Honestly, there is more talk about why there is no talk of this trade than I have heard actual talk of trade. It's interesting. I talked to a few people today here and they were mentioning how they expect to hear about Machado as a possible trade talk and ... yet ... don't. It's interesting. I think a lot of this -- off the top of my head -- is connecting the dots. He's a free-agent-to-be (dot). Is Baltimore ready to contend (dot). Can they re-sign him (dot). When is the market going to be the best for him and far more than a comp pick (dot). And all of those dots are connected to say that they should consider trading him -- and then the wait for word that they just might is where we are.
Had a chance to get an interview quickly for tomorrow's paper, and now I need to step away for some access with a GM or two or 20. I'll come back for a lightning round before the focus needs to shift to tomorrow's newspaper coverage.
There was the usual talk about transaction policies, CBA nuances, and some best practices stuff. There were assistant general manager meetings in the morning, and then whole-group work in the afternoon. It's not exactly riveting stuff, but it does shape the game and roster rules. Pace of play is something that is always an ongoing topic. It's during these sessions that some members of the front office staff can break free and meet with agents or go get face time with members of other teams that aren't in the meetings. It's less rigid and less crowded then than the winter meetings. But this is a commissioner's office production and they have policies to cover.
Not at all. Cardinals are looking for two relievers, and if anything Cecil has set the market for what they can expect to pay -- and have to be willing to do so.
Thanks, Nou. Infotainment. There's room for it.
When the Cardinals had their list narrowed down and Hickey was on it and set for an interview Maddux wasn't yet available. When Madddux became available there was a conversation about just when and how he could begin taking offers from other teams, and the Cardinals were one of the first to reach out to him. He had offers or conversation with about four or five teams, and he was able to come to an agreement with the Cardinals within a week of being told he could look elsewhere. They were aggressive he said in their pursuit, and part of that was the recognition that the Cubs were going to enter the mix for Hickey with their move just 24hours after Madddux became available. First? Second? It's become clear that the Cardinals got the guy they feel brings the needed resume to make the decisions they want made by the pitching coach. Both of them would have done that.
Dodgers. Cardinals are down ballot. They are not the best team in their own division on paer, but the Cubs lack the necessary ingredient of pitching, and that allows the Cardinals to close the gap. Washington stands above the Cardinals. Rockies, Arizona are closer to the Cardinals, and I would put Arizona ahead because of the thump in their lineup and the look of their rotation at this point. I wouldn't say the Cardinals are all that worse off than some of the AL playoff teams we saw. Hard to argue that Minnesota had a better roster than the Cardinals.
They have a reception for the executive of the year, presidented by Sporting News.
They would have room for the closer and the reliever and they would have the want for those additions. I doubt that they would have the want to add an another outside bat.
They will reach for a lottery ticket and brace for third place. This would be a scenario they want to avoid.
Either of those is possible, yes. The more likely scenario if the Cardinals are able to reshape their roster and bullpen in the way they imagine is for Reyes to open the season with Memphis and be the first starter up and part of the rotation as early as May or June, after showing healthy and getting some eased-in workload.
He is on their list of relievers to discuss, yes.
That's a thoughtful and fair look at how different coaches connect with different personalities, and it's something that we've discussed past, but you've put it in clear terms. I've seen coaches who are good teachers and those who are good mechanics and those who are good scouts, and all of them have a place in the structure of a team but not all are going to mesh with individual hitters -- the ones who do are the best. Mark McGwire once told me about how he tries to be what the person needs mots, and sometimes that's just a cheerleader, a relentlessly positive presence as a hitter goes after the hardest thing in sports to pull off -- other than a one-time on skates. Some of the young players who have come to the Cardinals really resonate with the mechanic approach that say Budaska has at Class AAA, and veterans really connect with a scout and prep approach and maintain approach that they encounter in the majors. That's a decision that the team has to make with how muc teaching they want to have available in the majors, and how to make that happen.
Yes. It's crowded, too, and that means there are going to be starters that don't get the market they expect.
Sure. They'll explore a fit with Hosmer.
Or Carpenter. It could be Carpenter. Carpenter makes a lot of sense.
That is not the direction they're going. They aren't looking for that kind of outfielder.
I have. Lovely place. I mean Eagle and Sylvan Lake. Not your cabin. I have not been to your cabin.
Yes. That would be a very modern variation on the thought, and may even make more sense.
That did not happen. Did speak to Marlins GM. He said the Marlins have a feel for where Stanton would approve a move. They are not advertising that list. For obvious reasons. That will be discussed in tomorrow's paper.
Re-sign or deal seems like the most likely course of options here. They ahve time to sort that out because they do have to deal with the arbitration situation with him, and that will create some motivation on either side to talk about an extension, and then if that cannot happen make a trade.
Good question. You will be happy to know that is the question the Cardinals want to have answered as they leave the GM Meetings here this week. San Francisco. Philly. Baltimore. Those are a few of the teams I've heard connected or at least interested, thought their level of interest is not clear.
Yes. Access with the GMs is excellent here.
Starter market is crowded. Starter market. Not the top end.
This is something that was discussed as far back as spring training and likely even before that. the curveball trend goes back beyond just this fall as we've seen more teams throw it, and that includes Kershaw and others who have been at the forefront of using it more. wainwright is in that class, and I talked to him this past season about pitching off of the curveball. He said it has to be something he thinks about and it was something that we saw him do when he came back and the velocity on his fastball sagged because of the trouble he had his with his elbow. Absolutely that is on the mind of the Cardinals and Wainwright, and the possibility of him some day working in relief has been something he's even mentioned as a place he could contribute if someone better comes along for the rotation. He will then add that his job this winter and spring is to show that there isn't anyone better to do that.
I am not because until we hear otherwise he's the story. Simple as that.