The 3 Biggest Decisions the St. Louis Cardinals Have to Make This Offseason
For the moment, the St. Louis Cardinals couldn't care less about next season. They are focused on bringing the 12th World Series title in franchise history to St. Louis.
But when October finally passes and the fanfare has died down, the Cardinals will have some decisions to make to get the 2014 roster put together. The nice part about John Mozeliak's job is that he has options, and the Cardinals don't have a lot of holes to fix.
Here are the three biggest decisions the Cardinals will face this offseason.
Will the Cardinals Re-Sign Carlos Beltran?
This has been the debate going on for a while now. There are a few factors, including age and price tag, that will be in the discussion when it comes to Beltran. However, one of the biggest factors in this discussion is what to do with Matt Adams.
With as well as Adams played for an injured Allen Craig in September; the Cardinals seem to be in a spot to find him more at-bats.
Adams, unfortunately, can only play first base. Allen Craig is able to play right field and hold his own. So the Cardinals front office is going to have to figure out what they are going to do with Adams in the process of deciding what to do with Beltran.
Beltran has been everything the Cardinals could have hoped for and more, but when it comes to making signings that benefit their team, GM John Mozeliak usually makes the right call. So it'll be interesting to see what he and the ownership decide to with Beltran.
Who Will Play Shortstop for the Cardinals in 2014?
Shortstop was not a position of strength for the Cardinals in 2013. Plus, those reading this will probably say not a strength in Game 1 of the World Series after Pete Kozma's two errors.
Kozma can't hit a lick, and there really is no debating that fact. Daniel Descalso is a great utility player, but not an everyday shortstop. So the Cardinals are going to have to find someone who can be a strength in the field and bring a semi-decent bat to the plate.
The free-agent pool is pretty shallow this offseason. The only free-agent shortstop who can hit and isn't a major liability in the field is Jhonny Peralta, and he recently served a 50-game suspension for PED use.
So the Cardinals are going to need to decide whether they want to take another look at Rafael Furcal or put a package of prospects together to go out and get a legit everyday shortstop via a trade.
Who Will Play Third Base for the Cardinals in 2014?
The Cardinals are going to have to figure out what they are going to do with third base as well in 2014. With Kolten Wong being basically major league-ready and Matt Carpenter's natural position being third base, David Freese may be the odd man out.
Freese is arbitration eligible, so it'll be interesting to see what they do with him. If they decide to keep him, will it be in a starting role?
If the Cardinals give Wong a shot at being the everyday second baseman, Carpenter will be moved to third. Carpenter is the obvious constant in this equation as an everyday player, but his flexibility with positions could mean bad news for Freese.
Hard to imagine a local hometown World Series hero being pushed out, but it is a very realistic possibility.