They signed Andrew Miller. Seems like they've made their choice there.
Agreed. He is definitely on the short list of possibilities. It's somewhat like Lowrie's situation -- what are the other options out there and how much playing time is he seeking. With Cabrera there's past history that the Cardinals have in pursuing him. There's somewhat comfort in the fact that if needed he could play shortstop. He's the switch-hitter that adds a lot to the bench. A good name to keep in mind especially as the teams with playing time start to fill their spots and guys are left looking for the best offer, not always the best opportunity to get at-bats.
Might. Might not. But the stars are aligning.
That seems doubtful at this time. But it does rivet them in place. The Cardinals are more likely to try to make a move with one of the lefties they have -- or just move on from a lefty if they continue to struggle in spring training. Mayers has a place in the bullpen and the Cardinals are reluctant to lose him through waivers. Gant, too. If it appears that they've been bounced from a role -- by Helsley? by Wainwright? -- then look for a trade later in spring because of the options issues. Room is filling up on the bullpen, for sure. But injuries and performance will often sort this out before the Cardinals have to look to trade.
Of that trio, Randal Grichuk might be the best example. And here comes Harrison Bader, so there's that.
They are on the edge of the pool watching the other teams splash around. If it looks like there's an openin for a shorter-term, higher-dollar deal then they put a toe in. Ownership has been the one that recognizes the rarity of a player like Harper in the market -- but as long as he's going after the 10-year or longer deal, it seems highly unlikely that's coming from the Cardinals.
That was really the purpose. But they also got out from under Bailey's contract and got to move on from what's been a mess there with their former No. 1 pitcher and $100-million man. The Reds did well in that deal. The Dodgers seemed to use that deal as a prelude to the move that makes them better.
Sort of like the Cardinals, eh? Ain't 2019 going to fun. Lots of urgency in the NL Central to win now with these rosters -- or show now, or contend now, or reassert themselves now. Change is coming. The teams that lose out this year are going to have to revamp for 2020 and they have the rosters built for changeover.
As of right now, the Cardinals see carrying three lefties in the bullpen: Shreve, Cecil, and Miller. That is subject to performance in spring training, and they are setting the stage for at some point in 2019 having Genesis Cabrera in the majors as a reliever.
Lance Berkman and Albert Pujols were teammates on the 2011 team. The Cardinals signed Carlos Beltran in the days after Albert Pujols left for California. This has nothing to do at all with the Rams -- sort of like the city of St. Louis.
Thank you for being a subscriber. This is a good question, and it's one that the Cardinals have offered a sneak peek into their thinking in recent days. Spoke to John Mozeliak after the conference call Friday with Andrew Miller and he mentioned how we keep asking about the closer, the closer, the closer. It is possible he said, that the Cardinals can finally break from the closer role -- and this is something they've talked about doing in the past. They thought they were about to this past season, but manager Mike Matheny made it clear that he wanted a name-brand option in the back end and he stumped for the signing of Holland. The thinking now is that they will have a handful of options for those final few innings and they can sort them by matchups. Miller/Hicks are going to be the "destination" relievers -- they're trying to get the games to them. Hudson could also be a part of this. Brebbia has been effective, and should get a look. When you scan that list of names, it makes sense to go well, goodness, how different would that look with a Robertson in place. Seems like that would bring the group together. That's why the Cardinals haven't closed off that possibility (or a Robertson-like), but Shildt has spent this winter talking to the relievers about a more "fluid" approach to roles in the bullpen so that he can be aggressive with matchups and he said he's gotten a buy-in from the group. Should be interesting.
It does "get under the skin of DeWitt and Co." So much so that they fired the manager in the middle of the season -- something they had never done before and purposefully avoided. So much so that they've ramped up the pressure on the front office this winter, and ownership even stated going into this winter publicly that a significant move was necessary. At the post-season presser (not postseason presser), Mozeliak brought up the "bridesmaid" line, and that doesn't come out of thin air. A year ago, Bill DeWitt Jr. told me, when I asked, that he too was tired of being a runnerup in chases for top talent and that Stanton's decision had to force them to rethink their pitch, the outside view of the organization, and how they go about acquiring elite talent. Falling from the perch as the place to play in the NL Central and one of the go-to places for players does not sit well with the Cardinals. Not at all.
It would not give him enough playing time. The Cardinals have a starter at every one of his positions.
You bet. And look at them angling for the patient-pays-off approach again. A year ago the Brewers played the market to the point that they got Cain and Yelich on the same day. Here they are ago, lurking lurking and it wouldn't be a shock at all if that pays off with a Keuchel or some other pitcher added in January.
Yep. Indeed it will. He will reduce the errors at four positions for the Cardinals.
They wish. Hard to see that being the kind of deal that interests Robertson. Would be a good addition, for sure, and I find it interesting that he's representing himself. Gives him a lot of latitude to determine where he's going to go -- but also signals that he's got a good, good feel for his value in this market place and saw what righthanded relievers who aren't as good as him got last year.
If you ask them -- and I have -- they say they're in this for the "long haul." Does that mean our lifetimes? I don't know. There is a sense that Bill DeWitt III will be the chairman at some point and lead the ownership group, though there has been no formal talk of this or any plan revealed for how that would take place. Bill DeWitt Jr. has told me that he is sticking this out -- his family business is baseball and while he may not get the attention nationally it's probably impossible to find an owner who has more influence over the game than DeWitt at this point. He was part of the group that negotiated the current CBA. He chaired the search committee that recommended/hired Manfred as commissioner. Oh, and he sits on the Hall of Fame's board and has had a role in dictating some of the recent changes to the induction avenues there. He's got fingerprints all over the modern game. And he's got a front office tree -- there's Luhnow, Girsch, Oakland's assistant GM, Mozeliak, Baltimore's new general manager -- all with ties to the Cardinals analytics growth championed and funded by DeWitt and there will be four pitching coaches in the majors -- it's at least four -- with ties to the Cardinals' pitching development, another trunk that DeWitt helped plant when the team 14 years ago insisted on a better farm system. They're roots are deep and their branches have reach.