Happy Christmas Eve. Welcome to a holiday edition of the Cardinals chat at StlToday.com. Its like Festivus -- feats of strength, airing of grievances -- only online and with polls. We've got a good two-hour block here for some baseball chatter and then I'll have to race off to complete other assignments for the paper. So, this will be a sprint from the beginning. Let's see how many questions we can get to and then scatter to the holiday week. On answer, on inquisition, on prancers, on vexing ...
Doesn't mean he'll be signing autographs at CubsFest either. The teams are still circling, circling, circling Harper, and one of the interesting elements of the chase is the fact that some teams don't want to deal with the length of the contract -- but one team has already had its 10-year offer revealed. So, how does Harper position himself for the teams that want shorter years -- and is that even appealing. The Cubs are going to have to do what the Dodgers did and clear salary and room in order to make a run at Harper. Patience may pay off for Harper, as we've seen before with Boras clients. Wouldn't discount Washington in all of this.
They must add a backup catcher -- and they want to do that with a minor-league contract, so as to avoid any 40-man hassle -- and they are going to still pursue a lefthanded bat off the bench. Jed Lowrie fits what the Cardinals are seeking, however there's been no indication from Lowrie that the Cardinals and a bench role is what he's looking for. Time could change that. Lowrie, a switch-hitter, is going to want to go where he can get playing time for obvious reasons. Now, if the offers shrivel or don't manifest with playing then Cardinals could make a play for him like they did with Mark Ellis. Their goal now is to fine-tune the roster, added some depth (Shelby Miller?), and if there's an impact move that falls their way consider it. They aren't exactly actively chasing it.
Inevitably. Could be a Bud Norris-like move on the even of spring training. There are so many relievers available that it wouldn't be a shock for them to land one a one-year, Neshek/Norris type. Going to take a few weeks or so before there's a good sense of the names who could be that reliever.
Sure. And they weren't alone. The Cardinals are not just betting on Miller's health and what their doctors' saw from him but also their plan to keep him healthy. It's a big bet on the department of performance and the medical/training approach the Cardinals have worked to establish over the past few years, so here they go -- here's the test.
He did not hit lefthanded, for sure. He also didn't play in 2018 due to a shoulder injury, so how much do you want to commit to him? He'd be a lottery ticket addition on a minor-league deal, and I haven't heard of any interest from the Cardinals at this point.
To some. Others call it frugal and get a migraine. Eye of the beholder I guess.
He has not. This is a fair question. Marcell Ozuna and Matt Carpenter also had slow starts. I think it's a question to ask in the early weeks of spring training and particular as games begin. What kind of hitting plan does Albert have in place, what kind of playing time plan will be in place for the regulars and how will they get the reps to be sure they don't start sluggish again. Fowler stands out as the player that has to assert himself in spring training perhaps more so than in the past. They're going to give him a chance to get ready, sure, but he's also got to show with performance that he's right. This is something to watch.
Compensation round picks can be traded. That has been the case since they were introduced during the current CBA. It's relatively new.
(Shakes Magic 8 Ball) "Very doubtful."
Yes. We do not. Or, I do not. I have not heard, nor have I seen reported. I did see several reports that their preference right now is to go after a righthanded bat. OK. Sure.
The similarities are not lost on me, for sure. The only change is that three of those four signed could be gone by the end of 2019. It's the most short-term Cardinals team I've seen in awhile. We are all Greg Holland.
Significantly at this point. Hard to imagine he'd be in that two-year range, ala Miller.
It's a good question because it's the same one we've asking for -- what?? -- five years now. It's like inevitably Carlos Gonzalez is going to be a Cardinal, right? Like Troy Tulowitzki. Alas, no. It does not appear that way. The Cardinals have said their preference is to get someone who plays a few more positions, and if that person can play the left side of the infield or center field all the better.
Makes a lot of sense and would definitely alter the look of this team immediately. Here's what I understand about the Cardinals and Keuchel. Yes, they've had discussions with his agent -- because they've met a lot with his agent. His agent is Scott Boras. You know the drill. One of the directions the Cardinals explored coming into this winter was what if they couldn't add the needed bat, what if they couldn't change the look of the lineup -- well then they would go heavy on run-prevention. Keuchel fit that approach -- from my viewpoint and also from one viewpoint I had explained to me by a source. They could get him, go heavy on defense, and attempt to smother teams with a Chicago Bears-like defense. Monsters of Mound City. You know. Now, with Goldschmidt in the middle of the order, the Cardinals can take a more opportunistic look at the starting pitching market. It was clear that Corbin was going to set the market. For me, Keuchel offered a value play. He's being billed as the Tom Glavine of the market and Boras wants a contract to match that lofty comparison. If the length isn't there, the dollars should be, and it would be a wise move for the Cardinals to at least entertain in January what it would cost. That, to me, is a sneaky move that would put them ahead in the division as much as adding another position players. That may just be me.
Thanks. It's a work day 'round here. They're still printing the paper! Re: Vogt. Significant concern coming back from a season lost to injury. Not sure he will be able to do all of those things anymore, and the Cardinals have to be a little squeamish about shoulder injuries, no?
That's bold. It's not unrealistic.
Second right now. If the rotation pitches to its peak (or even reasonable expectations) than the Cardinals could be the best team in the division. Pitching still wins during the regular season.
He wants to be a starter. He's being positioned in the market as Swiss Army Marwin -- or something like that. He is an everyday player without an everyday position. This year's Zobrist. And they'll find a team willing to do that. The Cardinals are not that team. They don't have the playing time at all for him -- and not for his cost.