape: the Cubs lost Clement, may deal Sosa, and their top two pitchers have had some recurring problems, and the Astros may lose Clemens and Beltran, and Pettitte had arm problems too.