This was the second question, and I should have used it as an intro. Sorry, Max.
They are both expected in Jupiter this month. Reyes had a normal offseason, and the Cardinals purposefully gave him a break from the complex, from the rehab, from everything that he's just gone over and over and over and over again the past few years. There was a real Groundhog Day fear for the team, so they wanted him to get out, get away, and do his work where he didn't have any echoes of rehab. I spoke to his agent last month and he said the time helped and Reyes was in "a great place." The Cardinals opened the Dominican complex up to him if he wanted. Martinez has been going through a rehab/strengthening program and is, by every indication, on schedule where the team wants him to be for his January checkup. That is supposed to be here in STL, right around the time of the Winter Warmup. He'll be with docs then.
It's not a matter of the Cardinals giving Wieters a contract. It's a matter of him accepting the one they have for him. It's all about the playing time. He knows the situation here. He knows the offer. It's whether he can find a better one with more playing time than being Yadier Molina's backup. The Cardinals want him back. The decision is Wieters at this point.
I am not, honestly. An on-field action traces back to the people he's hired to be in charge of that on-field product. The fine for him and his organization is stiff, and now MLB has put him in the spotlight for how he responds. Do the people suspended return to the job they had when they left? Crane gets to decide. Pressure is on.
There has been no indication from Matt Carpenter, who wanted the no-trade clause specifically as part of his extension, that he would waive said no-trade clause. There hasn't been reason to ask him recently, honestly.
Some people say I'm bragging about my handwriting. I do like my pens, though.
They have? Mozeliak was asked that question once that I recalled and he said, no, it has not been something they planned. I continue to say that it's at least something that they would have to discuss. Again, I didn't pull that thought out of thin air. This winter, one position that had a bunch of offensive talent available is third base. The Cardinals need to improve the offense. I asked around about that possibility during the season, about what they could do, could they chase a third baseman for that offensive upgrade, and the answer I got was that Carpenter can play other positions. And LF might be open.
Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa -- let's call them finalists for a vote. Jeff Kent was the last person I left off my ballot, and I'm still somewhat bothered by that. But it got to a point where I saw so so so so many similar players. They were great at times in their careers. They were remarkable hitters, all. They had elite seasons or they were elite at their position, But did they rise the best of the best? So, I started comparing them against my other votes, and I had to draw a line -- all-time greats, or those who compared well to the all-time greats, above and that meant putting some really good players below because I don't have unlimited space on the ballot. Ramirez has the suspensions to consider, as well. Let's not ignore that his transgressions actually cost him time on the field, as did Alex Rodriguez's.
Sorry about the pace here. I'm trying to get one going, but there is also some reporting and texting to do at the same time. I apologize for that. It's just going to be that kind of Monday ...
I posted it in the poll. So I'm going to hold off for a bit. I think it's worth noting that the most significant punishment could yet be on the horizon.
Reports are that he faces a stiff punishment, yes.
Not necessarily. I've heard one scenario where the Rockies wouldn't trade him until spring training. I've heard another -- and this one is from a trusted source -- where they don't trade him until closer to the trade deadline. There is no deadline here until July 31. There is one person who can apply the pressure to get a deal done now, during spring training, or later in the season: That's Arenado. It's not clear that Colorado's ownership really wants to move their prized player this close to selling tickets, etc.
I will report here what I reported elsewhere: Jeff Albert, who was in the Astros' minor-league system in 2017, does not face any punishment from MLB. I have confirmed that with a source in the know. He cooperated with investigators. He assured the Cardinals he was not involved, and the investigation did not come up with anything to disprove that.
He is not. I voted for him when he was. I would continue to vote for him.