I’m enjoying this season, and am looking forward to the playoffs. However once they’re done, and the shine of the post season wears off (hopefully that shine is coming off of the metallic flags of a World Series Trophy) the Cardinals have a very interesting decision to make.
Now you guys might be saying “yeah yeah, that’s the future, let’s focus on the present!”
And there’s some truth to that, but I like talking about the future. Besides, I doubt there’s an original post-season angle I can write about.
Anyways, that decision: Jason Heyward.
I’ve said all along that we should re-sign him, and I stand by that. However, with the emergence of Randal Grichuk, Tommy Pham and Stephen Piscotty, the Cardinals are suddenly buried in outfield options.
Such depth is nice to have when your team has an injury riddled season, but what happens when everybody’s healthy? Or when you don’t have expanded September rosters? What happens when you go back to 25 roster spots?
First off, I think it’s safe to say that both Grichuk and Piscotty have earned a roster spot. As for Pham, I think he’s earned serious consideration for one, and will definitely have a spring training invite at the very least.
Some would say: “Well there’s your answer. Trust in the kids.”
Not so fast. Heyward is a Gold Glove outfielder who can hit. No, he’s not a thumper, but a guy who can hit .290, get on at a .350 or higher clip, steal 20 bases and hit 10 to 15 homers to go along with that awesome defense is pretty valuable. So I want the Cards to re-sign him, even with the kids. The contract won’t be cheap, but I think it’ll be worth it.
The solution, in my mind, lies in a couple of veterans who have become spare parts: Jon Jay and Peter Bourjos. Flip Jay first, then Bourjos if you have to. I prefer Bourjos’ glove to Jays’, and if the kids are here, we’ll have pinch hitting options, negating the need for Jay’s bat. None of the kids are as good fielding wise as Bourjos though (not yet anyways) so I wouldn’t mind holding on to him if we can.
I realize Jay may be a fan favorite, but I think his time in a Cards uniform has come and gone. Wish him the best of luck and send him to a re-building team for a prospect, and do the same with Bourjos if needed. then we can move forward with a talented and young (Heyward himself is still only 25) outfield core.
(And yes, I know I didn’t talk about Matt Holliday, but since he’s getting up there in years, it seems obvious that as he slowly declines, these guys will share time with him.)
As always, thanks for reading.