Commentary

The aging St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals suddenly have a team on the wrong side of 30 and no young studs

Originally Published: August 14, 2011
By Paul Swydan | FanGraphs
Colby RasmusAP Photo/Jeff RobersonIt's looking more and more like the Cardinals will regret trading Colby Rasmus.

Heading into the season, the St. Louis Cardinals armed themselves to the teeth with veterans. With Albert Pujols under team control for one more season, and Tony La Russa essentially working year-to-year, this was the time to push their chips to the middle of the table. But as the trade deadline neared, the Cardinals' playoff chances were tenuous at best, so they doubled down for even more veterans, and did so in part by trading their youngest premium position player -- Colby Rasmus. Unfortunately, the Cards' new acquisitions have failed to stem the tide, and as their playoff hopes fade, it's fair to wonder if the window of opportunity has closed for the suddenly old Cardinals.

In breaking down FanGraphs' WAR of each team in the game by age group, we find that at the start of play on Friday, the Cardinals were one of five teams in baseball in which players aged 30 or higher were contributing close to half of their team's WAR or more. The Cardinals were at 56 percent; the other four are the Texas Rangers (49 percent), Chicago Cubs (54 percent), New York Yankees (67 percent) and Philadelphia Phillies (76 percent). While the Cubs are in a league of their own, the Yankees, Rangers and Phillies all stand a very good chance of reaching the postseason.


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