Cardinals Must Prepare to Spend Money This Offseason


The St Louis Cardinals were eliminated by the Chicago Cubs after only four games this postseason The Cubs scored 15 of 20 runs via the home run, as it became obvious that St Louis’ injuries simply caught up with them late in the season. The Cardinals have a great roster, but they better get that checkbook ready, because they will need to spend some money this offseason in order to keep it that way.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. The Cardinals need to have a top priority to sign Jason Heyward. If not for the many reasons already, including his excellent defense, young age, and overall talent in every aspect, a new reason has risen that will make the Cardinals push even harder to sign him. Word on the street is that the Chicago Cubs have high interest in Heyward also, which doesn’t surprise anyone since Heyward will likely gain interest from multiple teams.

Heyward was traded to the Cardinals before the start of the season, and in a contract year, couldn’t have done a better job of preparing for a payday. Heyward hit .293, had 160 hits, stole 23 bases, hit 33 doubles, and only struck out 90 times, which are all career best for him. Heyward also hit 11 home runs this season and scored 79 runs. The only average stat being his 60 RBI’s.

The Cardinals cannot afford to have Chicago sign him. If Heyward leaves for another team because of money, then it is completely understandable. However, if the Cardinals allow the Cubs to outbid them, the Cardinals might be watching the Cubs celebrate a World Series in a year or two. Heyward is expected to be asking for the 10-year, $215 million-dollar range of money, so the Cardinals better prepare for a bidding war.

October 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward (22) hits a single in the sixth inning against Chicago Cubs in game four of the NLDS at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The other significant free agent is John Lackey. Lackey may be 36, but his performance shouldn’t go unnoticed. Lackey finished 2015 with a 13-1o record, posting an impressive 2.77 E.R.A. Lackey was also wonderful in his postseason start against the Cubs, not allowing a single run in a 4-0 Cardinal win. Lackey is growing older, but there is still plenty of heart and talent left in the tank. The Cardinals got Lackey for just over $500,000 this year, which was nice while it lasted, but you can kiss that number goodbye.

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The Cardinals don’t have a lot of options that could replace Jason Heyward, with Chris Davis being the closest suitor, and he doesn’t quite match the overall talent Heyward has. John Lackey could be easier to replace with David Price, Zack Greinke, and Johnny Cueto scheduled to hit the market. Either way, the Cardinals are going to have to spend some money this offseason, and a lot of it.

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