Greetings from the palatial lobby at the Waldof Astroria on the precipice of Disney World here in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., where there was a gas station that has a gallon for $5.99, or maybe it was $9.99. Hard to see at a distance because that's what I kept -- my distance. The GM Meetings are creeping to a start here with assistant general managers in their meetings and some of the pres/GMs starting to arrive. There will be fits and starts of reporting all day, so I ask for patience as we plunge into the hopper here to answer your questions. I may have to step away at times to pursue interviews or, you know, get a cup of coffee. Away we go ...
They'll go into the season with DeJong at shortstop and, depending on the trade for Stanton, a competition at third base and see where it takes them. There won't be the rush to do anything considering the defense they're comfortable with on the left side and the power both of the returning starters have show they can provide.
The conversations are headed both places, and it's not yet clear which direction Marlins want to go. That's why teams are engaged with Miami. They can talk to Miami about one player and know those conversations could be a start for discussions on another player. Talk Stanton, and if that doesn't work, talk Yelich. Talk Ozuna, and see about taking on Ziegler, and so on. The way things have been described to me -- and you hear this from Cardinals officials and others -- is how teams right now are trying to describe goals -- and from there, they start shaping deals.
Any of the other bats discussed on and on and on here in the chat and in Post-Dispatch coverage over the past three, four, even six months.
That offer seems like speculation, so we're now through the rabbit hole of exponential speculation. It seems unusual that neither team would know of that offer, but it being an "alleged" offer out there. Welcome to the silly season.
Eric Hosmer is the better fit of these two.
That's one too many relievers and one too few legit bat.
That comment from the story in Sunday's Post-Dispatch and he was offering that as an example of how the previous few weeks were talking to 27 different teams about their goals, and now knowing that there are six teams that meet their goals. He was giving an example, not a specific number.
In the past week, most of the people that I have talked to believe that the Cardinals have the best combination of payroll ability to take on deal without luxury tax issues and the prospects to make it work. I've had it described that the most momentum for a deal is with the Cardinals because of that blend of things that other teams do not have. Boston may be the closest. San Francisco doesn't have the prospects. And so on. It all could come down to Stanton and his choice. He has the power. And that's a big part of why a deal is so difficult to figure out -- for the front offices as well as reporters reporting on it. What does Stanton want to do? Until we know what he's open to it's hard to put a percentage on it because it's 100 percent his call.
A front office uses all of its resources to get info on potential players, and yes that's pulling in opinions from the coaches and ideas of how that player would be used or fit. That's part of the "due diligence" you hear so much about. As far as the active recruiting of a player -- well, it's within the rules for a coach or manager to do that when there's a free agent, and Mike Matheny was part of the calls the Cardinals made last year with free agents. When Carlos Beltran was a free agent, Matheny and he spent time together driving around St. Louis as Beltan was getting ready to sign. As far as influence -- that really depends. It depends on the front office and it depends on the authority that the front office gives/sees in the coaching staff. Tony La Russa had a strong say in what the Cardinals did with their roster (see: Feliz, Pedro), and in recent years the front office has had the larger say. Maddux will certainly give some opinion, especially if he has a track record/past with a pitcher.
That has not bee confirmed. I've not read that anywhere quoting Stanton or quoting Stanton's agent or even quoting a source with knowledge of the player's thinking. The Cardinals do not yet know whether Stanton will approve a deal to them. That has not been broached.
That is, my definition, my job. So, yes, I'll continue to do my job. You have Twitter for the rest. Wild Wild West on there. You can find anything to support your wishes and get mad online.
Have not heard his name come up as an alternative at all, sorry.
There's a chance. Will it be in the next 4 to 48 hours? Doubtful. Baseball teams have a lot more deliberate pace than baseball fans.
That would be news to Marlins at this point, and Cardinals.
It is safe to say that all of the Cardinals' young pitchers are involved in these discussion. Alcantara, Hicks, and Reyes have been the names mentioned most. One of the things about Reyes is questions about his health -- and just getting a chance to see him pitch, how he was doing on the rehab schedule, and of course the fact that a year of control went poof because he spent the entire season on the major-league DL, so like Jaime Garcia he's closer to free agency/arbitration but without an entire season pitched. That's a factor. Weaver has enhanced his place in the conversations -- but also with the Cardinals. Flaherty, Hudson have also been discussed, but the velocity of the others and their control and their possibility as starters is always going to get the first ask, or the early ask. The Cardinals recognize that several of the conversations they've had about trading for a bat is going to end with a deal that includes one of the top-tier pitching prospects they have. That's the currency of the realm, and they have it.
We all know someone who knows someone in Florida. It's a big state. Lots of people retire here.
The want is there. The assets are on hand to do so. Takes two to tango.
As mentioned earlier, what I've been told repeatedly -- from a variety of people this past week, from execs on the outside of the conversation, interested agents, or reporters with a pulse of things, and sources of my own -- that the industry sees the Cardinals as the team best positioned to give the Marlins want they want from a Stanton deal.