OK, where were we? When last we met, I had to skedaddle to talk to the manager, then had to get wedged into a Christmas tree to talk to the superagent, and then the whole day got away from me. Well, there's no press conference with agent to interrupt today. Should be free and clear of racing around a casino -- and I can imagine we have a lot to talk about. So, enough prelude. Let's dive in. Allons y.
They are not. They are in the process of trying to sign a lefty reliever, and knowing the price of what it would take to sign one of the top-tier free agents they have engaged in trade talks with a handful of teams about trades. We covered a lot of this in last week's chat, so I won't rehash it. But that's where they are. They want to land an elite lefty for the bullpen, and if they are unable to get that lefty -- say they get a specialist -- then they're going to go shopping for a righthander who can handle the eighth or ninth.
They have plenty of financial flexibility. They don't have any payroll concerns in this regard. I'm sure they appreciate how you're looking to get them more value and more room there in the payroll, but they are in a spot where they can do what they want for 2019. They have the payroll space. They are getting $35 million in production from Goldschmidt at a $15.5 million price tag. They're doing OK.
Cardinals, traditionally one of the last teams to name their minor-league player and pitcher of the year, have done so. They are: OF Tyler O'Neill and RHP Dakota Hudson. And, yes, one of the reasons why they're slow to do this is in case of trades. Let's just be honest. Both players will receive their awards at the annual St. Louis Baseball Writers' Dinner on Jan. 20.Just FYI.
No. This assumes facts not entered into evidence and ignores facts that are.
A deal like this could be done. Bud Norris has not hid his interest in returning to the Cardinals -- and he knows the landscape at the back end of the bullpen here. He knows if he starts the season as the closer he might eventually yield that role to one of the younger pitchers -- and he's cool with that. Yeah, the contract would have to make sense. And it likely would. That Cardinals just haven't made a move on a reunion. They've been looking more at lefthanded pitchers, and they've been looking more at a change in that role -- either from within, or from another free agent.
Minimal. I think there would have to be more teeth in it. Like a floor, or you're out of the first round.
Who says they haven't? They have had at least internal discussions about what a trade of Ozuna would look like -- and what they would have to get in return. There hasn't been much traction outside of those conversations for a deal. But it's not something they ignored. Also, there's a reason why I haven't connected Harper and Fowler -- and why in my reporting and chatting and blogging and tweeting and all of it I've purposefully tried to separate Harper into another group, separate from other outfielders like Michael Brantley. To put a point on it, here's why: If the Cardinals pursue Brantley it would imply they've made a series of moves elsewhere to clear a corner outfield spot for him. If the Cardinals find a way to get into the Harper market -- or rather he moves into their market at this point -- then there is a way he fits them without Ozuna or Fowler leave the roster. That is possible.
The Cubs appear to be hibernating. No joke. They've got their money wrapped in pitching that they need because they haven't been able to produce. This isn't a secret. The Brewers are in play for adding free agents later in the winter, as they did last year, and that could mean a reunion with Moustakas.
No one said it's easy. If it was easy, it wouldn't called baseball. It would be something else.
We'll find out. He's going to get a chance to prove his future here this coming season. He's positioned to compete for playing time in spring training, and if he hits like you describe they won't be able to do anything but play him if others falter. He's going to get the same kind of chance this year that Bader this past season and Bader has turned that into being deeded a starting job from the team.
Solid. Fowler did have a .926 OPS in his final 88 games. That seems to be forgotten. That's more than half a season, and that came at a time when if an Ozuna or Goldschmidt is present the Cardinals go on a run where the offense carries them. Oh, and now an Ozuna and Goldschmidt are present. I don't think we've seen a real stretch where the offense as a whole carries this team -- and if we're honest that's part of the reason why they've been out of the playoffs. Oh sure there are the errors. Offense could cover those up if going gangbusters. Oh sure there was the bullpen. Well, an offense carrying a team for a stretch gives the bullpen more cushion, less of these three-run games, less chance to blow them, and so on. Maybe I have some myopia here, but I really don't remember a stretch in 2017 or 2018 where the offense as a whole was raging away. They need that in 2018.
Not really. Cardinals have been interviewing free agents for a fit.
About the same as they are today. Don't see the connection at this point.
Zach Britton, Will Smith .... a pool that includes Miller, Watson, the LA lefties, and a mystery team.
Well, it's up to him. That was a comment that Ausmus made at the winter meetings. I think that's what you're referencing, and it was run with for sure. Have to imagine that Pujols and the catcher he used to play a lot against had a conversation following that. Regardless, it's really up to Pujols. Is he going to walk away from the deal -- or is he going to try and do what he can to offer what he has.