(BaseballStL) -- Just go back to a few years ago. The offseason would roll around and, simply based on contracts and the economics of the game, the Cards would find themselves in need of someone to take a spot in their rotation.
The Cardinals, therefore, would take a quick peek in their farm system, see no one was nearly ready - or good enough for that matter - and immediately turn their attention to external options.
Enter the likes of Rich Hill, Kip Wells, Brad Penny, etc. That was the only reasonable course of action. Someone's got to start, right? Someone's got to give this team a chance to compete in the division, right?
So that's the direction the Redbirds' front office would go.
Now? Things are drastically different. Now, you can definitely see how the organization is benefitting from the fruits of its player development labors these last few seasons.
Kyle Lohse leaves via free agency? No problem. Lance Lynn made the All Star team while filling in for an injured Chris Carpenter.
Chris Carpenter can't return following continued nerve issues in his body? Eh, that's fine. Joe Kelly, Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal are more than ready to assume spots in major league rotations.
Seriously, how many teams out there have farm systems that can withstand the losses the Cards have taken in their rotation these past few months and not need to go out and get someone else? Kyle Lohse and Chris Carpenter? Please. That's two front-line starters that just got axed from their staff.
Yet, GM John Mozeliak made it quite clear that he likes what he's got coming up the pipeline.
There's no need, right now anyway, to go out and get some sort of band aid to patch up the rotation for a few months while waiting for someone to get back healthy. There's no need to go out and spend a few million dollars on a reclamation project with the hope they'll be able to capture what they had five years ago.
You've got certified elite, impact prospects who have the upside of aces just sitting there to be used.
At a minimum salary, I might add.
The St. Louis Cardinals have come a long way from 2007. They've come a long way from Kip Wells.