The only reason why the Cardinals even considered keeping Pujols is because he was a hometown treasure. From a pure competitive standpoint, it didn't make any sense.
They already got his best years on an eight-year, $116 million deal. It made no business sense to pay him twice the amount for diminished play.
They used the money left over to get Carlos Beltran, still an All-Star caliber player, on a short-term, low-risk deal.Not only are they well-equipped to compete for a title this year, their farm system might have more top-flight prospects than any system right now.
They will probably let Lance Berkman walk after this year because they have two capable young 1B in Matt Adams and Allen Craig who are capable of putting up a .900 OPS for a dirt-cheap salary.
2B Kolten Wong, the club's 2011 first round pick, is developing into a well-rounded player that can hit for average, get on-base, hit for extra-base power and run. He looks like a perennial All-Star at the keystone sack and he will be a starter at some point next year.
OF Oscar Taveras is a Vladimir Guerrero-type who is going to compete for batting titles. He hit .386 in the Midwest League last year! His bat control is uncanny. Its amazing how he squares up the ball with the barrel over and over. Houston GM Jeff Ludnow once said "he's the type of player that will sell tickets one day."
And then you have Shelby Miller, a big bodied Texan who some liken to Matt Cain. He's just a phone call away at Memphis and profiles as a No. 1-2.
And he might not even be their highest ceiling pitcher because they also have fireballin' Carlos Martinez and his high-90s fastball.
The Cards might be in the best position than any organization in baseball. They are loaded!