ST. LOUIS, Mo- Fans hoping the Cardinals would use the new-found juice for making deals in the offseason to bring back second baseman Kolten Wong had those hopes dashed Wednesday, when Wong was reportedly near a two-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers.
The math plays out at less than the $12.5 million option the Cardinals declined on the Gold Glove second baseman for 2021 as the club sought maximum financial flexibility in the offseason.
That means you can probably do more than just pencil Tommy Edman in as the starting second baseman for the Cardinals. Assuming the season starts on time, Wong will likely be the starting second baseman for the other guys for the Busch Stadium home opener April 8.
A not-so-insignificant thing happened at about the same time we learned Nolan Arenado had officially become a St. Louis Cardinal Monday night. We found out that Major League Baseball will not–at least for now–have a universal designated hitter in 2021. Of course, things could change, but that means Matt Carpenter will be coming off the bench for most of the team’s National League games. For all the talk of Carpenter trying to rediscover his batting stroke from a few years ago to help fix the team’s power outage, his focus in spring training now may be getting his defensive game in order and returning to the super-sub role he occupied when he broke in with the team.
Speaking of defensive flexibility, a prized Cardinal prospect may see his future at a different position. Once the Arenado deal was finalized, third baseman Nolan Gorman, who will likely start the season as the club’s top prospect in the minors, mused on Instagram:
While he hasn’t played above advanced A-ball, Gorman did spend 2020 in Springfield at the Cardinals’ satellite camp, and he’s got a powerful bat which could get him to St. Louis in some form or fashion by the end of 2021 in the eyes of most observers. With Arenado manning the hot corner now, there’s no need to rush him defensively. With no NL DH, there isn’t a logical immediate place for his bat unless he shows so much in Spring Training that it forces the front office’s hand. But like Dylan Carlson before him, it’s safe to say Nolan Gorman won’t be on the Major League roster to sit on the bench.
Because everyone else is doing it, here’s a look at how the Cardinals could line up on Opening Day in Cincinnati April 1.
- Tommy Edman/2B
2. Dylan Carlson/LF
3. Paul Goldschmidt/1B
4. Nolan Arenado/3B
5. Paul DeJong/SS
6. Dexter Fowler/RF
7. Yadier Molina/C
8. Harrison Bader/CF
9. Jack Flaherty/P