Cardinals Baseball Look to Improve in 2018 Offseason

After two quiet winters the Cardinals look towards building a contender.

Sam Lance, Sports Editor

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There’s no doubt that the St. Louis Cardinals and their fans are accustomed to winning baseball. The Redbirds have the second most World Series wins and 19 pennants, making them one of the most storied franchises of all time.

However, the past two years have been a struggle. While the Redbirds sport a winning record of 169-155, they missed the playoffs two years in a row for the first time since 2007-2008.

A number of fans have been upset with the performance of the team, but junior Jonothan Yancik believes that the last two seasons were just brief rebuilding stages for a high powered team in the future.

“The Cardinals never stay out of the postseason for long,” Yancik said. “Now that the division has potential on every team, it’s harder to make the playoffs every year.”

Still, fans like Scott Wuerz of the Belleville News Democrat believe there is a lot of work lost in the offseason and pins this as the reason for the Cardinals’ woes.

“I’m starting to get the idea that this is less about being willing to spend money than it is about the front office being paralyzed with its fear of losing its reputation as the ‘Team That Does Everything Right,’” he wrote.

This was evident in the offseason before the 2017 season when the Cardinals only managed to sign free agent Dexter Fowler, who was perceived as “the answer” to all the Cardinals problems, but hit a modest .264 with 18 home runs last year.

The Cardinals were in the hunt for big names like Edwin Encarnacion and Yoenis Cespedes but did not pull the trigger.

Winter 2018 is off to a similar start. The Cardinals missed out on their biggest target and last year’s National League MVP in Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton would not even give up his no-trade clause for the Cardinals, which shows a trend of St. Louis not being a premier destination for free agents.

“The front office’s overly-conservative ways have started to turn players off,” Wuerz said. “The Cardinals have developed a reputation of refusing to bid market value for premium players.”

However, the Cardinals were able to pick up a solid outfielder in Marcell Ozuna.

“Trading for Ozuna was a huge pick up,” junior Kyle Meehan, a long time Cardinal fan said. “He put up 30 plus home runs and over 120 RBIs last year and brings a lot of power to the middle of the lineup.”

Yancik agrees with Ozuna being a positive pick up, but he said the Cardinals need one or two key bullpen arms after losing Trevor Rosenthal and Seung Hwan Oh in order to keep pace with the dominant Cubs.

Craig Edwards from SB Nation thinks that St. Louis is not done this offseason and is still looking to make improvements.

“The Cardinals are good,” he said. “They just aren’t as good as the Cubs.”

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