To put it mildly, nothing about this past week has gone as planned. The Winter Meetings turned red hot in a hurry and left every St. Louis fan with a No. 5-sized hole. Now the challenge of moving on without an icon is real, and the only positive comes in watching a new league trying to figure AP out.
Many questions face the Cardinals going forward, but one fewer decision remains after bringing back shortstop Rafael Furcal. While that situation warrants another story on a different day, it does eliminate virtually any chance that John Mozeliak trades for middle infield help.
After receiving exactly zero responses, it just goes to show how far the minor league system has come and how good the Cards’ front office has been. While Miller is the unquestioned star, both Memphis and Springfield will be loaded during the 2012 campaign.
To complete this exercise, it really became a ‘what-if’ scenario that had many flaws. Now does not seem like the right time to make a rush decision, but the opportunities will present themselves. And as it turns out, very few players are complete enough to warrant a deal that changes the organization.
Matt Holliday proves the point only because the prospect dealt was blocked at the highest level. No matter how many good or great pitchers you have, very few instances will dictate sending your potential future ace to another club. If you were the Cubs, for instance, trying to get a title may be one example.
But to most fans, the only thing that will matter is how the defending champs rebound next season. There are options out there, many of which are sure to garner attention over the coming weeks. Most are not flashy names, but then again the Birds on the Bat already have a strong nucleus in place.
Originally my goal before XMas was to show just what Miller and Matt Adams might grab on the open market. It was brought about after Nick and I enjoyed some friendly banter here but has also caused a change of heart you could say.
The Holliday deal was needed as was shipping out Rasmus. Normally it is the view of this scribe that most trades favor the team receiving the prospects. While that could just be a product of watching many TLR teams, it may very well come down to the players.
Both 2011 Minor League Players of the Year present a special case and an even bigger part of the puzzle after this tough week. Granted neither one has played an inning above Double A, it still doesn’t take much to envision a September call-up to introduce the future.
The fans have spoken and for once in my life I have no argument. Miller and Adams deserve to get their opportunity to take the franchise to the next level, and they will definitely have plenty of support in doing just that.
For now much of Cardinal Nation may be seeing red, but come spring a new wave will bring this era right back on top where St. Louis belongs.