How are you ... please send in Qs!
Let's talk about Yu. It doesn't make much sense to me to overspend on a 31-year-old starting pitcher, when what the Cards need, in my opinion, is a "bridge" of a starting pitcher, a proven guy who will give you two years, as opposed to goodness knows how many years Yu Darvish will command. Starting pitching is wildly important, we all know that, and the Cards have innings to gobble -- we just can't be certain how much STL will get out of Reyes, Weaver, Jack Flaherty and heck even Waino this season. But it's clear that by 2018, the Cards should have a heck of a sturdy young staff. So you don't want to gobble up a starter's spot with Darvish. Moreover, they should/could look at acquiring someone younger if they're going to go all-in on a starter this offseason. Clearly, Tampa's Chris Archer is appealing; clearly Chris Archer has connections to the pitching coach and manager on the Cubs.
I mean, sure, yea, all three of those guys would be awesome with the Cards -- but what's the price? I can't imagine the demanded haul for basically the middle of a lineup. I think realistically is the Cards get one of the three guys. And I hate to say this, because we all are enamored by Stanton, but I bet the Cards see a lot of good in Yelich. It's an investment in your next years. He turns 26 on December 5, he was in the .800 OPS range the past two season, he's a lauded fielder And for his career he's hit .290 and OBP'd a nice .369. No, he's not a big bat -- but his a big piece, if that makes sense.
There are, of course, numerous ways to go with those 7 and 8 and 9th innings, and the Cards blew many games last year in those innings. And as we know, with Matheny running a bullpen, the Cards are best when you can lock in a closer and then work backwards. We also know that Mike Maddux will have a lot of power and sway this season in regards to said bullpen. Look, we talk about the importance of starting pitching, but that doesn't thus negate the importance of relief pitching. And as we've seen in the modern game, bullpens are getting used more early and more often, as teams fear that daunting third go-through of a lineup for a starter. The 28 year old righty Addison Reed is enticing because, well, he doesn't walk batters. 15 walks last year. And 76 strikeouts. And a 1.05 WHIP. And pitched in big moments after being acquired by Boston last fall. Of course, there's a soft spot in many of our hearts for Pat Neshek, and the dude is still studly. If they can bring back Nicasio, that would be great because his stuff is filthy. And honestly, I haven't always loved the idea of overpaying/trading for a closer, but that Colome kid from Tampa is so young and talented.
That's the thing. For me, just Yelich isn't enough. They need another upgrade. But that doesn't necessarily have to be another "big bat." Like, Hosmer is out there, but I'm not all giddy about Hosmer. He's a good ballplayer and a very good glove, but he's not a transformative piece. Maybe the second upgrade is an acquisition of the closest thing our game has to Ozzie, Andrelton Simmons, and boost the heck out of shortstop defense, then moving DeJong to third? Yes, is Josh Donaldson is available, go get that man. Stanton is surreal. Martinez will gobble up too much payroll at his age. But after that, yeah, maybe it's getting creative and not just getting one big bat, but a bat and a huge impact somewhere else on the field too. But they also need multiple relievers in my opinion.
I like it, but I think you have Seager too high. I'd put Votto second and just have him walk a bunch or double in Altuve a bunch.
I don't neccesarily think they're purposely trying to blow any deal. I don't know of a hold-up per se, but I just think one thing we have to remember is, just because the Cardinals have (or perhaps HAD) this aura, it doesn't mean dudes are dying to wear the birds on the bat. The business of baseball is business. All these free agents (AND AGENTS) are trying to maximize, and the clubs aren
't' trying to do something rushed.
