Skip to content

Cardinals will be back … and often

Oct 31, 2013, 12:24 AM EDT

michael wacha fenway getty Getty Images

It’s going to be a somber plane ride back to St. Louis for the Cardinals following Wednesday night’s World Series ouster at Fenway Park, but these birds will be playing on big stages for years and years to come.

There may not be a team in baseball that is better-poised for an extended run of future success.

Adam Wainwright is an established ace and under contract through 2018. Michael Wacha has all the tools to join Wainwright in that elite category, and Shelby Miller would have been a National League Rookie of the Year shoe-in if not for Marlins young stud Jose Fernandez. Carlos Martinez could join Wainwright, Wacha and Miller in the St. Louis starting rotation in 2014 and Joe Kelly, Lance Lynn and Jaime Garcia are just a few of the organization’s other starting pitching options. Trevor Rosenthal — the club’s current fireballing young closer — has said publicly that he wants an opportunity to be a starter.

And that’s just the rotation. Kevin Siegrist, a 24-year-old lefty, is a rising star in the Cardinals’ bullpen. Seth Maness, a 25-year-old righty, posted a 2.32 ERA over his first 62 major league innings this season. John Axford, who found new life after arriving in St. Louis via a waiver trade, is eligible for salary arbitration. Jason Motte should be recovered from his Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery around early May.

Matt Holliday is locked in through at least 2016, Yadier Molina is locked in through at least 2017 and Allen Craig signed a big extension this past spring that can keep him in St. Louis through 2018. Matt Carpenter emerged as an MVP candidate this summer and top outfield prospect Oscar Taveras is ready to step in for Carlos Beltran, who is all but certain to accept a multi-year contract elsewhere in free agency. Exciting second base prospect Kolten Wong has the look of a future major league regular and could claim a starting job as early as 2014 if the Cardinals move Carpenter to third base and part ways with the arbitration-eligible David Freese. Don’t forget imposing slugger Matt Adams, who flashed game-changing power this year.

The Cardinals are stacked with good, young talent and have more than $30 million in player salaries coming off the books this winter between Beltran, Rafael Furcal, Chris Carpenter and Jake Westbrook.

The only real hole is at shortstop — and maybe center field — and the Cardinals will have the budget to make a major upgrade there. The most-storied franchise in the National League will write many more chapters.

Latest Posts
  1. Freddy Garcia close to signing with a team in Asia

    Apr 18, 2014, 1:02 PM EDT

    Freddy Garcia Getty Getty Images

    In which I speculate why Garcia is heading across the ocean. The answer may surprise you! Unless you’ve ever had babies at home before, in which case you’ll go “yep, I woulda too.”

  2. Tracy McGrady made his pitching debut last night

    Apr 18, 2014, 12:23 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 12.20.34 PM

    When you’re as tall as he is, it’s far less than 60’6″ to home plate.

  3. Jose Tabata passes post-concussion tests

    Apr 18, 2014, 11:51 AM EDT

    Pittsburgh Pirates v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

    Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata left Wednesday’s game after crashing very hard into the wall in Cincinnati while making a tremendous catch and was diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms.

  4. Tanner Scheppers moving into the rotation hasn’t worked for the Rangers

    Apr 18, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT

    Tanner Scheppers Rangers Getty Images

    Tanner Scheppers and his 9.82 ERA may not be long for the Rangers’ rotation.

  5. Brian Matusz makes a special connection with a fan who shares his peanut allergy

    Apr 18, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

    St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles Getty Images

    Over two million Americans have peanut allergies. This story is about two of them.

  6. Joe Nathan is feeling better after a “dead arm” period

    Apr 18, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT

    Joe Nathan Tigers AP

    After a pair of ugly early season outings Tigers closer Joe Nathan talked last week about going through a “dead arm” phase, but now the 39-year-old is feeling much stronger.

  7. Mark Teixeira expected to rejoin the Yankees on Sunday

    Apr 18, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

    Mark Teixeira AP

    On the disabled list with a strained hamstring, Mark Teixeira got three at-bats in a minor-league rehab game Thursday and is expected to rejoin the Yankees’ lineup Sunday.

  8. Chris Sale has no use for statistics and that’s totally fine

    Apr 18, 2014, 8:47 AM EDT

    Chris Sale Getty Images

    He may not care, but I’m going to write a research report about how you normalize ISPFMLBLSSR for different eras.

  9. The Secret Service was prepared to kill Mr. Met

    Apr 18, 2014, 8:33 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 8.31.33 AM

    If this is true, you’d have to think the Philly Phanatic would have a no-fly zone imposed over him.

  10. And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

    Apr 18, 2014, 6:47 AM EDT

    Adam Wainwright AP

    Adam Wainwright turned in the latest of several dominant pitching performances around Major League Baseball this week.

  11. Toronto’s bullpen melts down in epic fashion against the Twins

    Apr 17, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Sergio Santos AP AP

    The Twins scored six runs on one hit, eight walks (!) and three wild pitches in the bottom of the eighth inning tonight.

  12. Jonathan Papelbon is tired of talking about his velocity

    Apr 17, 2014, 10:05 PM EDT

    Jonathan Papelbon AP AP

    Jonathan Papelbon had a little more giddy-up on his fastball today, but don’t ask him about it.

  13. Jeremy Jeffress elects free agency

    Apr 17, 2014, 9:31 PM EDT

    Jeremy Jeffress Getty Getty Images

    Jeremy Jeffress turned down a minor league assignment with the Blue Jays and will seek an opportunity elsewhere.

  14. Report: Joel Hanrahan looked “great” during his throwing session today

    Apr 17, 2014, 8:21 PM EDT

    Joel Hanrahan AP

    Lots of teams watched Joel Hanrahan throw today.

  15. VIDEO: The Yankees turned a triple play against the Rays

    Apr 17, 2014, 8:16 PM EDT

    triple play yankees

    Yangervis Solarte, Brian Roberts, and Scott Sizemore turned a triple play and got CC Sabathia out of a potential jam.

  16. Mike Napoli returns to Red Sox starting lineup

    Apr 17, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT

    Mike Napoli AP AP

    Mike Napoli suffered a dislocated finger on Tuesday, but only had to miss one game.

  17. Shane Victorino to begin minor league rehab assignment Saturday

    Apr 17, 2014, 7:02 PM EDT

    Shane Victorino Getty Getty Images

    Shane Victorino has been sidelined since the end of spring training with a hamstring strain.

Featured video

This was 'the perfect baseball game'
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. S. Kazmir (4993)
  2. K. Uehara (4322)
  3. T. Wood (3673)
  4. G. Springer (3484)
  5. J. Kubel (3308)
  1. M. Machado (3175)
  2. T. Walker (3018)
  3. H. Rondon (3009)
  4. D. Pedroia (2955)
  5. J. Reyes (2903)