Per the first question...
I get excited about Addison Reed. He doesn't walk dudes and gets about a strikeout per inning. As a closer, I guess I'd be cool with giving him a shot, but really I'd want Colome ... but the reality is this with the bullpen -- it's gotta be stronger, top to bottom, and relievers are no longer these "second class citizens" so to speak in the modern... starting pitchers used to average 6 innings a start 6-7 years ago, and now they go about 5.. having a strong bullpen is imperative. Cards blew too many games early on last season because of it.
As for Lucas Duda..... It would have to be a situation where he exclusively only faces right handed hitters. Let's look at this. in 2017, the lefty-hitting first baseman slashed .227/.342/.525 with 25 homers and 322 at-bats against righites. Against lefties, it was an abhorrent 101 at-bats -- .188/.252/.406. The Cards need a lefty bat... but man, that's banking a lot on Jose Martinez having a splendid season as a righty at first.
So if I'm reading this right in your Q, they can't get both Donaldson and Arrieta? I wouldn't rule that out until we hear the Jays aren't moving Donaldson. Here's the thing -- if they get Arrieta for a shorter deal, I'm fine with it, but I worry about something in the five-year range -- even four year frightens me, but Mo and Girsch have shown an ability to trade starting pitchers and find a team that'll take them, aka Mike Leake. So let's say, per your Q, that STL does get Jake and Colome too.. are they cool with Jedd and Jose? What about Matt Carpenter? I think you'd go with him at first and Jedd at third in that scenario. And I'm OK with that, assuming they've exhausted all the possibilites, realistically, with Donaldson and Machado. I don't know about Moose, I'm on the fence.
A. I mean, let's talk about this .. let's say they go .500 in conference play, that's 9-9, so that's 19 wins heading into the SEC Tournament, which is in St. Louis this year (which could play, maybe, into their favor with a home-crowd advantage in one of the early tourney games). I think what we're getting at is a 20-22 team right on that dang bubble... now this is all without MPJ. so to B. I just don't know what to make of it. I concluded that when Michael Porter Jr underwent the surgery, it was a business move -- that he was preparing to get his body at 100 percent for the NBA summer. So if that's the mindset, I wouldn't think he would come back unless his back was indeed at 100 percent. Can it be by March? I'm not a doctor. We've read articles quoting doctors with their opinions, but the only opinion that'll matter is from Dr. John Ross Ewing in Dallas or whatever Porter's doctor name is down there. Everything at this point otherwise is blind speculation.
Sure, yeah... I mean I guess that means Machado and Donaldson aren't on this "realistic" list? Then yea, I'd look at Colome, Reed, Hand, maybe Hosmer (though I'm not completely sold on this idea) and possibly a short-term deal on a starter.
I see what you're saying. However, with Hosmer, Jedd is the odd man out, so his splendid glove becomes a platoon glove at best. Or a Ben Zobrist situation, infield only. I feel a whole lot better with everything because they got Ozuna. They got that bat, so now the addition pieces don't neccesarily have to be sluggers -- because Homser ain't one. A .439 career slugging percentage. Never more that 25 homers. But yes, this past season was a heck of a walk year. I'm cool with Hosmer at first, Carp at third, Jedd as the bench player -- but I DONT want Hosmer for seven years and 21 mil a year.. I'm sorry.
Yeah I think the average fans look at both guys through different prisms. With Randal, here's this younger guy with incredible exit velocity and athleticism, who can play all three defensive outfield positions but will strike out a ton and walk like twice maybe. Martinez, it's easy to be skeptical, even with his splendid numbers. Career minor leaguer. Turns 30 during next season. But he's got a tree-trunk of a bat, and his numbers look good. I think the answer could be -- we see a lot of both guys in reserve roles. Just not a lot of Martinez in the outfield.
