The question Doug presented to me in our questionnaire project, was what free agent I thought the Cardinals should sign in the off season if money was no object.
I like the Shields idea, a lot actually. Big game James is an innings eater with top of the rotation stuff, that’s tough to come by. The biggest issue I had with this question is that this year’s class of unrestricted free agents (UFA) is bad. Mix that with a Cardinal team that doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses, and you’ve got quite the pickle. The position player class is certainly weaker than the pitching class, so I decided to stick with a pitcher. Especially given that I’m sure a couple young pitchers will be deal to acquire Giancarlo Stanton (it’s a joke people).
My guy: Jon Lester
There are quite a few rumors swirling that the bottom dwelling BoSox might be looking to part ways with Lester at the deadline. I would be perfectly fine with the Cardinals acquiring him in some sort of deal, a cheaper alternative to David Price. If not, he would be my first free agent target. First of all, he is left handed, and the Cardinals could desperately use an effective left handed starter. Lester is also a little younger than other pitchers on the market like James Shields and Hisashi Iwakuma. Like Shields, Lester will eat plenty of innings. He has surpassed the 200 innings plateau five times, and is on pace to do it again this year.
The Cardinals experienced firsthand what Lester is capable of as a postseason performer, a trait I believe John Mozeliak values in a veteran free agent signing.
The price will be high, as it always is for free agent pitching, but the Cardinals can afford it. A rotation of Wainwright, Lester, Wacha, Lynn, and whoever else looks awfully good.
So thanks to Doug for this fun project, perhaps more will come in the future. Don’t forget to check out his blog over at baseballgeekingalveston.wordpress.com and as always, thanks for reading.
It’s not crazy, it’s sports