Albert Pujols was an icon for St. Louis. When you thought of Cardinals baseball during the 2000's, you thought of Pujols. He helped the Cardinals win a World Series after a 24-year drought. Then five years later, he brought a second title to the great city of St. Louis.
He was a fan favorite; you couldn't go to a game and not see a Pujols jersey everywhere you looked. People from all over came to St. Louis to watch him play.
That was the Albert Pujols of old for St. Louis Cardinals fans. Now his jersey cannot be found in the stadium as often as before. If you do notice his jersey, it might have to lines going down the number five to make a dollar sign or just a X crossing through his name.
What he did this past offseason was very hard for Cardinal Nation to handle. Most people thought we were better off without him, and we wouldn't need him to win another title. There were others, though, who thought different, that we can't possibly win without him and they could be right.
Can the Cardinals win another World Series title without Pujols before he retires? Let's say that he will retire at the end of his current 10-year contract. That gives the Cardinals until 2021 to win another championship.
Now, trying to predict how the Cardinals' season will pan out six to 10 years from now is almost impossible. There could be an entire new team in place, so I will just focus on the next five years.
Currently, the Cardinals are in third place in the NL Central and are right at .500. They are just three games behind the Reds for the lead. This season for the Cardinals might be the team’s best opportunity to win another title.
The Cardinals currently have 11 people on the 40-man roster who are 30 years or older. Out of the top seven highest salaries on the roster, six of those players are 30 or older; the one exception is Yadier Molina, who is 29 years old.
Age will be a factor for this team in the next few years, so we will have to win with this set of players in the next couple of years. We will most likely have to win with this set of veterans in the next two years, assuming that nobody re-signs any of their contracts.
Of course, we do have a lot of young talent, but once again, it is hard to say how good the team will be when the lineup contains the likes of Shane Robinson, Zack Cox, Shelby Miller and other in the minors. They have great potential, but it is hard to say how they will perform at the major league level.
Now, after taking a look at the veterans on our team, let's take a look at the middle-aged group of the Cardinals. David Freese, Jaime Garcia and Lance Lynn lead the up-and-coming stars of the St. Louis Cardinals.
This set of young players is very exciting and a great group of guys. This year so far, due to injuries, we have seen flashes of what is to come for the Cardinals in the future. Tyler Greene has not shown any consistency, but he has had games where he shows he could be a dominant force in the lineup. Jon Jay at one point was showing why he would be an everyday center fielder, and Lance Lynn is proving that he wants to be the ace in the future.
So, with all this said, I think that the Cardinals have some great talent in place and they could win multiple titles for St. Louis before Pujols retires.