MLB

The Time is Now

By: Jonathan Goad

The St. Louis Cardinals have added an impact player.

The Redbirds traded pitcher Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, minor league infielder Andrew Young, and a 2019 competitive balance Round B draft pick to the Arizona Diamondbacks for all-start first basemen Paul Goldschmidt.

goldschmidt.jpg

Photo credit to UPI.com

This move makes the Cardinals lineup look much more dangerous. Currently, this is what the lineup would look like, or something similar:

  1. Matt Carpenter – 3B
  2. Paul DeJong – SS
  3. Paul Goldschmidt – 1B
  4. Marcell Ozuna – LF
  5. Yadier Molina – C
  6. Tyler O’Neill/Jose Martinez/Dexter Fowler – RF
  7. Harrison Bader – CF
  8. Kolten Wong – 2B
  9. Pitcher

Having Goldschmidt in the middle of the order looks much more intimidating than it does without him. He’s a stud. There’s no doubting that.

However, instead of being content with acquiring a player who former Cardinals’ skipper called “the closest thing to Albert Pujols he’s ever seen,” the Cardinals should go all in right now.

St. Louis should still seriously consider bringing Bryce Harper to town. It’s going to take a large amount of cash and years to land Harper. The Cards shouldn’t shy away from that. They’ve got the money to spend, and Harper is only 26. Cardinal Nation should be perfectly fine with giving Harper a ten or twelve year deal because that’s what it’s going to take. He will also likely demand upwards of $350 million.

Don’t hesitate. Sign him for what he wants. Go all in. We haven’t seen the Cards make this big of a splash in free agency in quite some time. Now is the time to do it.

Bryce-Harper.jpg

Photo credit to River Ave Blues

Imagine this lineup:

  1. Matt Carpenter – 3B
  2. Paul Goldschmidt – 1B
  3. Bryce Harper – RF
  4. Marcell Ozuna – LF
  5. Yadier Molina – C
  6. Paul DeJong – SS
  7. Harrison Bader – CF
  8. Kolten Wong – 2B
  9. Pitcher

That lineup is scary good and could compete with any team. Signing Harper would also make guys like Jose Martinez, Dexter Fowler, and Tyler O’Neill expendable.

Fowler likely doesn’t have a ton of value as he’s coming off a terrible year and is still battling injuries. The Cards are still paying him a lot of money, and he would be an expensive fourth outfielder.

Jose Martinez is a total liability on defense. Sure he can hit, but watching him play the field could be classified as cruel and unusual punishment for Cards fans. Surely an American League team would love to have him as their DH.

Tyler O’Neill has the most value out of the three. He has shown flashes of his raw strength in limited time in the big leagues. If St. Louis could package any two of those three, preferably Fowler and Martinez, then they should take what they can get. After signing Harper, there would be no room for them.

The Cardinals also need some relief help. There’s plenty of solid bullpen arms available in free agency. Andrew Miller, Craig Kimbrel, Jeurys Familia, the list goes on. Adding one or two of these guys makes the back end of the bullpen as good as any. Remember, the Cards still have flamethrower Jordan Hicks. Having Hicks, Miller, and Kimbrel in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings would make most games only six-innings long.

There is the question of signing Goldschmidt to an extension. Paying Harper that much money would make it a little more difficult to resign Goldy or Ozuna for that matter, who is also a free agent after this season. However, bringing Harper in would be make it very hard to leave. Add to that whatever success the team could potentially have in 2019 and maybe resigning them wouldn’t be as difficult.

The time is now for the Cardinals to become contenders again. Adding Goldschmidt certainly helps, but bringing in Bryce Harper would make them among the favorites to win the World Series.

Make it happen. Go all in. Make Cardinals baseball great again.

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