Things are about to change in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.
And in the eyes of many, the changes are not pleasant.
Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak has come under scrutiny lately for his mismanagement of the contract situations involving Kolten Wong, Adam Wainwright, and Yadier Molina, especially in regards to the latter two.
David O’Brien and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic both reported today that Wainwright was having “expressed interests” by the Atlanta Braves, the same team that drafted him in 2000 and the team he grew up watching.
Meanwhile, both Molina and Wong have put up ominous messages on social media regarding their futures in baseball. While Yadi’s brother Bengie Molina continues to appear on St. Louis radio shows saying his brother would love to stay in St. Louis, the Cardinals haven’t engaged in any serious negotiations heading into the beginning of November.
Which brings up the even more likely possibility that the three stars are going to other teams in the offseason.
Something hardly any Cardinal fan wants to see.
St. Louis already declined Wong’s $12.5 million option for 2021, perhaps in an attempt to re-sign him for a cheaper price. The 30-year old Gold-Glove second basemen became a stalwart for the team, and him leaving would undoubtedly leave a hole on the team. Meanwhile, recent reports indicate that Wong has drawn interest from the Los Angeles Angels.
While nothing is set in stone quite yet, letting Wong go (should they not re-sign him in free agency) opens up the possibility of Tommy Edman taking his spot at second base, and it would lead to Matt Carpenter remaining at third base.
One thing is certain through everything: Mozeliak letting Molina, Wainwright and Wong all hit free agency is a major blow to the morale in the Cardinals’ locker room. Most importantly, losing the former two could very well lead to the end of an era in St. Louis sports. Molina is surely a future Hall of Famer. Wainwright is a future Cardinal Hall of Famer. Wong’s time in St. Louis will be fondly remembered by fans and former teammates and coaches alike.
When asked about the possibility of both Molina and Wainwright no longer on the team in the future, Mozeliak stated: “Yeah, it would be difficult. If you look at the past, what is it, 16 years, they’ve been a part of our club.”
He added: “When you look at the success of this organization, especially over that time, their fingerprints are all over that. Not really thinking about the offseason as we sit here today, but clearly that’s something in the back of your mind that does exist, sure.”
As of now, there’s still a chance they all could return to the team. Maybe two of them. Maybe just one. Possibly none of three. All great eras eventually end, and the present constantly morphs into the past.
We can only keep our eyes open to what will happen in the coming days and weeks.
(Photo Credit: Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire AP)