Cubs aren’t ready to hand over the NL Central to the Cardinals just yet

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Nolan Arenado / Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Cubs will have their hands full with Nolan Arenado in St. Louis

The Cardinals have quietly put together a solid roster with a lot of young talent anchored by veteran stars. The third base spot was always one that has been vulnerable and this move finally puts a staple there. Arenado’s eight Gold Gloves, four Platinum Gloves and five All-Star appearances through his first eight seasons are remarkable and definitely tells you what caliber of a player we’re talking about here.

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However, it’s important not to get ahead of ourselves. The Cardinals still have question marks around the roster and it starts in the outfield. A reunion with Marcel Ozuna doesn’t seem to be likely and the starting outfield is projected to to be iffy. Former Cubs fan favorite Dexter Fowler is likely to start in right once again and his .233 average since joining the Cardinals hasn’t provided fans with much faith.

Dylan Carlson is the next projected outfield starter and although he is a big-time prospect, we’ve only seen a small sample size from him in 2020 in which he batted .200 with an on-base-percentage of .252. Harrison Bader is the last man to fill out the outfield and his .234 career average has fans questioning if he really is going to be the guy.

To add to the uncertainty in the outfield, this team batted .245 as a group during the last full season in 2019, good for 23rd in all of baseball, while ranking17th in on-base percentage  and 16th in wRC+. This is a middle-of-the-pack offense that is going to need more than Arenado to become tops in the league.