The United Cardinal Bloggers’ are back with the January project – Top 5 Cardinals Stories I Expect To See This Season. These aren’t the deals I’m hoping for, but the one that I think will happen.
5. David Freese Gets Hurt - Call me a pessamist, but this seems to be a reoccurring theme. Freese will look good, then back luck will hit and he’ll miss significant time. It happened to start 2009. It happened in mid-2010. I’m expecting it to happen again. It will lead to…
4. The Cardinals Sign a Random Veteran During June to Replace One of the Kiddos - Another yearly happening. Last year it was Jeff Suppan, Randy Winn, and Aaron Miles. I could see Miles being released by mid-May by which ever team that signs him and back with the Cardinals by mid-June. There are plenty of guys that will be out there that will make us all groan.
3. The Cardinals Trade Prospects for Help Prior to the Deadline - If there’s one thing Cardinals fans are accustomed to, it’s a dead line deal that helps the team. Chuck Finley. Jake Westbrook. Larry Walker (although he was after the trade deadline). I don’t think this year will be different. They’ll find someone and they’ll trade a future piece and hope that the deal pays off. As we’ve seen, some do and some don’t. It’ll be interesting to see who is available. My guess will be a second baseman.
2. The Cardinals Playoff Push in September - Like the deadline deal, Cardinal fans are expecting to be in the playoff picture come September. Even on the years they don’t make the playoffs (2003, 2007, 2010), they normally have a realistic shot when the final month begins. This teams looks OK on paper; they look at least as well as their division competition.
1. Albert Pujols Signs His Extension - Maybe this is wishful thinking, but I expect this headline before Spring Training. I can’t guess the details, but would hope for 5 years, $150MM with 5 club options that range in value from $32-35MM per season. It’s the best case scenario for both parties. The Cardinals can get out of the deal if Pujols does decline. Pujols can be the highest paid player if the options are picked up. Again, wishful thinking. I would say 1A would be “Cardinals Trade Albert Pujols” if they can’t get the deal done; a package of prospects is better than 2 draft picks. Of course, that means John Mozeliak will go down as the “Man who Traded Pujols”, then tarred, feathered, and ran out of town.
Click here for the other UCB members picks.