Brad Hand sounds feasible. That deal does not.
It's a fair argument. I just don't see the game playing out that way. A bullpen has the lead its given. A team that goes for the two-run homer like that is willingly shifting from its offensive identity to do so. I'll give you an example of how the offense struggled early: Remember all the waving and waving and waving and waving around third that lead to the coaching changes? Well, some of that was spurred by the reality that the coaches and players saw very little runs coming and felt they had to take risks to produce offense. That was part of the aggressive running they did. See were it got them? Out. So it's not just the bullpen that reveals the offense, it's these other elements, too.
Fowler does. He'll hit third, if asked.
Heck, sure. If they're offering themselves at that rate. Either. But the chance of that happening is only slightly better than the Cardinals asking me to coach baserunning.
DeJong can be a formidable hitter, at shortstop. Let's just leave it there. No need to reach for comparisons. He's got the numbers.
Ticket sales are essential to payroll. It's how the Cardinals have structured their budget. That will be less so in the coming years with the TV, but the Cardinals have long held and explained and illustrated how ticket sales feed the budget and have a symbiotic relationship with payroll.
Oh, sure. He'll be on the team. Injury and movements yet to be made will dictate those at-bats. He has great value as a 300 AB or more guy in spot duty at first, fourth outfielder stuff, and bat off the bench. He's a great fit for the role that he made the most of this season.
Only when it comes to players that teams think the Cardinals might non-tender or remove from the 40-man, and that doesn't seem to be in play this time like it has in the past.
They're going to rethink their approach to the Rule 5 draft. Call it to Cordoba Protocols.
What do you expect him to say about the pitcher who has been the ace of the staff, a face of the franchise, one of the best starting pitchers in the organization's history, a World Series champ, and an ambassador for a lot of what is good about the organization? Yeah, that guy. C'mon.
Bruce Wayne learned hitting from Charlie Lau, switching hitting from George Kissell, and how to pitch from Sidd Finch. He spared no expense, mastered all.
Payroll is part of the equation, and yes keeping players is part of that factor. But so too is having the willingness to reach beyond the market to make a deal happen when a need is paramount. For example, Max Scherzer. The Cardinals have the revenue to make that deal happen -- but they were worried about the out years for a righthander pitcher who makes huge money, bases his game on velocity, and could be an anchor late in the deal. OK, fine. But if that is the rare player that alters the look and landscape of the organization and means perennially winning for five years then bake that into the 10 and think about what the reach could get you. I agree, payroll is not the be-all end-all and the Cardinals could go splash cash on all kinds of players and get a payroll up to $165 million and be a worse team, easy. The idea is to be the best team year after year and that takes young players, and that takes control of players, and when the system is unable to provide the player that is needed and a trade cannot be landed then, yes, it might take stretching the payroll to pull off, and it's there that the payroll is a valuable number to know and track and understand.
I asked him about this and he said to give him some time to think about it. He wants to evaluate, talk to coaches, and then map out his goals for the winter.
Stanton's injury history. More is at stake with a longer, bigger deal.
Alright. I've got another deadline running up here and a story to write for tomorrow's paper. Wish me luck. There are still almost 500 people reading and bushels of questions that I haven't had a chance to read, yet. Thanks for the great participation and the overall excellent chat today. I expected pitchforks and torches and really got a lot of thoughtful, challenging questions. That's what makes the chat. The participants. A salute to you.
The offseason begins today. Next week there's a rumor that Rick Hummel will step into the box and take some cuts at the chat. Per usual, the end of the Cardinals season is not the end of our Cardinals coverage. Hummel and I will be rolling out stories and news and analysis all week long. Check StlToday.com and the morning paper for the constant Cardinals coverage a baseball city deserves, even if the playoffs are happening elsewhere.