The St. Louis Cardinals suffered a heartbreaking sweep against the eventual World Series champion Washington Nationals in the 2019 NLCS, but should be primed for another playoff berth in 2020 fresh off of an NL Central title.
However, with the increased randomness that accompanies a 60-game MLB regular season, here are three moves that St. Louis can make to guarantee a return trip to the playoffs.
3. Bring in Another Catcher
Veteran catcher Yadier Molina is a longtime fan-favorite, but St. Louis would be wise to bring in some reinforcements behind the 37-year-old. Matt Wieters currently holds the No. 2 catcher spot, but after he recorded a 0.5 WAR and .214 batting average in 2019, the Cardinals could stand to gain from fostering some competition.
2. Add Another Bullpen Arm
With Jordan Hicks still recovering from Tommy John surgery, this team needs another surefire reliever to guarantee them innings. On top of that, Hicks is a Type 1 Diabetic, so the team will be cautious with his usage during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Andrew Miller had his worst season since 2011, so the team can't strictly rely on Giovanny Gallegos. Perhaps exploring signing guys like Pat Neshek, Sam Dyson, Arodys Vizcaino and others could help.
1. Consider Signing Yasiel Puig
While this is likely a long shot, Puig could be a valuable addition in 2020, even on a one-year deal, especially after the departure of Marcell Ozuna as well as the institution of the DH in the NL. The 29-year-old slugger could help shore up a lineup that was often inconsistent in 2019, and with the outfield far from a star-studded group, there's no doubt Puig's contributions could come in handy in a shortened season.