Alright Cards fans, the likelihood of this happening are slim to none but we can dream right? I’m not a professional sports analyst so don’t rip too hard into me, I’m just putting on paper what I would like to see happen to see a super team in St. Louis for at least 1 year.
At the time of this article, Cardinals are committed for around 140 million to the start of the 2019 season. With the 2019 Tax Threshold moving up to 206 million, this gives Cards roughly 66 million they can use to build this dream team. While Cards have not historically been a team that plays with the tax threshold line, in this article, they have decided to finally appease all the Red Bird fans and have decided to take a huge step forward by not just building a team that will compete for a wild card spot, but for #1 record in the league.
For those who aren’t aware, teams can go over the Tax Threshold, but will be heavily penalized to the extent of that they can lose a 1st round draft pick, international pool money for overseas free agent signings. The penalties get stiffer for each consecutive year you’re over this threshold so lets just go with the scenario that Cards will be a borderline team for once in their existence to the tax threshold line.
Lets the games begin!
The first big fish the Cards would pick up would be drum roll please… Bryce Harper!
Seeing as how he declined the Nats offer of 10 year-300 million, we’ll say he agrees to sign with the Cards for 10 years- 325 million. (One, STL has cheaper taxes so he could keep even more of his money and two, he’d get to play in historically what is known as baseball heaven)
Total cost annually : 32.5 million which gives cards 33.5 million left until hitting that Luxury Tax Threshold.
Next Acquisition : Josh Donaldson
Cards have been looking for that big impact bat for the 3rd base for quite a while. In this scenario, Cards sign Donaldson on a 4 year – 60 million dollar deal that would pay him 15 million a year. Remaining balance before hitting Tax Threshold? 18.5 Million
The next surprise move would be to move Kolton Wong (6.5), Luke Weaver (560K), Dakota Hudson (555K), and Luke Gregerson (5 Million) to Arizona in exchange for Paul Goldschmidt. Paul is owed 11.1 so Cards would actually gain 1.5 million in wiggle room which would update their Tax Threshold to 20 million. Reason Arizona would make this trade? They’re losing 2 of their good starting pitchers to Free Agency this offseason and another just had Tommy john Surgery so they will be looking for young cost controlled pitching. Cards kick in Wong in this deal so they can move Carp to 2nd Base and put Goldshmidt on 1st.
So as of now, the new roster looks like (in no particular order for the batting order):
1st – Paul Goldshmidt
2nd – Matt Carpenter
3rd – Josh Donaldson
Shortstop – Paul Dejong
Left Field – Marcel Ozuna
Center Field – Harrison Bader
Right Field – Bryce Harper
Catcher – Yadier Molina
Now that’s a lineup that can do some damage and can go against any stacked team!
Next Cards Weakness is Bullpen Pitching as they will be pretty well set with starting pitching to start 2019 (Martinez, Reyes, Flaherty, Mikolus, Wacha, Ponceledeon, Gant, and Gomber, all fighting for a starting 5) so Cards will have roughly $20 million left to address their bullpen which I will address in my next Article : Cardinals Dream Team Offseason : Pitching
Let me know your thoughts!