Q: Do you think the pandemic provides convenient cover for the Cardinals to reset the roster for '22 without having to acknowledge that is what they are doing? The rest of the division trying less hard to win is an added bonus.
A: The Cardinals are not hiding from the obvious fact that their payroll will be able to be reset significantly after the 2021 season, when some of the current contracts come off the books. They still owe it to their fans to make improvements to the 2021 team -- if the goal is to compete instead of just get through the season. The Cardinals say they want to compete, so I think it's fair to expect reasonable attempts to improve. Everyone has a different definition of reasonable, I know. But mine, for 2021, is this. Bring back Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright and find some way to improve the offense on top of that. The Cardinals are not going to jack up payroll significantly, but they would not have to in order to do these things -- and most importantly it would not cloud the picture much if it all beyond 2022. As I've mentioned time and time (and time) again there is going to be lineup-lifting offense available on the cheap.