It's a good question, and one that is probably worth addressing every so often. It is by design. The other sports have grand openings to free agency and they dominate the days leading up to the opening and then for one big burst in the days after. Baseball has a slower rollout -- and has daily headlines. Daily. Baseball is always being discussed as a result of having the slow, simmering, percolating Hot Stove. That's not just in a baseball city like St. Louis. That's true in a lot of places where a baseball story can emerge at any time because of the openness of the market and the pedestrian pace to the winter. It's one of the things that baseball does really well -- its offseason reflects its season in the sense that something is going on every day and as a result people are talking about it and engaged in the sport and thinking about the sport everyday.
Nope. Oscar Mercado was the most compelling for me, and that question was answered awhile back. Earlier today, columnist Jesus Ortiz mentioned Gonzalez as someone the team should protect, and they did.
Depends on the team, and depends on the situation. Girsch and Mozeliak have spoken to teams that they have a relationship with. In Mozeliak's case, he has longstanding professional relationships with some of the GMs and agents, and the Cardinals would be remiss not to take advantage of the rapport that Mozeliak has, while also doing the same with Girsch and the relationships he has or relationships he can build with some of the new GMs and execs in place. So they're both working their angles. With the Marlins, Mozeliak and Hill have had many conversations through the years, and they obviously have to work together sometimes on spring training issues because of the shared complex. (In fact, one of their meetings at the GM Meetings touched on the spring training complex, just FYI.) This two-pronged approach to talks is common for teams with responsibilities split between two or more execs.
Mozeliak is in charge of baseball operations, and any move is going to only happen with his OK.
Not really. The Cardinals speak highly of what he can add as a reliever, and when they talk about him they definitely talk about him in terms of being a part of the team, or having a fit on the roster.
He becomes that utility power player that the Cardinals imagined him being when they acquired him. A righthanded option for second base, a righthanded option for third base, and so on. The plan with Gyorko is a lot like a few other players that they want to maximize their production, but recognize that may not be with 130 games played. It could be in a 120 or 100 starts and that works out for both the player and the team. There is also a consideration about moving Gyorko before the end of his contract for another need, but at this point that righthanded power he offers and reliable glove is valuable.
Cardinals are still interested in him. He draws comparisons to Oh, and he would come to the majors in a similar kind of situation -- see where that stuff takes him in terms of inning. The Cardinals would see him as part of the competition in spring if he signed, not an answer for a certain inning. That would develop over time a lot like Oh did.
This all just happened, and I haven't had a chance to see what other players are available. I take a look at that during the Winter Meetings and really have an answer for you then.
Yes. The team acquiring him would have to take that into account.
No. And they know that all too well. Remember there are two phases to the draft. There is the major-league phase that gets all the attention and then there is the minor-league phase, and it's important to note that the minor-league phase comes without the "all year on the roster" caveat.
Part of it -- outlined earlier -- is the fact that they have players who play his positions.
That's part of the question, and there's a growing sense that, yes, the teams would be fine with that because it would get out of the later years, the years when he really makes big money and the years when he's aging possibly out of right field. So, yep. What to offer in that situation is baked-into the deal. The Cardinals have believed that the contract is made for him to stay, that it is structured to give him millions and millions and millions of reasons not to opt out, not to leave. Now, the market could go bonkers. He could see massive riches if he performs like 59 homers and sees players getting $35m to $40m a year with lesser stats. That could be an allure. He can opt out after 2020, so the guarantee would be 2018, 2019, and then 2020.
And if he opts out then the new team could offer him a qualifying offer, secure the draft pick, and get something back on the deal that they made three years earlier.
He does, yes. The team expects him on the mound, and it wouldn't be a surprise at all if the Cardinals give him an invitation to major-league camp.
Bill DeWitt Jr. is the chairman of the team. He acts on behalf of the owners. He is Mozeliak's boss. So, yes, he can tell Mozeliak to make a move. That's how ti works. But not all moves are going to go to DeWitt for approval. I think you knew this, Bruce.
Agreed on your evaluation. The Cardinals would check, yes, or have already. Do not have a good feel on how motivated they are to chase Abreu at this point. The Cardinals had long talks with the White Sox about Eaton last year and about Peavy years before that and they have always been struck by the asking price, which, mind you, they did eventually get for Eaton.
He was doing this at AutoZone Park and against Class AAA pitching. Wisdom had a strong year, a bust-out year, a reassuring year and one that was fitting for his potential. But it also comes as the Cardinals already have those positions spoken for, know him so well that they remember it wasn't too long ago that they demoted him, and that is kind of unfair because Prospect Fatigue is real. It's part of why Randal Grichuk is a Cardinal. The Cardinals are making a bet here, sure, but they also feel like they have the positions he plays and the power he projects covered.
The Marlins want some resolution to this too. Not real keen on the PR aspect dragging out, and also they want to know what direction to move in with other players -- and with how to sell tickets. That was something brought up by Derek Jeter. He said it's not like they sold a bunch of tickets with the team they just had, so yes marketing and pitching the team is going to be a big challenge for the new ownership group, and he repeatedly talked about getting more corporate support. That's where the money is.
There is a recognition, for sure, that a change has to take place and that the team is lacking something to ignite the fan base, to close the gap on the rival Cubs. Now, that's no promise they'll be able to pull any of this off, but the intent is clear. As I mentioned in the paper this past weekend, other teams were struck by how active the Cardinals are poised to be based on what they're hearing at the GM meetings.
The Cardinals and Marlins have discussed many offers. I spoke to people yesterday and again today, and there is confirmation of that -- ongoing discussions. Mozeliak had a good line this past weekend during an interview with KMOX. He said that the market -- and really, we're talking trade markets here -- is "just getting its feet wet, just getting going." That seems about right. That connects with descriptions from other teams and other executives that I've heard as recently as today. The Cardinals have been in contact with the Marlins for several weeks, and through those conversations they've discussed the makeup of deals, what matches work, what players are of interest, and what money would have to be included. This happens by text and email and phone conversation. I guess it would become "formal" when it's approved and it goes to Stanton for his decision. I've not been led to believe it's at that point.
Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald did some really strong reporting about the tax issue, and that only further muddies the water here. The deal would have to include a coverage of that lost salary for Stanton. That could fall on the money that the Marlins have to cover, or it could be part of what the new team has to swallow, but it does have to be addressed at some point because Stanton is owed the value of his contract, even if it moves states.
(Keep in mind that players have to pay taxes in the city in which they play, and that means even as the visiting team. So, Cardinals players pay tax for games and nights spent in Chicago and games and nights spent in Milwaukee and games and nights spent in California or Colorado or, every few years, Texas.)
Does this count? I'm not sure.