Earlier this week Cardinals’ GM John Mozeliak told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that he was not looking to make a “dynamic signing” after allowing Jason Heyward and John Lackey to sign with the Chicago Cubs.
While that news may upset a lot of Cardinals fans, and believe me I was disappointed, there are some “non-dynamic” names who are still looking for a team to call home come March. Here is a list of players I think the Cardinals should go after and why.
The Arizona Diamondbacks seemed to be on the heels of signing the former Cincinnati Reds pitcher earlier this week, but now say they’re no longer interested in the 28 year old righty. Leake pitched his way to a 3.56 ERA in 21 starts with the Reds last year before being traded to the San Francisco Giants where he posted a 4.07 ERA. One of Leake’s downsides is he gives up the long ball, a lot. Last year he gave up 22 on the year, 14 of those while pitching for the Reds. I’m not sure how cheap of an option Leake would be, but at this point I think the Cardinals should be more willing to open up the wallet.
Once referred to as “The Freak”, Tim Lincecum has gone from a player who was once known for his unique windup, to someone we feel like we haven’t heard anything about. So, why should the Cardinals sign him? Well, while his best years were probably between 2008-2011, he could prove to be an asset to the Cardinals pitching staff. I did mention that Lackey signed with the Cubs and Lance Lynn is out for the year recovering from Tommy John Surgery, right? Although Lincecum hasn’t posted an ERA under 4.00 since 2011, he is a four-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young Award winner. My biggest question with Lincecum is health. He’ll be 31 at the start of the season and will turn 32 in June. Plus, he only pitched 76 innings last year. I’m not saying he’s the best option, but the Cardinals have had a history or taking older players and making them feel young again.
If you don’t watch a lot of baseball then you probably just read that name out loud and screamed “WHO?!” However, Chen would be a great addition to the pitching staff, but the Cardinals might have to spend a little to get him. Last year with Baltimore, Chen fanned 153 while just walking just 41 hitters. He also posted a 3.35 ERA. Chen is considered “old” for a pitcher at 30, and he only has 4 years of big league experience. Last year the Orioles had him for $4.75m, if you watch a highlight reel of Chen you’ll understand why I like him.
I have ALWAYS loved Gerardo Parra’s defense. In 7 seasons, Parra has only committed 31 errors in over 7400 innings played in the outfield. In right field, where the Cardinals would probably play him most, he’s committed just 8 which is the least amount of errors between the three outfield positions. If that doesn’t get your attention, he hit 14 home runs last year between Milwaukee and Baltimore (which is more than Jason Heyward), and he drove in 51. On top of that, he’s a two time Gold Glove winner as well. I really think he would be a great addition, and the Cardinals could probably get him for around $2m a year.
Overall, I think any of the above players would make great alternatives to the players the Cardinals couldn’t sign this off-season. Let me know what you think about these players, or if you have your own suggestions.
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