A perennially-contending club like the St. Louis Cardinals seems unwilling to sacrifice a season or two in the present to increase the odds of a future payoff. Perhaps they see such a move as unnecessary.
2013 should be no exception. The Cards have made the post-season as a wild card in each of the last two seasons, including going on to claim one world title. They prospered even after the departures of Albert Pujols and Tony La Russa and will be welcoming back most of the same players this coming spring.
Yet, 2013 could mark the end of an era for the club. The three most veteran pitchers in their rotation – Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Jake Westbrook – will be in their final year of their respective contracts. Only Westbrook has an option for 2014.
Zack Greinke’s new megadeal with the Los Angeles Dodgers – six years, $147 million – should float a number of other current and future free agent boats higher, including that of Wainwright.
The Cardinals have never committed...