Making Sense of the Roster Math

Well the offseason has officially kicked into a gear but not willing to call it a moving direction just yet. But instead of heading in reverse, it is safe to say the Cardinals shifted into neutral and appear to be trying to decide how to approach the next hill. Much like my time in the Marines where you were trained to just put one foot in front of the other, it appears St. Louis fans will be required to take the same approach this Winter – don’t look at how far you still have to go, just have faith that you will eventually make it to the bottom.

As Daniel perfectly stated here, the only real surprising move was Andrew Knizner getting his walking papers, but that also means this should be the last time I have to check the spelling before posting as it just never looks right. The writing was certainly on the wall, however, as the Birds on the Bat did leave breadcrumbs if you were squinting just right. Pedro Pages and a catcher to be signed later now become the pairing for Memphis which elevates Ivan Herrera to his rightful place on the Opening Day 26-man roster.

Pages seemed like the only eye-raising move this month when the Cards protected him from Rule 5 consideration, but that’s one position the team gets right more than maybe any other. And who knows, maybe a future coach by the name of Yadier Molina (remember him) had some input as well. Either way it went down, the swapping of Pages for Knizner doesn’t move the needle much but does show that roster churn won’t be just a discussion for us on Twitter.

Juan Yepez became expendable well before this past Friday but sadly, his best memories won’t be making Albert happy any longer. As bad as the entire 2023 campaign was, Yepez honestly must have done something terrible to never get out of the doghouse. He didn’t have much trade value in Memphis so St. Louis did him a favor honestly. A team with playing time available will benefit from his personality just as much as his flexibility in the field. Let’s hope maybe an AL club though so he doesn’t hurt the Cards nearly as much.

It was tempting to not include either Jake Woodford or Dakota Hudson in this offering simply because no one who cares about the home team at Busch will miss them. With today’s latest update on rotation target Aaron Nola not exactly shocking, it is no secret where the Cardinals will be shopping this holiday season. Bargain bin improvements simply won’t cut it any longer, and that’s exactly where Hudson and Woodford belong.

Given the turnover of good teams like Atlanta and the Rays, keeping up with trends just got harder and puts even more pressure on the front office. Those four roster spots need to be spent wisely and only on high end targets for Oli Marmol and company. I’m not talking online orders or even the former thorn in the side cut loose from Milwaukee. Brandon Woodruff might very well be the next Carpenter although shoulder surgery simply is not the gift that keeps giving. Let a better team spend a roster selection on that lottery ticket.

Okay, I’ve rambled on long enough for this week except to just say thanks for reading and where do we go from here? The VERY high end pitching market will be decided in the next 45 days if not while at the Winter Meetings right around the corner. Mo and his entourage better wine and dine everyone in Nashville before and after December 6th because very few of them will still be around if another summer goes as badly as the last. Put down the sweater catalog and go get some arms, the more expensive the better!

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