2014 Predictions for St. Louis Cardinals Offseason Acquisitions

Corey Noles@@coreynolesCorrespondent IJanuary 31, 2014

2014 Predictions for St. Louis Cardinals Offseason Acquisitions

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    Elise Amendola/Associated Press

    The St. Louis Cardinals came out of the 2013 World Series in a hurry to prepare for the team’s next shot.

    It was only a few weeks before John Mozeliak had made a pair of substantial moves addressing the team’s two most glaring needs from 2013—a shortstop and a center fielder.

    The assumption was that the Cardinals would have to give up a portion of their coveted young pitching in order to make a deal happen. Mozeliak made it happen both through free agency and a deal trading David Freese, a local hero in need of a change of scenery.

    Looking toward the future, each of those acquisitions is capable of having an impact on the 2014 Cardinals. Following is a prediction for each of the Cardinals’ four major offseason pickups.

Randal Grichuk, Outfield

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    Chris Carlson/Associated Press

    How/when acquired: Acquired via trade for David Freese and Fernando Salas on Nov. 22, 2013

    2013 Statistics: Double-A .256/.306/.474, 22 HR, 64 RBI, 128 games played

    This 22-year-old right-handed outfielder, after a few days, seemed to excite Cardinals fans more than Peter Bourjos, who was intended to be the deal’s centerpiece.

    While the Cardinals have tremendous depth in right field for 2014, Grichuk may well make a run for the job later in the season.

    In all likelihood he’ll begin the season in Triple-A, but he could make a trip or two to St. Louis this summer depending on the health of Bourjos, Allen Craig and Jon Jay.

    2014 Prediction: Triple-A .251, 24 HR, 69 RBI, 121 games played

Mark Ellis, 2B

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    How/when acquired: Free Agent, signed Dec. 16, 2013

    2013 Statistics: .270/.323/.351, 48 RBI, 126 games played

    When the Cardinals signed Mark Ellis, it was most likely in order to have an insurance policy for Kolten Wong. For the most part, Ellis will find himself in a backup role.

    Ellis is a solid defensive acquisition for the Cardinals and while his bat may lack consistency, he should more than make up for it with his glove.

    While the transition to backup second baseman could require some adjustment, Cardinals fans should expect a decent performance from Ellis in his first season for St. Louis.

    2014 Prediction: .261, 4 HR, 32 RBI, 23 R, 65 games played

Peter Bourjos, CF

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    How/when acquired: Acquired via trade for David Freese and Fernando Salas on Nov. 22, 2013

    2013 Statistics: .274/.333/.377, 12 RBI, 6 SB, 55 games played

    Peter Bourjos is a prime example of an exciting young player who really needed a fresh start. He’ll get that in St. Louis this season.

    Between injuries and the acquisition of other big–ticket players, Bourjos hasn’t yet become the player many expected he would be by now.

    While it might not happen immediately, Bourjos should be a good fit in St. Louis. He needed a change, and the Cardinals needed help in center field. By all accounts, it should be a win-win fit.

    2014 Prediction: .270, 7 HR, 49 RBI, 35 SB, 145 games played

Jhonny Peralta, SS

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    How/when acquired: Free Agent, signed Nov. 24, 2013

    2013 Statistics: .303/.358/.457, 11 HR, 55 RBI, 30 2B, 107 games played

    There’s no doubt that the latter half of 2013 marked the low point (from a PR standpoint, not statistically) in what has already been an impressive career for Jhonny Peralta.

    The coming season marks an opportunity for Peralta to revive his career and put the past behind him. A solid season in St. Louis can give him the fresh start he needs.

    The Peralta acquisition was hands-down the Cardinals' most significant improvement of the offseason. Even a slight numbers dip due to the move between leagues could give the Cardinals a level of production from shortstop that they haven’t seen in several years.

    2014 Prediction: .286, 12 HR, 55 RBI, 141 games played

    All stats are current through Jan. 30, 2014, courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.