The Atlanta Braves are the 2021 World Series Champions. That means free agency will start tomorrow. Who should the Cardinals go after this offseason?
Free Agency Frenzy
Tonight was Game 6 of the 2021 World Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros. The Braves currently won the series 4-2 after taking two of three at home. Max Fried was solid on the mound and home runs from Jorge Soler, Dansby Swanson, and Freddie Freeman led the way. Free agency will now be open for buyers.
Many questions will hopefully be answered this offseason for the St. Louis Cardinals. The free agency period starting means multiple contracts will come off the books for the Cardinals. The team will likely decline the options of Matt Carpenter and Carlos Martinez. That will bring a lot of money to the table for the team to use.
In my opinion, there are multiple positions the Cardinals need to address this offseason. They need to close out the infield by finding a shortstop. Edmundo Sosa played well this season but is he the future of this team? Will the Cardinals bring up Nolan Gorman and move pieces around the infield? They do have the money to spend on a player, but that is not likely the direction this front office is headed.
Here are the players I see the Cardinals making a move for this offseason and positions I see that need to be addressed.
The Missouri native has to be the number one target for the Cardinals this offseason. The starting rotation and the pitching staff, in general, is an area of concern. The Cardinals best starting pitcher in the last two seasons has been Adam Wainwright. The Cardinals only get Wainwright for one more year.
The rest of the rotation besides Jack Flaherty is very uncertain. Adding Scherzer to this rotation would take the Cardinals to another level. Max Scherzer had a Cy Young-like year this season with his impressive record after the trade deadline.
In 19 starts with the Nationals, Scherzer carried an 8-4 record with a 2.76 ERA. He totaled 111 innings in Washington before the trade that sent him to Los Angeles. Once with the Dodgers, in 11 starts Scherzer had a 7-0 record with a 1.98 ERA. Scherzer found his stride once he got to Los Angeles.
Scherzer would be a great veteran fit for this rotation and fill the much-needed gap. At the end of the day, would you rather have Jon Lester, J.A. Happ, or Max Scherzer? I think we all know the answer to that question.
Corey Seager will be of interest to many teams. At shortstop Seager brings a lot to the table with his solid defense and his bat. Seager would be a great beginning of the order hitter for the Cardinals, a leadoff man they are searching for. His numbers are just as good if not better than Trevor Story who is linked to possibly looking to join St. Louis.
Seager batted .306 this season with 108 hits in 353 at-bats. Seager did battle some injuries this season and only played in 95 games. The Cardinals will have many tough conversations about where certain players will play next season. We need an everyday leadoff hitter. The front office does not seem to like Tommy Edman in that role. Will it be Harrison Bader? Seager is the best candidate to fill at shortstop and as leadoff for the Cardinals this offseason if they choose to go that route.
This would be a tough sell and it would only be a conversation if the National League approved the designated hitter (DH), but Kyle Schwarber would be a power bat to add to this lineup. It blows my mind that the Cardinals are searching for a power bat after three players hit over 30 home runs and over 100 RBIs but here we are. Schwarber would come with a hefty price tag but would be well worth it for the DH position.
While this would need a DH position as well, this is for more selfish reasons. As a figure in my childhood, my favorite player growing up and being one of the best to ever wear a Cardinals uniform, Albert Pujols needs to finish with Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright. It would be criminal if Pujols did not end his career with the St. Louis Cardinals, and ride off into the sunset with Molina, Wainwright, and a third World Series ring.