I’ve been on vacation; I tend to do that after each baseball season for a few weeks. But the Hot Stove is heating up, so it’s time to pull together where things stand, starting with the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals don’t project as a team that will be overly active this winter. There’s a few spots they need to improve, and a few deals that could be struck, but all in all, don’t expect to hear their name around much of the big business on the market. It will be the anti-winter of 2011, thankfully.
But here’s the outline of how the club breaks down around the club below, and I’ll go into more details as the weeks move along. There’s not a lot of openings for addition, without subtraction, which is a nice way of saying they are far more prone to trades than signings, for both logistical and roster space reasons. But take in what you will here, and each part will be broken down soon.
Here are your 2013 (kinda) St. Louis Cardinals….at the end of 2012:
The Long Term Deals: Yadier Molina, Rafael Furcal, Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran, Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook, Eduardo Mujica, Skip Schumaker
The Ups or Downs (Youngster with Minor League): Matt Carpenter, Pete Kozma, Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal, Joe Kelly, Matt Adams, Adron Chambers, Shane Robinson, Tony Cruz, Bryan Anderson, Ryan Jackson, Victor Marte, Maikel Cleto, Brandon Dickson, Barret Browning, Sam Freeman, Eduardo Sanchez.
2013 Free Agents: Kyle Lohse, Lance Berkman, Kyle McClellan, Scott Linebrink
2014 Free Agents: Adam Wainwright, Carlos Beltran, Chris Carpenter, Rafeal Furcal, Skip Schumaker,
Arbitration Guy (slotted raises): Allen Craig (pre arb), Jason Motte (2), David Freese (1), Jon Jay (pre arb), Mitchell Boggs (1), Lance Lynn (pre arb), Fernando Salas (pre arb), Marc Rzepczynski (1), Daniel Descalso (pre arb)
Minor Leaguers on the Rise (no MLB trips yet): Kolten Wong (2B), Oscar Tavares (OF), Jordan Swagerty (Reliever), Michael Wacha (righty starter), Carlos Martinez (righty starter), Greg Garcia (2B/SS), Mike O’Neill (OF)
Three Biggest Issues: Shortstop, Left-handed reliever, Backup outfield bat
What/Who to watch For in Free Agency: Stephen Drew (SS), Sean Burnett (lefty reliever), Randy Choate (lefty reliever), Aubrey Huff (1B/OF),
Roster Issues to Watch: Jaime Garcia’s shoulder, Rafael Furcal’s elbow, Matt Carpenter’s development at second base, Skip Schumaker’s status with team, the Miller/Lynn/Rosenthal/Kelly push for the rotation.
For more on the roster and rumors of the winter as they develop, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan