While it might seem as though this has been a Jason Heyward blog over the last month, we have actually written quite a bit about other free agent options available to the Cardinals. In a recent interview with KMOX, John Mozeliak indicated the Cardinals were unlikely to pursue a big bat, and instead focus on pitching. The Post-Dispatch quoted Mozeliak saying "There isn't anything now that we're chasing with a nine-figure contract." With that in mind, here is a rundown of a few options for the Cardinals in free agency.
First Base/Chris Davis
- Some of these options are no longer available, but Chris Davis and Mike Napoli are still out there.
- On the subject of Chris Davis, Nick Lampe acknowledged that Davis would provide a boost next season, but exercised caution on the price.
- Joe Schwarz was a bit more blunt in his assessment, asking the Cardinals to Just Say No to Chris Davis.
Outfield: Alex Gordon, Justin Upton, Dexter Fowler, Yoenis Cespedes
- If not Heyward, then who? NIck Lampe examined some non-Heyward possibilities for the Cardinals. If the Cardinals do choose reverse course and get back in the deep end of free agency, Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Upton are still available.
- Over at MLB Daily Dish, the Cardinals have been connected with Alex Gordon and Dexter Fowler as well. Fowler would be an unusual signing given he is not much of an upgrade over the Cardinals internal options. Gordon might approach $100 million for his contract, but if he could be had for less than that, I wrote he could be a decent value over at FanGraphs.
- On the lower end of the spectrum, Gerardo Parra could also be an option to provide depth.
Pitching: Kenta Maeda, Mike Leake, Mark Buehrle, Cliff Lee, Scott Kazmir, Johnny Cueto
- A look at the remaining available pitchers, we see quite a few quality pitchers left.
- It would be a curious move to bring in Johnny Cueto given his history, but his agent is at least pushing the idea.
- Mike Leake is young and durable, but that does not necessarily make him a great fit at his price.
- Mark Buehrle has been durable and might want to pitch for his hometown team, but does that make him better than Tyler Lyons and Tim Cooney?
- Kenta Maeda is in the middle of the posting process, but his price tag could get pretty high depending on how teams evaluate his ability to make the transition to Major League Baseball.
- Cliff Lee was once great, but has not pitched in a year. Is he worth a flier to see if he can recapture his stuff?
- Scott Kazmir has not been connected to the Cardinals, but given that he will not cost a draft pick, it is tough to rule him out at this point.
- My advice, given all of the options available, is simply to wait out the market and let the pitching come to them, given the solid depth the Cardinals already possess.