Curious Cardinals Offseason Continues….

The Cardinals finished the 2008 season with an 86-76 record, good enough for a 4th place finish in the NL Central. Going into the offseason the Cardinals needs were pretty obvious. Improve the bullpen, improve the starting pitching and perhaps add a bat.

So far the Cardinals biggest offseason move has been the addition of .213 hitting SS Khalil Greene. I am confident in saying that move will not make up the 11 games they need to catch the Cubs. They have not addressed their bullpen which blew a major league high 31 saves last season and outside of Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals starting rotation is made up mainly journey-men such as Kyle Lohse and Joel Pineiro.

I don’t blame the Cardinals for not spending big money this offseason. Besides the Yankees, no team has really broken the bank. However, don’t cry poverty and then release 2B Adam Kennedy only to eat the remaining $4MM left on his contract. Kennedy was released because him and Tony LaRussa didn’t get along. No matter if you are a salesman, a police officer or a major league 2B if you don’t get along with your boss, you are doomed.

Now the Cardinals have a hole at 3B (Glaus is out till May after shoulder surgery) and a hole at 2B. The Cardinals plan on giving OF Skip Schumaker a chance to win the 2B job. This would enable the Cardinals to move Rick Ankiel to RF and put the Cardinals top prospect Colby Rasmus in CF.

While the above plan sounds like an easy fix, I am not so sure. There are a couple of problems with this. 1. Can an OF really move into the IF and play 2B successfully?? Fangraphs doesn’t believe he can and neither do I. Usually it’s the IF moving to the OF (Ryan Braun, Robin Yount) not the other way around and especially not to a middle IF position. Can anyone think of a player who has made the transition from an OF to a middle IF? I can’t. 2. It seems Colby Rasmus has been the Cardinals top prospect for 10 years. He will be 24 in August and at this point it’s either you-know-what or get off the pot. There is only so long you can keep calling someone a “top prospect.” Maybe Rasmus will make the team out of spring training, but if he doesn’t then you have to really wonder if Rasmus will ever make it.

Wouldn’t signing Orlando Hudson for 1 year and $4MM – $5MM be the perfect solution to the Cardinals problems? I know spending close to $9MM combined on 2B is a lot but Hudson gives the Cardinals a gold glove caliber 2B, the #2 hitter they need and would allow Schumaker to play his natural position of OF. If you are not going to improve your bullpen, not improve your starting pitching and are willing to eat $4MM would spending another $4MM-$5MM on a player the caliber of Orlando Hudson really put the Cardinals owner in the poor house?

It has been a very curious offseason for the Cardinals. They haven’t addressed any of their original offseason needs and actually with the loss of both Kennedy and Glaus have more question marks now than they did at the start of the offseason. At this point the Cardinals look more like the 4th place team they were last year rather than a team that can compete for a division title.


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One Response to “Curious Cardinals Offseason Continues….”

  1. Spud McKenzie Says:

    Dude, we’re broke here at AB. Shit, we’re not even an American company anymore. All sports related money is being moved into something called Soccer??? WTF?!@?!?!?

    Shit, things have gotten so bad, I’m working the Petco circuit.

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