The St. Louis Cardinals had an interesting off-season and what many would consider one of the best off-seasons of all teams. First, the Cardinals started off their first move with a bang as they traded for the all-star first baseman, Paul Goldschmidt. The Cardinals also dipped into free agency a couple of times as they signed all-star relief pitcher Andrew Miller and backup catcher Matt Wieters. President of baseball operations for the Cardinals John Mozeliak filled two of the major holes that the Cardinals had and with these moves, they will be looking to take that next step.
All off-season there were rumors of teams being in on Paul Goldschmidt and one of the teams were the St. Louis Cardinals. Most thought the Cardinals wouldn’t pull the trigger but it turns out they were the last team bidding for his services. The Cardinals traded starting pitcher Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, a prospect, and a compensation pick to the Arizona Diamondbacks for the all-star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
This might look like a lot but this deal in many opinions was great. Most thought that they didn’t even give up that much to get him. You could make a case that Goldschmidt is the best first baseman in the game and one of the best players in all of baseball. After he got acclimated into the clubhouse and played in spring training, he signed an extension to stay with the club. He inked a five year, $130M deal with the club as a 30-year-old. He has proved year in and year out that he can play at the highest level. This was a big deal with the Cardinals and they filled a major hole with adding the All-star player.
After the Cardinals made their first big move of the off-season, people were wondering what was next for the Cardinals. The Cardinals filled one hole in the team so they went after the other hole in their team, relief pitching. The Cardinals signed All-star relief pitcher Andrew Miller. This move is not as big as Goldschmidt but it was one of the best signings in the relief market.
Miller signed a two year, $25M deal that includes a vesting option for the third year and a full no trade. Miller has had an injury-filled past including a hamstring and shoulder injury. He struggled in 2018 and missed time but when healthy, he can be one of the most dominant relief pitchers in the game. From 2014-17, he had a whopping 1.72 ERA and averaged 14.5 strikeouts per nine innings. In 2016, he was a big part of the Cleveland Indians winning the American League pennant. He is a big presence in that clubhouse and he will be a force in that Cardinal bullpen.
This move came late in the off-season and it may not be a big move but it will help them. The Cardinals signed backup catcher Matt Wieters to a 1 year, $1.5M deal and could earn more based on performance. He will certainly not play a lot with Yadier Molina behind the plate but when called upon to make a start, he is serviceable behind the plate. He can also be a great bench bat and can provide some pop off the bench. The 10-year vet certainly has experience and this is a very under the radar move for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals have missed the postseason for 3 years straight, something they are not used to at all. With the moves they made, specifically Goldschmidt and Miller, they are hoping that they will get back to the postseason. The Cardinals, their fans, and people around baseball have high hopes for them. They can see them winning the division or even taking the big step and making it to the World Series. We don’t know how far they’ll make it but one thing is for sure, Cardinals fans want a red October.
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