Cardinals' window of contention

A look at when each team is best suited to contend

Updated: January 17, 2013, 1:37 PM ET
By Jason Martinez | MLB Depth Charts
CarpenterEzra Shaw/Getty ImagesThis could be Chris Carpenter's last season in St. Louis, and the club needs him to stay healthy.

When most people evaluate offseason moves, they focus mainly on the year ahead.

But with the hot stove season winding down, let's forget about the 2013 season for a second and think about the future.

This week, we're taking a look at every major league team to determine its optimal year for contention over the next five years.

This doesn't mean this is the only year that the team can contend, but rather which year should provide it the best chance for a World Series title.

To determine this, we looked at current talent, age of roster, farm system and payroll, as well as free agents who figure to be available and could help the team reach its goal.

And if youre team isn't ready for a ring in 2013?

Well, there is always next year. (Or the year after that.)


St. Louis Cardinals

Optimal year of contention: 2013