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The Cardinals' window is not closing (as quickly as people think) - A Hunt and Peck

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A graphic.

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

A lot, A LOT has been made about the Cardinals' aging core as of late, especially after reported comments by Jason Heyward about it being a reason he did not choose to sign with the Cardinals:

"You have Yadier (Molina), who is going to be done in two years maybe. You have Matt Holliday, who is probably going to be done soon.

"There were already moves with Jon Jay gone, and then Tony Cruz, and (Adam) Wainwright is probably going to be done in three or four years. I think that's when his contract is up. Not to say he won't play any longer, but guys like that are what really introduced me to the St. Louis Cardinals organization. I felt like if I was to look up in three years and see a completely different team, that would kind of be difficult."

Craig discussed this aging core in a post yesterday:

Four out of the top nine projected players on the Cardinals are 33- to 36-years old. That is the aging core we keep hearing about. However, of the 20 top-projected players for the Cardinals next season, just five are older than 30, eleven are 27 and younger with seven players 25 and younger. The average age of players listed above: 28.1.

Great minds think alike, because I had also begun to research this as well. I looked at the qualified hitters and pitchers (separated into starters and relievers) and calculated their average age based on the last team each player had played on. Here are the results:

Then I looked at contributions from players under 26 years of age (I chose that because that is how old Heyward is):

What became clear to me is that yes, the Cardinals window will close eventually if they are unable to replace the production from their aging core of players, however, they are not in the dire situation some have made it seem to be. These graphs also do not take into account contribution from players that did not play enough to be "qualified", such as Randal Grichuk, Tommy Pham, and Stephen Piscotty (but also included Heyward as a Cardinal). The time to contend is now.

(Feel free to e-mail me at lil_scooter93 AT msn DOT com if you would like me to e-mail you complete data set!)

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