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Impact Infielder Made Available; Would Cardinals Claim Veteran After Strong Season?

St. Louis would benefit from some extra firepower

Could the St. Louis Cardinals add one more impact player to the roster before setting their Opening Day roster?

Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak has all but ensured that the current roster will look very similar in just a few weeks when the season begins.

The final external piece appeared to be former San Francisco Giants three-time All-Star shortstop Brandon Crawford. Could his former teammate become a last-second addition?

"J.D. Davis has been placed on waivers after the Giants couldn’t find a taker on the trade market (teams also knew San Francisco had no spot for him after signing Matt Chapman and Jorge Soler)," the New York Post's Jon Heyman wrote Saturday. "His $6.9 million salary after arbitration win isn’t unreasonable."

Davis hit .248 with 42 extra-base hits including  18 home runs, 69 RBIs and a .738 OPS (103 OPS+) in 144 games last season. 

The 30-year-old is a career .261 hitter with a .775 OPS (113 OPS+) across seven seasons. While the Cardinals do not have a starting spot for the slugger at the moment, his versatility would prove to be extremely valuable and land him consistent playing time.

Davis has spent the majority of his time at third base but has logged 94 career games in left field and 48 at first base.

Given the injuries to both Tommy Edman and Lars Nootbar, St. Louis could use someone who could slide into a corner outfield spot and produce. It's also good to have some corner infield insurance seeing as the superstars manning those positions are 36 and 32 years old respectively.

Considering all it takes for the Cardinals to acquire Davis is to place a waiver claim and absorb a moderate salary, it makes a lot of sense to make this move.

Crawford taking up a roster spot to possibly just be deployed as a backup shortstop makes Davis' fit a little less clear but there will be plenty of injuries over the course of a 162-game season and the veteran would add a starting-caliber player to be plugged in off the bench when those aforementioned ailments occur. 

It would be wise for the Cardinals to make a play for Davis, who could help stabilize this young core of position players.

More MLB: Cardinals Fan Favorite Suffers Notable Injury, Placing Opening Day Status In Jeopardy