Here we go! The MLB off season begins with the hot stove rumors and the individual accolades. This is also my favorite part of the season to figure out what moves the Cardinals will make to improve there team in 2014. The positions the Cardinals will address will be shortstop and centerfield. Let me address the Carlos Beltran issue first before I dive into the other areas. The Cardinals offer Carlos Beltran an qualifying offer of $14.1 million for one year to Beltran, at this time the team have not heard back from Carlos as of yet. The Cardinals organization believes he may look elsewhere for a contract, I have a feeling he will be back with the Cardinals for one more year. This is why, what team out there will give a aging player at 36 a three year contract. He did have some good power numbers for the Cardinals. For the two years with us he had 56 home runs and 181 runs batted in. If another team signs Beltran they would have to give up a draft pick to the Cardinals in the 2014 draft. I tend to think no MLB team would do this, I say Beltran stays. The shortstop position will definitely be addressed via trade or free agency. Here are the free agent names I keep hearing about via rumors; Stephen Drew, Jhonny Perralta, and Alex Gonzalez. When it comes to shortstops from trading I hear names like Starlin Castro, Elvis Andrus, Jurickson Profar and Erick Aybar. I tend to think the Cardinals may trade for Elvis Andrus, the Rangers are in need of a power hitting firstbase player and a pitcher. My suggestion would be Matt Adams and Lance Lynn for Elvis Andrus. Andrus drives in runs and a legit base stealer. Another need is centerfield where Jon Jay was stagnate. My suggestion would be Jacoby Ellsbury. He is another big RBI guy with some power. In the past seven years he accumulated 241 stolen bases. I believe Andrus and Ellsbuy would be the two guys to help get this team back to 2014 World Series. As Matt Holiday has two more years left on his contract, the Cardinals could afford to bring on another 4-5 year contract with Ellsbury.
A few other things the Cardinals announced that Trevor Rosenthal will be the relief pitcher in 2014 and Jason Motte will probably serve as a middle to late reliever. I would love to see the Cardinals to go with a six man rotation, for example…..Wainwright, Wacha, Garcia, Kelly, Martinez and Miller.
The team will probably finally move David Freese to make room for second baseman Kolten Wong and move Matt Carpenter to third base. There are some teams that are in need of a third baseman like the Dodgers, Marlins, and Diamondbacks. The Cardinals could get some minor league players in return. This is only my speculation and a chance to play arm chair General Manager.