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Chicago Cubs: Is the NL Central now the best division in baseball?

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs: A return to glory in St. Louis?

While the Brewers and Cubs have mostly stood pat this offseason, the Cardinals have made possibly the biggest splash yet, landing All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Goldschmidt has averaged an absurd 5.47 fWAR in his last six seasons in the league and is arguably the best two-way first baseman in the entire league.

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His ability to play first base will also allow Matt Carpenter to shift over to his more natural position at third, which could be invaluable for a Cards defense that led the league in errors last season.

Marcell Ozuna was tremendous when healthy, and St. Louis’ young talent like Harrison Bader and Tyler O’Neill are only getting better.

The pitching staff is no joke either. Carlos Martinez, still one of the premier talents in the game, almost felt like an afterthought last year due to the stellar performances of Miles Mikolas and Jack Flaherty. They could be arguably the best front three in baseball next season.

Finally, the Cards possess a deep bullpen with flamethrowers like Jordan Hicks and a now-healthy Alex Reyes. Yikes.

Last season, the Cardinals went 88-74 despite a 12-15 record in September that eliminated them from playoff contention. A full year under new manager Mike Schildt could be the proper remedy in St. Louis, as Schildt had a 41-28 record after taking over for Mike Matheny.

Now, with Goldschmidt in the mix (and possibly more moves on the way, like trading Jose Martinez), the Cardinals look primed to return to their former glory.

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