The rumors continue to swirl as the St. Louis Cardinals are regularly attached to free agents such as Eric Hosmer and others who remain on the market, but President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak distanced the team from such talk.
“No, I think we’re pretty comfortable with our lineup right now,” stated Mozeliak about the idea of landing an additional bat. “When you look at really last year versus where we are today, my expectations are Carp, Fowler, Tommy Pham–you look at the impact those guys could have, it could be a pretty prolific offense. Outfield alone, you’re looking at a pretty dynamic group. All of those guys would have north of an .850 OPS. That’s pretty good building blocks, so I’m excited about our lineup.”
The addition of Marcell Ozuna provides the impact bat the Cardinals were looking for but there remains a log jam of outfielders in the organization needing or close to being ready for big league opportunity. Stephen Piscotty was traded to Oakland, but behind Ozuna, Tommy Pham, and Dexter Fowler there remains the likes of Randal Grichuk, Harrison Bader, Jose Martinez, and Tyler O’Neill.
Could a move or two remain to help alleviate the crowded outfield?
“I’m not closing the book on anything between now and once we get down to Jupiter,” said Mozeliak. “We’re still exploring some things, we’re still kicking the tires on things, but I don’t feel anything is imminent as we sit here today.”
Also a factor to consider, injuries have limited Dexter Fowler to playing 243 games over the last two years and this past season was the first time Tommy Pham had more than 500 at-bats in his professional career. The fourth and fifth outfielders could provide valuable insurance if either of those two were again injured.
“I think it’s important,” acknowledged Mozeliak. “I do feel like we have that depth. Harrison Bader, Grichuk, and I think Tyler O’Neill deserves to be in that conversation. Now, each guy has a little bit different story.
“Grichuk has over three years of big league experience, Harrison Bader touched the big leagues for the first time last year, and Tyler O’Neill is knocking on the door. And so I think when you look at that group, they all have a little different story but they give us protection and we haven’t even mentioned Jose Martinez in the sense of he had a pretty prolific offensive year last year and trying to find him at-bats.”
Stay tuned for more from our conversation with John Mozeliak as we move into the topic of Alex Reyes and more on the pitching front.
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