Fan graphs projections: Jose Martinez - 355 plate appearances, 14 homers, .289/.360/.479. Randal Grichuk: 469 plate apps, 23 homers, .250/.303/.491
It has been a peculiar market for sure, considering that only a handful of the biggest free agents have signed so far, that JD Martinez and Greg Holland and a slew of pitchers are still teamless. Also, think about if the two Florida teams weren't trading off major parts? The big moves this offseason have basically involved them -- Stanton to NY, Ozuna here, Longoria to SF, and we'll probably see some more moves with Archer or Jake O or Colome from Tampa and maybe Yelich, who knows, from Miami. Can the Cards take advantage of all this? Right now it doesn't look like there are many discounts, if a Hosmer is getting offered seven years, 21 mil each. But I see what you're saying. Yes, because some of the biggest and best teams are, essentially, filled, the Cards could have weaker competition going after guys. But it's hard to gauge how much of an advantage this is. If the Yanks can step up to get Stanton, who knows what a Dodgers team or others might do if there's a guy they privately covet, luxury tax be damned.
I'm with ya, Steener is such an intangiable guy, like -- did you see last night how he jumped up and kept a puck in the zone with his shoulder? Not a lot of players are savvy enough to make that play. But his production level, points-wise, is frightening. I'm glad Yeo shook it all up, fun seeing Tage make some impacts and Scottie up there with the top line. But a lot of this is just makeshift stuff (making shifts, pun intended) knowing that it can sustain for months and months. The Blues will have to get more points out of most key guys if they wanna thrive in the long-term. Schwartz will be back sometime, but can you guarantee he, 91 and Schenn will have the same chemistry?
I actually don't know -- I'll ask when I get to Columbia MO on Saturday (not going to Columbia SC tonight). But I think part of it is -- it covers his mouth when he's talking privately to his players, so no lip-reading.
See or want? See -- Gyorko and Carp.
Winter Warm-up is a blast! I would definitely do a lot of research to maximize your time. Make a list of the must-see things -- this guys autograph, or that guys autograph. and then plan around that. But it really is fun just unbundling and walking around and talking baseball in January.
I think it'll be awesome. The upgrades to the arena are strong, notably the huge jumbotron that enhances the game experience. There were a lot of issues with media accommodations at the Braggin' Rights game, so hopefully they'll be improved. But I think it'll be fun because STL always puts on a good show for these events, and the host city also has a relevant team, if you will, in up-and-coming Mizzou. If Porter Jr. plays, of course it will make these games into spectacles.
Right exactly! Obviously he makes up for something with his glove. But seven years of this? Unless they can honestly say that spending won't affect other spending, then you'd have to think that's a pricey investment. I was into it with Longoria because it meant they might've also gotten Archer or Colome. I don't know about handing over the keys and the arch and the brewery to Hosmer. Again, though, this conversation would be a lot different if they didn't get Ozuna. There's less panic I think.
There is a fine line between confident and cocky. He's over that line. I love his passion, I love his story, I love his energy. I didn't like his "grab" at Kansas and some of the other antics. The flag-planting left a bad taste in my mouth too, but I try to be more realistic than an angry old man on Twitter -- getting caught up in the moment is sometimes a bonkers, out-of-body experience. It's hard to be poised. I mean, think about how emotional people get with road rage. Now imagine if you played an intense football game and won. I guess I'm just saying -- why can't it be that both 1. "Maybe he shouldn't have done it." 2. He's not the worst person and WRONG for doing it, but just got caught up in the typhoon of the moment?
I think that's a sentiment of a lot of people who have sent in comments today. You all have similar passions and mindsets. Seven years of a guy who seldom even has back-to-back quality seasons seems like a frightening commitment. The Cardinals and Padres are not in the same situation. So I see why the Padres will try this, and why the Cardinals should not.
3 years of Hosmer would be nice.
And these are good points you make. I also think that if you can splurge on a guy for a contract 3 or fewer years, that's worth discussing. The Cards have 2 years of Ozuna. That's the window right there. If they can load up in there with short-term free agent bullpeners, I'm fine with it. But I don't want a five-year closer. I mean, how many teams have had the same closer for five years straight? I like loading up on arms. I'm also really intrigued by Dakota Hudson's slider. And Alex Reyes' Alex Reyes. I want one more bullpen arm. Go get it. If only because this season, more than any other, the Cards DEPTH in the bullpen will be so important.
OK! It's been fun, but I have to go do 2 Bens AND write my Blues column for tomorrow's paper! Thank you all!!