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. Video: Pablo Sandoval’s over-the-railing catch

    Oct 2, 2014, 12:18 AM EDT

    sandoval getty Getty Images

    The game was pretty much wrapped up at this point for the Giants, but watch Pablo Sandoval go over the Pirates’ dugout railing to make a catch in foul territory in Wednesday night’s NL Wild Card Game …

  2. Russell Martin’s free agency looms large as Pirates face offseason

    Oct 1, 2014, 11:54 PM EDT

    Milwaukee Brewers v Pittsburgh Pirates Milwaukee Brewers v Pittsburgh Pirates

    After Wednesday’s 8-0 loss, it’s time for the Pirates to start thinking about next year.

  3. Madison Bumgarner delivers a shutout as Giants roll past Pirates in NL Wild Card Game

    Oct 1, 2014, 11:20 PM EDT

    madison bumgarner getty Getty Images

    Madison Bumgarner dominated over nine shutout innings and Brandon Crawford hit a grand slam as San Francisco cruised to an easy 8-0 victory over the host Pirates on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

  4. Hyun-Jin Ryu throws three-inning simulated game

    Oct 1, 2014, 10:22 PM EDT

    hyun-jin ryu getty Getty Images

    The Dodgers’ workout Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles was closed off to the media, so we’ll have to trust the club’s own reporting on injured left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu …

  5. Brandon Crawford hits grand slam, Giants lead Pirates in National League Wild Card Game

    Oct 1, 2014, 9:38 PM EDT

    crawford getty Getty Images

    The Giants are out to a 4-0 lead in the National League Wild Card Game at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park courtesy of a fourth-inning grand slam by shortstop Brandon Crawford.

  6. Jose Fernandez throws for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery in May

    Oct 1, 2014, 9:08 PM EDT

    jose fernandez getty Getty Images

    Marlins ace Jose Fernandez picked up a baseball on Wednesday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery on May 16.

  7. Travis d’Arnaud undergoes surgery for bone spur in elbow

    Oct 1, 2014, 8:13 PM EDT

    travis d'arnaud getty Getty Images

    The procedure went as planned and d’Arnaud is expected to be fully recovered by the start of spring training next February.

  8. A’s option for Nick Punto vests at $2.75 million

    Oct 1, 2014, 7:19 PM EDT

    Nick Punto AP

    Punto hit just .207 with two homers and a .589 OPS in 73 games.

  9. Kevin Gausman in Orioles’ bullpen for ALDS vs. Tigers

    Oct 1, 2014, 7:05 PM EDT

    kevin gausman getty Getty Images

    Gausman was the fourth overall pick in the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft and registered a promising 3.57 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, and 88/38 K/BB ratio across 113 1/3 innings during the regular season, but the O’s will roll with their more-experienced arms versus Detroit.

  10. Royals to start Yordano Ventura in Game 2 of ALDS

    Oct 1, 2014, 6:33 PM EDT

    yordano ventura getty Getty Images

    Jason Vargas, who spent last season in the Angels’ rotation before signing with the Royals as a free agent, will start Game 1 for Kansas City.

  11. Angels announce ALDS rotation: Jered Weaver in Game 1, Matt Shoemaker for Game 2

    Oct 1, 2014, 6:19 PM EDT

    angels logo

    The Angels have announced their rotation for the ALDS against the Royals.

  12. Cardinals leave A.J. Pierzynski, Jason Motte off NLDS roster

    Oct 1, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT

    A.J. Pierzynski Getty Getty Images

    Tony Cruz gets the nod as Yadier Molina’s backup.

  13. Derek Jeter is afraid of cats. Likes Baskin Robbins. And other important stuff about him.

    Oct 1, 2014, 5:12 PM EDT

    Derek Jeter AP AP

    Welp, there’s two reasons he’ll never accept an invitation to my house.

  14. The A’s-Royals game did pretty well in the ratings

    Oct 1, 2014, 4:34 PM EDT

    old TV

    The Tuesday wild card game got ratings 14% higher than last year’s Tuesday wild card game.

  15. Wild Card Game: Giants vs. Pirates lineups

    Oct 1, 2014, 4:04 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 4.03.08 PM Getty Images

    Not a ton of surprises. Gaby Sanchez in at first over Ike Davis because of the lefty on the hill. Otherwise, play ball.

  16. Twins to interview Hall of Famer Paul Molitor for manager opening

    Oct 1, 2014, 3:45 PM EDT

    Paul Molitor Twins Getty Images

    Ron Gardenhire was fired Monday after 13 seasons, the last four of which have seen the Twins lose 90 or more games.

  17. Odd, and unfulfilling, season ends for A’s

    Oct 1, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

    Eric Sogard A's Getty Images

    Somehow, it all seemed to tie this strange 2014 season together in one fitting package, though the end result wasn’t what anyone in green and gold wanted.

  18. Cardinals’ playoff rotation does not include Michael Wacha

    Oct 1, 2014, 2:48 PM EDT

    wacha getty Getty Images

    Adam Wainwright will start Game 1 against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.

Featured video

Pitching vs. history in NL wild card game
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Jeter (2995)
  2. R. Martin (2336)
  3. A. Rodriguez (2064)
  4. D. Gordon (1981)
  5. J. Hamilton (1970)
  1. J. Altuve (1953)
  2. C. Kershaw (1896)
  3. E. Volquez (1771)
  4. M. Shoemaker (1764)
  5. Y. Cespedes (1670)