Exactly. There is some gamesmanship that goes into the call on the protected rosters. For example, Alex Reyes would absolutely have to be one of the 15. Sierra now, too. But the Cardinals would probably choose only one of the two Oh or Rosenthal, and they probably would keep Cecil available. Young, control is going to be the tiebreaker, more than just the starting 15ish.
No shade intended. Flashlight, maybe. I'm not being subtle.
Probably not, no. I have spoken to a few folks over the past week that don't have a sense he's going to sign immediately on May 20 when he becomes available. They described it going a few days past that. So, we'd have a Monday chat or Tuesday chat -- next week there is a travel bind that will determine the schedule.
The general sense -- or vibe, if you will -- of the game is that the White Sox are in the lead. The Cardinals believe they have a shot, and you can also tell how interested they are in how silent they've become about their actions, their interests, their intent to offer. They remain in contact with Robert's folks, at my last check. It was in the chat last week, that it was revealed how Mozeliak was taking a more active part in the scouting/negotiating for Robert, and that he had flown down to the DR quietly to see Luis Robert in person. The cost is going to be high. I've heard that it could be a $40-million proposition for the Cardinals, though keep in mind that would include the dollar-for-dollar tax on any bonus Robert receives. That puts the deal for him at $20 million, though I've also heard $24 million and $25 million as sources and media folk try to triangulate what they hear with what they believe. That's what we are. The Cardinals have gone into ninja mode on this stuff.
I have. For years. His teammates have. For years. Scouts have. For awhile.
He strongly insists there is no physical issue. Pointedly insists. He told a few of us this past week that this skip was absolutely not his idea, or something that he would have pursued.
Isn't that what's happening?
As for his post-MLB assignment, you do need to keep in mind that the Cardinals have priority center fielders at every level above Sierra. At Class AA, there is Mercado and home-stealing Garcia. At Class AAA, there is Harrison Bader. If you move Sierra to either of those levels, he will be the priority center fielder. No doubt. So who does he bump aside. Are the same people who were so perplexed how Sierra got a promotion ahead of Bader now going to argue that Sierra should move Bader to the corners?
That's the tell. They plan on making a move for a pitcher.
The 2015, 100-win Cardinals team was described that way, often in these chats. To repeat a phrase I've found myself saying often recently, that team didn't "capture the imagination," and that is particular true in hindsight as the folks think back to a team that had an early dismissal from October.
Nope. That doesn't make sense.
A talented player with athleticism and power upside -- maybe as much power as anyone in the Cardinals' lineup -- who is learning how to tame the prolonged slumps that he can get into. Quite a good week for Grichuk, and that even included an 0-for-18. He's going to have his share of strikeouts. He's not going to go out and hit .340. That's not him. But he could connect for 30 homers. Only Gyorko can really say that. Carpenter perhaps. Still, Grichuk's power stands out, and the tradeoff is the streaky streaks.
Around the All-Star break, and then they'll be noisy again down the stretch, causing problem for some team in the NL Central.
One would think, and yet then there are lot of folks who want them to "win the right way." I'll give you an example. The Cardinals win Sunday's game. They shut out the Cubs. They take the series. They are in first place. They had a record crowd present. And seconds after the game is final, I receive an email -- the first email I get after their win -- and it's from a fan frustrated, seething with anger toward Matheny for not pinch-hitting Matt Adams when he chose Greg Garcia. Yeah. Seriously.
The deepest in the NL, yes.
(That was the Cardinals design, truth be told. As you probably know.)
Ask again when we see what he signs for. There is a limit, no?
The Pleau Principle is in play. These decisions will work out for themselves. By the time Martinez is ready, it's entirely possible that production or injury will clear an obvious space for him, or production will make it clear what the Cardinals are going to do with his spot. Roster decisions are far far easier than it seems we want to make them. Follow the 40. Follow the production. Follow the health. And if a player is 17 days or 21 days away from returning to the majors, then don't make a decision 17 days or 21 days early -- because you don't have to and by the end of 17 days or 21 days another injury may emerge making all that angst and worry and concern and questioning wasted energy.
Low leverage spots. Maybe even two innings in a blowout. Get him out there flipping curves and feeling right and then away they go.