But let’s not pretend that this one poor roster move keeps the Cardinals from being the best team in the National League or even the NL Central. Even with a fast, powerful outfielder, the home team still has a lot of holes to fill. While Arozarena may have done a better job as a support player rather than Harrison Bader or Tyler O’Neill further down the batting order, I don’t think we’ve seen enough of the kid to conclude that he’s a legitimate big league cleanup hitter. A barrage of home runs over the course of one playoff run is quite an achievement. But that doesn’t mean the guy who never hit more than 12 home runs in a pro season is the next Hank Aaron.
Even if the Cardinals are more inclined to keep Arosarina, who was presumably let go at least for his lack of appreciation in a live broadcast of an impassioned tirade from Cardinals manager Mike Shieldt than for his lack of faith in his fielding ability, they still need to look for a consistent hitter in the middle of the matter. . Relying on a kid coming in and in his first full season carrying the offense is not good for the team’s chances nor is it good for the player’s own development. Perhaps that is why Arosarina and his ilk only thrived after leaving St. Louis.
The Cardinals’ lack of talent assessment and retention issues runs much deeper than a single player. much deeper. Reviewing players the Cardinals have signed to free agent contracts over the past five years should come with a bottle of antacids and a shot of bourbon.
I don’t think for a moment that the Cardinal leadership didn’t think Arozarena could play the ball. But the question is, where will the Cardinals put him if he is retained? leave the domain? no. This spot is for Dylan Carlson. center field? no. He doesn’t really cut this role and is a better fit for the angle. true? Don’t forget at the time he left town Dexter Fowler was still signed up for another two years at this place. So, St. Louis didn’t choose Bader or Tyler O’Neal over Arozarena as much as they chose Carlson over him and had to use Fowler instead.
But in reality, the Cardinals chose no outside player in place of the Rays’ youngster. They picked left-handed pitching prospect Matthew Liberatore over Arosarina, literally.
In case you forgot about Liberatore, which is entirely possible since the pandemic shut down the minor leagues all season, he’s 20 years old and is the second prospect in the Cardinals system behind Nolan Gorman now that Carlson is in the major leagues. Therefore, we are a long way from defining the winner of this trade when all is said and done. I loved Arozarena from the first time I saw him play in spring training and thought he had a chance to be a good major league player. A man may hit 25 doubles, 25 home runs, and steal 25 bases. He’s a guy who can do a lot of things on the field to put pressure on defence, and he doesn’t seem to get carried away easily. But you have to give up something good to get something good.
I’m less concerned about the individual pieces than I am about the big picture you get when you put the list puzzle together. The Cardinals can’t say “Sorry, we missed this” and frown. The front office needs to find a way to improve the outfield this winter because as much as they want to keep costs down in the middle of a pandemic, they also need to put a team on the field that will actually get fans to separate themselves from their hard-earned cash.
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Scott Wirts is a lifelong fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cheap Seats blog is written from his point of view as a fan and is designed to spark discussion among fans of the Cardinals and other MLB teams. The sources corroborating his views and opinions are interconnected. If you’re looking for Cardinals news and features, check out the Cardinals section of BND.