Blog Entry

What's next for the Cardinals?

Posted on: December 8, 2011 10:52 am
Edited on: December 8, 2011 11:06 am

By Matt Snyder

DALLAS -- A Cardinals legend is leaving St. Louis and headed to Los Angeles, as Albert Pujols has signed with the Angels. For many, the main question here is, where do the Cardinals go from here?

There are several moving parts. Let's sort through them.

• As far as first base, the Cardinals already had a backup plan. Lance Berkman can shift right back to first, where he's best suited defensively anyway. This eliminates an awful defensive hole in the outfield, though it is obviously a defensive downgrade at first base, as Pujols is one of the best in the game. It was very unlikely the Cardinals would pursue Prince Fielder or even a lesser free agent first baseman like Carlos Pena before we knew about the Allen Craig injury. With the injury, do the Cardinals get hasty and go large after Fielder? It doesn't seem like a good bet, but we do know the Cardinals had a truckload of money they were about to spend and now haven't been able to do so. So feel free to speculate away.

MLB Winter Meetings
• It's entirely possible this changes the landscape for free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Multiple reports had Rollins close to signing with the Phillies, but instead his agent didn't meet with them Wednesday night. Interestingly enough, Rollins' agent is Dan Lozano. Yes, the same Dan Lozano who represents Pujols. And the Cardinals have a need at shortstop ... and for a leadoff hitter. They were said to be interested in Rollins a bit ago, but obviously all efforts were focused on Pujols until Thursday morning. He's gone now, though, so we may very well see Rollins get a nice offer from the Cardinals. Maybe even a panic-type deal. There is still a feeling Rollins is headed back to Philly, but the Pujols signing very much affects the market for the All-Star shortstop.

• In the outfield, the Cardinals now have a predicament. They were set to go with Berkman, Jon Jay and Matt Holliday. If Pujols left, Berkman would slide to first base and Craig would become the everyday right fielder. The problem is, Craig is likely out until May. And you never know how players will bounce back from knee surgeries. What if there are setbacks? So this poses a big problem. It looks like it's Skip Schumaker in right, for now, and there isn't really much better the Cardinals can do -- assuming their free agent focus turns to Rollins, which I fully expect.

• One last thing, we have to remember the Cardinals are getting back a healthy Adam Wainwright. They won the World Series last season without their ace. And now he's back. So the starting pitching will be improved.

And it better be, because the Cardinals just lost the best player of the last decade.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Since: Dec 23, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2011 10:27 am

What's next for the Cardinals?

That is it. as Cardinal Fans we had one of the Greatest Baseball Players in History on our Team. Its over and we have to move on. We need help at SS and a Outfielder that can hit Big. Its all about winning World Series and we have a bunch and why cant we get a bunch more. I like our starting pitching. We need two bats in Lineup and now we have the money to do it. Beltran sounds good. We need that help at SS and to solidfy our  Pen. We have the Cash now lets make the right moves and get another World Series

Since: Mar 22, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 8:37 pm

What's next for the Cardinals?

I think you got to also look at 2013 FA class.  With Lohse and Westbrooke coming off the books this will help.  I say go big for Cole Hamels offer atleast a contract that Wilson got if not more that's 15 million a season for 5-6 years.  For 2013 you would have Waino, Carp, Hamels, Garcia and Shelby Miller.  There's not much better out there than this.  If Carp retires then you got Lance Lynn or Carlos Martinez to take his place.  And as long as you got those arms locked up we will compete in the NL central for the next 7 years easy.  Especially with the very nice young bullpen we got.  Also in the 2013 FA class there is Shane Victorino and BJ Upton.  I think we may need to address CF at some time.  I love Jay but I'm not sold on him being an everyday player.  I like the combo of Upton, Holliday, Craig and Jay.

For this year we need to find a shortstop no doubt about it.  If we go the Furcal route we may be able to sign Carlos Beltran then.  And I love this move because of Craig being out.  Beltran can play CF and RF so this gives us depth that we will need next year.  Furcal gives you great defense but limited stick.

If you go the Rollins route (more risky because more years involved in contract and money than Furcal or Beltran would demand).  Then you can sign a guy like Ludwick for a 1 year contract. 

But I would not tie myself down this year with long expensive contract because I think we need to go all in after Hamels next year and go after Upton too.  Our future could be for 2013.

Furcal/Greene/Tyler Jackson
Kolten Wong

That's plenty of hitting with the mention pitching possibility.

For 2012

Since: Jan 31, 2008
Posted on: December 8, 2011 4:24 pm

What's next for the Cardinals?

by no means will i say he is the next Pujols. on the other hand, Cox is a talent, i feel, that will pay off quickly. a la moving Tatis to bring in Pujols. Honestly did you expect Pujols to do what he did in 2001?

Since: Sep 10, 2006
Posted on: December 8, 2011 4:23 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: December 8, 2011 4:14 pm

What's next for the Cardinals?

"What's next for the Cardinals?" Hopefully, a little less dominance over the Reds!  With Albert gone and Prince possibly out of the Division, Cincinnati may be the real winner after all is said and done.  Holliday's numbers as well as Braun's will suffer w/o their boys to protect them. Now if only Lance........?  ;)

Since: Sep 22, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2011 3:46 pm

What's next for the Cardinals?

next pujols in zack cox? are you kidding .  pujols don't come along every day . it'll take some doings to fill this void .  i am really dissapointed.
but when you get into that kind of millions what does another 20 or 25 million mean .  i was hoping he'd show a little more loyalty. it may have been the change in climate he was going for . i wish him luck

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: December 8, 2011 3:43 pm

What's next for the Cardinals?

See Houston Astros.

Since: Jul 30, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2011 3:42 pm

What's next for the Cardinals?

not sure the halos are going to want to pay Albert $25mm when he's 41 and 42.  Of course by then, he may be a legend and the all time homerun king whose contract pays for itself with fan draw.  Hopefully that foot issue doesn't flare up and disrupt his career.

Since: Jan 31, 2008
Posted on: December 8, 2011 3:23 pm

What's next for the Cardinals?

this could be very exciting for the Cardinals......remember when they moved Fernando Tatis? Personally I was in shocked. Guess who replaced Tatis? Pujols. Are we looking at the next Pujols in Zack Cox? Move Freese to 1B or the OF and bring up Cox......the Cards will be better off.

Since: Jan 29, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2011 2:35 pm

What's next for the Cardinals?

Don't worry Cardinal fans. While the Angels will be hamstrung with the contract of Pujols, the redbirds will be able to sign needed free agents, and win more world series games. We won World Series games before, durring and after Musial, not having Albert on the team when we win again is no big deal. I am first and foremost a fan of the birds on the bat and not having a statue outside Busch standing next to the MAN, is probably for the best. There can only be one man in St. Louis and it's not Albert.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or