ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – There still is plenty of baseball left to play for the Cardinals and things can change, as well as playoff standings. The emergence of a few players and looking for the next few seasons of success for the Cardinals. These players need to remain a Cardinals to continue having success.
5.) Greg Garcia
All of Cardinals Nation remembers Daniel Descalso and saw how useful this guy was to the team during the 2011 season. Well, welcome to Greg Garcia 2016 and beyond. The Cardinals kept Garcia covered up in Memphis with players like Kolten Wong, Jhonny Peralta, and Aledmys Diaz in the wing waiting to emerge. So Garcia’s playing time solely came when injuries happened. Once 2016 started and the Ruben Tejada project didn’t work, Mike Matheny and John Mozeliak turned to Garcia and he ran with it. His OBP, patience at the plate, and brilliance on defense showed why this man has been so crucial to this team. I’m not saying Garcia is a mainstay in the Cardinals line-up for 2017 and beyond. But he has shown he deserves a new contract with the team and should not see AAA at all next season.
4.) Luke Weaver
Some may see this name and say, “well no s*&%”. The former 1st round draft pick by the Cardinals hasn’t had a lot of time up with the big leagues this season. But his dominance in the minors on a shortened season, and positive start with the big leagues against the Cubs should show John Mozeliak that Weaver should not be a trade chip. Fans want to see a little more push in the offseason with upgrades and to get something big you’d need to move something important. Stay away from Weaver. A little more time and Luke can be a big weapon in the rotation in the near future or possibly the bullpen while he waits or that starter call.
3.) Michael Wacha
This is a name that not many can probably get on board with after this disappointing season. That’s two tough years for Wacha in a row and his spot in the rotation has been one that many question if this is the spot for him. No question that Wacha has shown his brilliance during his time with the Cardinals so I don’t think the team and fans should write him off yet. His injuries have slowed his progress down which could welcome a cheaper contract after this season. Maybe a different role for Wacha where his arm isn’t used as much but in a stronger position out of the bullpen. Wacha can still be a part of something special with the Cardinals and still has plenty of ceiling left in his career. Give Mike one more shot, John.
2.) Seung-Hwan Oh
You may say that this is the easiest answer out of everyone on the 2016 roster. I’ll argue that with my #1 pick but Oh should be 1A for bringing back next season. Oh has dominated the ML, just like he did in Japan and Korea. “Stone Buddha” has one of the lowest ERAs in the ML and has shown he can get out of high leverage situations on consecutive nights and numerous innings. Oh only signed a one-year deal and is a bit older than some would like from a closer. But the struggles of Trevor Rosenthal has moved him out of the closer role and you need to find someone who can lock that down for a few years until the next “young gun” takes the position. Oh could be a bit pricey but the need for a healthy and consistent bullpen should tell everyone that it will be worth the money.
1.) Brandon Moss
Finally, the man that every Cardinal fan should DEMAND be back in the Birds on the Bat uniform next season and beyond. A tough last year between CLE & STL caused many to wonder if the trade was a dumb one on Mozeliak’s part. Well, trust in Mo because Brandon has been one of the best players, consistently, this season. Moss’ power, OPS, and ability to play numerous positions and bat in any different spot in the line-up has been extremely impressive. Moss has been crucial to this team (check out the slump the team remained in during his DL stint). Moss will demand nice money on the market but he has mentioned on numerous occasions that he wants to be back in STL. With the questions in the air surrounding if the disappointing Matt Holliday will be back or not. Moss would be the best replacement to take over the absence of Holliday and would be a bit cheaper than #7s option for next year.
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