Hardly. We know how this ends. Boras wins.
Not. It would fit with the reporting and description from sources. What hasn't happened yet is Harper pivoting to looking for that kind of deal.
Nope. They don't operate that way, much to the chagrin of some fans.
That's not how it would work, no. It's far far more complicated, and while it would involve Fowler going on waivers, the process would be designating him for assignment with the intent to release. That would mean paying the remainder of his contract and then he'd become a free agent. There is no part of this where they can stash him off the roster for a bit and then move him back on -- unless he goes on the 60-day DL. And that isn't possible until spring training. Fowler has rights as a player with plenty of service time who has also earned free agency. He can force them to make a move at that point. He isn't going to the minors.
OK. A year ago the Cardinald didn't think they had a chance at getting Goldschmidt. More than a year ago they got the nice try but no chance when thinking about trading for Goldschmidt. Now he's a Cardinal. Four years ago, the Cardinals approached a lefty about joining them as a setup man -- and that lefty said no and went to the Yankees. Now, Andrew Miller is a setup man for the Cardinals. Stanton is a Yankee. Machado could be a member of the White Sox. Or Harper could be. The White Sox! Things change, man. We start scripting out the free-agent market 12 months before it happens and look at what happens. Blackmon signs an extension, Kershaw opts out and then opts in, and the Cubs are landlocked. If a front office starts assuming things like you have here then it won't last long as a front office because it's already given up.
I don't believe so. I think it's just the nature of the beast these days. No one is ever completely happy.
It's true, a majority of the teams are not chasing Harper. This could be one reason. They don't have the money to spend is another. Or, rather, let me put it this way -- they aren't willing to spend that kind of money. That's not unusual. The top-tier free agents to have 20 teams chasing after them.
Well, Goldschmidt wouldn't be on the team. And Yadier Molina or Adam Wainwright (or both) would have already had several years elsewhere.
Oh, and Stephen Piscotty wouldn't have been a Cardinal. Nor would Michael Wacha. They were draft picks that came as compensation for Pujols. So, the Cardinals don't have Wacha pitching for them in 2013 in the playoffs and maybe don't have that pennant. And so on ...
Harper hit his in the majors. That matters.
That's their stance today. I'm eager to see how long that lasts.
They'll want some limitations on tanking -- which has suppressed salaries and altered the market -- and one way to do that is the increase the size of the rosters or introduce penalties for not competing. Lots of ways for the players to ensure that they get a larger slice of the pie and to stoke bidding on free agency, but where they won't make any headway is for the older players who are going to have to adjust to shorter contracts because analytics have basically slapped a yellow caution sticker on all mid-30 players.
When it has been explained to me the years haven't been seven or eight, so that should tell you something. I guess seven is the line, but I haven't confirmed or reported that.
They have. That's been reported. No speculation involved.
Bryce Harper is the better player. Is this up for debate? I don't believe it is.
Please check the schedule. I will not be hosting.
That is an entirely fair stance to take. You are not alone judging by the email I get.
That would be, as you said, "a very dark horse" approach to this situation. The Cardinals have had internal discussions about what it would take to move Ozuna this winter and whether there is a series of events where that makes sense to them -- and they could improve. Whether that also involves Harper is unclear. Here's what I've been reporting and trying to remain consistent about: Harper exists outside of the normal track of pursuits. The Cardinals had a need for a lefty so they went shopping for a lefty. Harper is a rare player who is available as a free agent at a young age, and that happens rarely. He operates the usual snow globe of winter, I believe is how I put it. He's not Michael Brantley that would require a series of moves just to make sense. He is the move, and then things move from there. Look, it's not impossible for the Cardinals to have Ozuna, Harper, and Fowler in the outfield. Is it likely? No. But it's not impossible, and when that enters the conversation it seems like better arguments could be made.
Maybe. That would be foolish. But it is the trend, for sure.
There is not. October is a random series of happy accidents and dominant bullpens.
We did not see the same pitcher, it seems.
None that I can tell. Free agents and such have been reluctant to embrace St. Louis for more tangible reasons -- the success of the team, where they think the team is headed in the standings, the manager, what the team is offering, the lack of a beach or a Madison Avenue or spring training in Arizona, and in some cases the reputation/perception of the city. The online angst of the fans on Twitter has not come up at all in the conversations I've had with agents and players. Now, the reaction to Fowler at times on social media probably should be something players consider -- and I know of at least two players (and I'm sure there are more) who have reached out to Fowler to express disgust for some of the things he's had thrown at him or said about his family. So, I guess players take note of that ...