The St. Louis Cardinals are one move away from ensuring themselves of an NL Central title.
No division in the Senior Circuit is more up for grabs than the NL Central, and the St. Louis Cardinals are well aware of this.
Last October saw four of the NL Central’s five teams qualify for an expanded MLB postseason. The Cardinals earned the No. 5 seed before bowing out to the No. 4-seeded San Diego Padres in the NL Wild Card series. With three teams looking at a rebuild in the central, going after free-agent second basemen DJ LeMahieu could put the Redbirds firmly past the Milwaukee Brewers in 2021.
St. Louis could pay a premium to upgrade over Kolten Wong with DJ LeMahieu
The only reason this is a possibility is that the Cardinals have declined an opinion on second baseman Kolten Wong. Though Wong is younger than LeMahieu, he is a fringe All-Star, while LeMahieu has been an MVP candidate in his early 30s. Adding a player like him could force the Cardinals into the upper echelon of NL dark horse World Series contenders for the 2021 campaign.
Admittedly, St. Louis has a way to go to get into the same stratosphere as the Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers or the San Diego Padres. However, adding a versatile superstar like LeMahieu puts them into the certain playoff mix with another on-the-rise team in the New York Mets. Overall, the Cardinals feel one move away from serious contention. LeMahieu could be that.
If the Cardinals pay a premium to sign LeMahieu, it may be enough for them to win a pennant.