I enjoy covering the meetings because there is a chance to speak with GMs and other executives about a variety of issues. The access is strong. The chance to learn about the game is great. The challenge to find a good story is there. And the opportunity to be around and talk and learn from other baseball writers is ample. It's a great venue, without a game.
That's because Albert Pujols is the fear factor. Not the guy behind him. That's been our point all along.
In play. Cardinals have had talks with Reed's agent and with Brandon Morrow's agent and with a handful of other relievers. Their idea is to look at some of the setup pitchers who could blossom as closers -- and would relish that chance. That's good value play in this market. Reed, Morrow, Shaw -- those are the names that come up most in that realm. Cardinals have a feel for what those players want.
There isn't one. Or, if there is the Cardinals are expertly keeping it secret. There aren't many secrets it seems this season. Lots of coverage and lots of obvious moves for the Cardinals. That's mostly because they have such obvioius needs.
They can call. They'll go to voicemail.
It has not, in studies, proved as reliable as the league wants or needs to go in that direction. The umpires have graded out more consistent, and if there's a glitch in the umpire there is a spare umpire to take his place. Tech goes down behind the plate with no ump, what happens?
I don't mind the imbalanced schedule when it comes to the division races and rivalries it fosters. I do think that interleague play is only as good as it is predictable, and baseball has strayed from that. The promise of the Angels coming to St. Louis by rotation and then having that yanked back from there was not good. The idea that a team could go years without facing Houston or a few years of constantly going to Detroit seems unreasonable. Baseball has sworn that it's going to get more data-driven and more consistent with its schedule for the coming years and that interleague play will be more predictable. That's a welcome advancement. But we'll believe it when we see it, and expansion could mean that 16/16 split makes imbalance too tricky and just invites an NBA-type schedule. I wouldn't be opposed to that.
Ryan, you should start a chat.
It would not be wise for the Cardinals, given the past results of auctions they've tried to win, to bank on being able to sign either of those players. Those players go elsewhere.
The next time I golf at one of these events will be the first time. The next time I get a round of golf in at spring training will be the first time.
Thanks, Steve. Evidently hate-chatting has become a thing.
The best way I can describe the sense I get from the front office is this: They feel they are better positioned than ever to make a deal involving either prospects or taking on cash. They are comfortable with their prospect depth, feel they can help a team with a few players if that team wants to rebuild, and they have the payroll space, for sure. What they don't have is patience. There has been an impatience that has bubbled and boiled in the front office since the coaching staff was rearranged this past season. Look at the moves made to the coaching staff. Look at what the Cardinals to do for the roster. The front office is moving pieces around to give Matheny and the Cardinals a better chance to get to the postseason, and that means imminently. They are out of patience.
I think he's doing just fine and not even thinking about it.
From what I can tell it would be about the bullpen and the arms available there. I have also heard Baltimore and Philadelphia when it comes to possible landing spots for Grichuk.
Go ahead. But the chat is a two-way street, and I run the traffic signals.