Social media, gchat, and the city of St. Louis are all currently on fire at the moment. 10 years and $250 million later, Albert Pujols has signed with the Los Angeles Angels. While most of our first reactions were to take small shots at fellow Start Wedman writer Cooly, now is the time to dig deeper into the deal and predict what happens because of it. The way I see it, the Cardinals have a few options out there.
1) Stay Put: In Cooly's current stage of denial, he maintains that the lineup is fine the way it is right now. Just beef up the pitching staff, sign Magglio, and head into the season with what the Cardinals have right now. It's just like it was last season. . .right? Oh yeah, Albert is gone.
2) Go International: Sign Yu Darvish and the amazing, ever so great, most terrific baseball player in the universe Yoenis Cespedes. That way they make a splash and become an international phenomenon.
However, then came an amazing idea that not only could work, but could become revolutionary and change Major League Baseball forever. . .
3) Go Inter-league/sport: Instead of signing a couple of veteran players to fill the roster holes, why not reach out to a couple of teams that are currently trying to unload their superstars?
TRADE #1: Lance Lynn, Tony Cruz, 2012 MLB First Round Pick, 2013 MLB First Round Pick, and Cash to the Orlando Magic for 2013 NBA First Round Pick, Dwight Howard, and Hedo Turkoglu
In this trade, the Orlando get a capable big man in Lance Lynn (6' 5" - 250lbs), a back up point guard for Nelson in Tony Cruz, a couple of first round picks, and salary relief for the monster contract of Hedo Turkoglu. The Cardinals nab big man Dwight Howard with an amazing range to snag any ball or throw that might come near him. Turkoglu then comes out of the pen to fill the MLB's 1-Turkish Player-per-team quota. The Cardinals also get a valuable NBA draft pick in order to complete. . .
TRADE #2: Ryan Theriot, PTBNL, 2013 NBA First Round Pick, and Cash to the New Orleans Hornets for Chris Paul
While the city of New Orleans kind of gets the short end of the stick on this deal, Paul was going to leave the Hornets in the end anyways, so they at least obtained a poor man's Steve Nash in Ryan Theriot and a draft pick out of the deal. The Cardinals end up coming away the victor as they immediately pick up a new center fielder that has enough range to cover all three outfield positions who can also lead off and get on base 89% of the time. St. Louis then moves Jon Jay to the bench because he isn't really as good as people think.
So now after the two trades, the Cardinals line-up looks like this:
1. Chris Paul (CF)
2. Furcal (Who they resign and play SS)
3. Berkman (RF)
4. Holliday (LF)
5. Freese (3B)
6. Molina (C)
7. Punto (2B)
9. Dwight Howard (1B to provide protection for the pitcher's spot)
While this team has a very different look and feel as the Cardinals that won the 2011 MLB World Series, the 2012 squad has a lot more speed and athleticism. Pujols was great, but who needs him when you have Superman at first and the speedy Paul covering the outfield.
So do not fret St. Louis Cardinals fans, there is still hope for your team. Winter meetings are not over yet and the NBA season still hasn't started. I cannot wait to see how transpires in the upcoming weeks.
As always, I wrote this as fast as humanly possible. If there are mistakes, errors, or simply a lack of mental coherence, just stop reading.