It seems as if the St. Louis Cardinals are in a time warp at this point in the offseason. The past two years, the Cardinals have said they need to upgrade specific positions. Then, they upgrade, but not at those positions that are needed. The exact same scenario happened this offseason, with Marcell Ozuna.
Ozuna was a great player for the Miami Marlins last year, batting .312 with 37 home runs and 124 RBIs. It was by far Ozuna’s best year as a professional. So, the Marlins in this stage of the franchise, tried to trade him. The Cardinals were one of the first callers, and struck potential gold with Ozuna after a big trade. However, Ozuna will not be the big answer that the Cardinals need to get them back into the playoffs.
First off, last year was an outlier for Ozuna. This always happens with players that have a breakout year. They have a career year, but then they regress back to the mean. But, some team sees them as a potential star, and overpays for that player. That is exactly what just happened to the Cardinals in this trade.
The Cardinals have lacked a big bat for many years. Ever since the absence of Albert Pujols and other big hitters, the Cardinals have been unable to get that power hitter in the middle of the lineup that they have so desperately needed. They decided this offseason that they would finally address it, but they went about it in all the wrong ways.
Honestly, the Cardinals gave up too much for Ozuna in the first place. They gave up Magneuris Sierra, Sandy Alcantara, and two other prospects. Sierra, you could argue, was potentially the best Cardinals outfielder last year. Whenever he was in the Cardinals lineup, he had a major impact on the team. He batted .317 in just 22 games (19 hits total). That is unbelievably impressive considering he was going from the majors to the minors it seemed like every week. Alcantara was one of the Cardinals best young pitchers too. As will be mentioned later, the Cardinals lack the relief pitching needed right now. Alcantara would help fill that void in the Cardinals pitching staff.
Along with the Cardinals giving up too much, Ozuna is just another player that broke out last season and some team over paid for him. He is a career .277 hitter, while having almost 40% of his home runs being hit this past season. So, it shows that he is not a true power hitter. It could be a sign of things to come, but no player has that drastic of a turnaround that quickly.
Another reason this trade hurt the Cardinals is because that means they are not worried about their farm system anymore. This system is the best in the MLB and the players the Cardinals are able to get out of it are incredible. They have brought up guys through that system and they have either made an impact this year or made an impact in the brief time they were in the MLB before going back down to the minors. It scares me for what potentially the Cardinals will be doing to their prospects this upcoming season.
Additionally, the Cardinals did not need another outfielder. They are overloaded with outfielders currently and Ozuna makes it worse. The Cardinals organization said that they will not be making any big moves anytime soon, so what on earth are they going to do with all of those outfielders? They need some bullpen help desperately, so hopefully they will get a clue and trade those outfielders out to get some more bullpen help.
This Ozuna trade was not one the Cardinals needed to make. Ozuna will give the Cardinals production, but not the production they anticipated. Then again, the production last year for the Cardinals was atrocious. They could not score when they needed to during games. But, it was an unnecessary trade. Hopefully, I can be totally wrong about this trade. However, with the glaring holes on this team, it makes me scared for what could happen with this team in the future.
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