Well, I'll tell ya Dave G -- you summed it all up quite nicely. I suppose a question back at you, or at all of us, is: OK, Mizzou is apparently much stronger right now -- do the "November 28th Tigers" definitely beat Kentucky? What about ... South Carolina? Maybe, right? But GA or Auburn? Harder to say yeah. So the funny thing is, most of us, me included, said this was a 7-5 team, and darn it if they're not a 7-5 team. BUT, clearly, they got to that record in the weirdest way. You're right, Mizzou can't do anything about it's schedule. It can't help that Tenn, Florida and Ark all had big-name coaches ready to be fired (or already fired). So that's the reality, but the Tigers whooped up on two of those three, and beat all three (I supposed they categorically "whooped up" on Arkansas, too, but the Razorbacks definitely reciprocated the whooping on Mizzou's defense). At the end of the day, what we have is this -- an above .500 Mizzou team with a juggernaut-y offense, a sturdy offensive line, some crazy excitement with it's offensive skill position players and question marks on defense, Terry Beckner Jr. notwithstanding. In other words, kind of what we predicted in August.
I see what you're getting at, but a thought: just how much better are all those three guys than what you have. A lot, sure. But is it worth giving up pieces that will help you supplant those guys in the coming years? The last thing you want is to be the Angels with a couple studs and then a bunch of duds. In other words, trading too many of the wrong guys for those Marlins could, possibly, someday turn you back into the Marlins. But yes, I'm with you -- there is middle ground for all of this. THIS is the offseason for St. Louis to gamble and try to boost its roster, possibly giving up something they cherish.
Very astute points, and that's why I definitely think it's important for them to bring in one more new starter -- someone who they can trade for for a couple years, someone who is proven. Obviously, they're not going to get Koufax '63 for two years, but man, like a Tyler Chatwood (3.49 ERA in road starts away from Coors) is something that catches my eye/ear/nose?
Hello Jock, hope things are going well at Southfork. Please tell Theresa hello. Yeah, I mean, if we follow which way the wind blows, and what inside information is leaked by certain execs/agents to which particular reporters, than, yes, there's some Dodgers stuff out there. And clearly, we all know that LA is likely more enticing for Stanton than the LA of Missouri. But I don't think that guarantees anything. There are so many aspects to this, and I wouldn't say STL is out until we know that definitively.
Fair question. But how about this one -- the top eight teams in slugging percentage last season all made the playoffs. So why not try to boost that aspect of the whole thing? The Cards will have Carlos who, ideally, will pitch at an All-Star level, and yeah, some other questions otherwise. But I don't think you go crazy with a free agent starter right now. Also, I mean, whos out there? Early 30s dudes? Not ideal.
Yes, please let me know if you're ever in STL. The Benjamin Hochman sandwich at Protzel's is, per this reporter, the greatest sandwich in the history of sandwiches. A potato knish inside a pastrami sandwich? Genius. (I'm ridiculous, I know). And yeah, I hear ya with Yelich, if he's cost controlled, and still younger, why not hold on to him and grow with him. And I'm sure Jeter and the fellows consider that. But at the end of the day, if you're going do a rebuild, the key is finding prospects that can peak around the same time -- and financial flexibility. So Yelich can probably get you some stuff that helps you build -- even if it means losing out on his peak years. It comes down to this, as we saw with the Stros and Cubs: "If you're doing it, you're doing it."
Good question, and I forgot about Morrow earlier when I was gushing about relief pitchers. I mean, he was the modern World Series' Darold Knowles!! I'll go with Nicasio and Chatwood.
I'd be cool with that. Doubt it happens, as of now.
I'm not sure, however....spies have told my stomach that they are getting the counters and kitchen all locked in... so maybe it'll be a Hanukkah present for the ages??
I'm actually in the Mizzou media room right now, about to go to the press conference/media availability. I don't know if they crack it or not, but the reality is 1. They should've won that dang game vs. WVU 2. They've got enough talent to compete in the SEC... but maybe not as much to get 20-22 wins.
So yes, I apologize, but I've gotta go to this press conference... MIZ players about to come in... please follow on twitter: www.twitter.com/hochman ... or @hochman
Thanks for all the Qs as always@