Salutations. Welcome to the first chat of the Cardinals' offseason. The Cardinals spent time in the past few days -- coming off their NLCS loss to Washington -- asking themselves a lot of the same questions that I imagine await me in this, the weekly Cardinals chat at StlToday.com. We'll go where the questions take us. And maybe along the way, I'll toss out some questions I have. It has been a curious year from the get-go, and the way it ended fit right in: Cardinals went out and did what they promised to do, win the division and get back to the postseason. But their swift exit and lack of offense in the NLCS has stirred up all sorts of questions, and in some corner of the internet burning anger. We'll try to make sense of that. Wish me luck. Onward.
He's lefthanded. He's a starter. He's on the list. The Cardinals will of course have a conversation with his agent -- maybe even in person at the GM meetings -- and get a sense for what Bumgarner wants, and whether that's Atlanta or San Francisco or somewhere else or nowhere else, whether that's two years or three years or five years. He's not atop the list for some of those reasons, but the Cardinals will want to have that discussion with his agent to determine if there's a reason for further talks.
The Cardinals will be looking for that kind of conversation, whether it's with Boston (aim high, Tiger) or Seattle (always ready to deal) or somewhere else that we don't yet know, but will reveal itself once the offseason really begins. As they have each of the past few seasons, the Cardinals want to see if there are answers for their offense via trade, and then look at the free-agent pitchers. This is a good group of starters and the Cardinals can likely get a deal to their liking at some point on a free-agent starter. Goldy-level? Well, not likely that a six-time All-Star is on the move, but it's early. The Cardinals will look at packaging some outfielders they have in a deal for offense.
He already retired. There has been no "rumblings" of added theater. Doesn't seem like him, honestly.
Eager to see how the Dodgers approach him -- or rather approach his availability. Baseball seems poised for the Angels to be big players in the free-agent market, what with Rendon and Cole becoming available. Wouldn't dismiss Washington. Colorado did Boras a solid by helping to set the price -- and also creating a real clear line for where teams will have to start for Rendon. That's going to shrink the pool of suitors to the moneybags (Yankees) and the team he's with (Nationals).
Hicks is expected back around the All-Star break. That's the timetable, but it's subject to change based on his spring training and how he moves step by step through the recovery process. Someone will have emerged by then, and I wouldn't discount Ryan Helsley as that someone. Sleep midseason pick would be Alex Reyes. Obviously, Carlos Martinez's health is the other major factor. He wants to start. The Cardinals are paying him to start. They want him to embrace the commitment to getting himself ready to start and staying true to a starter's schedule between starts to remain in the rotation. Can't predict at this point whether that will happen.
The one that will make you the most disappointed.
(Getting a head start on 2020 chats.)
I have no clue. If you're using coded language to ask about Dexter Fowler and Matt Carpenter then just come right out and say it. Both players have a no-trade clause. Fowler signed a contract that included one. Carpenter is about to have one when the season ends. So they have control. A conversation with Fowler is definitely likely, as that's something that the Cardinals would go to him with first, just out of respect for the veteran. There is no indication from Carpenter that he would entertain or seek a trade. If the Rangers are interested, does that change things? Well, we can dream up scenarios galore where a no-trade clause would be dropped. Let's try to stay within the realm of reality and "a swap of less desirable contracts" would be counter productive for the Cardinals. They'd rather divest themselves of a contract they no longer want and then have the choice of how they spend the money, not take on some other team's mistake. Look at the Mike Leake trade as an example, as a precedent.
Don't sleep on Joe Espada. He's a fascinating manager candidate.
Probably not. They should be. But probably won't.
Why? So, the Cardinals would take on the far, far bigger contract and the player who would do less things for an NL team out of the kindness of their heart? And also throw in a major-league hitter? Please, if you have the time, walk me through how this helps the Cardinals at all. Thank you.
Every team would have some interest in Lindor unless, say, they had Carlos Correa at shortstop. Lindor is one of the better all-around players in the game and he plays a premium position well with power. He's also only arb eligible and coming off a $10-million salary. He's got two more years of control. So, he's at the same point in his career that Marcell Ozuna was when the Marlins traded him to the Cardinals. Seems like a Yankees fever dream at this points. Lots of wishing and hoping and they should be targeting. The timing seems off for Cleveland to make that trade unless overwhelmed by an offer. Look at what the White Sox got for Sale and then crank that up considerably. Lindor would be the most-desired player available via trade if Cleveland sends out notice they'll actively consider offers.
He received a PRP injection, as described in this morning's paper and at StlToday.com and I'm sure elsewhere, too. He also went through a series of additional tests leading up to the PRP. If you Google PRP injection you'll get a sense of the procedure.
It really didn't. It wasn't that kind of move. The Dodgers wanted a righthanded hitter who could help them until David Freese was off the IL. They got that in Jedd. They needed some luxury tax relief to make the deal work financially and not pay a penalty. So the Cardinals took on a salary with no intent of every needing or using the player. This was not a move with any future, candidly.
He did a year ago. He does even more so now. Absolutely. A good fit.
Depends on what they're getting in return. Cardinals don't want to trade the obvious candidates, Flaherty and Carlson and Wong and DeJong, and the players with no-trade clauses have all kinds of control in this regard.