Chicago Cubs: What if the Cardinals went big in free agency this winter?

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: What did the Cardinals do the last two offseasons?

The Cardinals acted quickly after watching their longtime rival win what its fan base so desperately wished for. St. Louis signed ex-Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler in the winter of 2016. They also signed proven reliever Brett Cecil. However, they missed out on impact bats like Edwin Encarnacion and Justin Turner. The Cubs won the NL Central Division for the second consecutive season.

Just one year ago

Last offseason, the Cardinals signed Miles Mikolas, Bud Norris and Greg Holland via free agency. However, their impact move was trading for slugger Marcell Ozuna thanks to Derek Jeter‘s fire sale as the Miami Marlins’ new owner. They also traded Aledmys Diaz, Piscotty and Grichuk after forgetful seasons.

Many thought trading for Ozuna was the big impact bat they needed to get back to the top of the NL Central standings. The Cardinals went on to make a second-half run, winning 22 games in August, but overall, were mediocre in 2018.

Holland didn’t even last the entire season with St.Louis after posting a 7.92 ERA in 25 innings for the Cardinals. They had a chance to solidify a Wild Card spot the last week of the season in a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers but, instead suffered a three-game sweep.