Greetings from the Winter Warm-Up, where there is a steady stream of interviews and they could happen at any time. Like now. Adam Wainwright is coming into the media room, so I need to complete his media session before plunging into the chat here. Thanks for the patience. I'll load a video to prove to you I'm working, OK?
Absolutely he's a Hall of Famer. There is no salient reason that I've heard for why he has not been inducted into Cooperstown outside of the fact that he's not Johnny Bench. Guess what? No catcher is.
Lynn was the rarity, what you describe was the preferred approach. That's what the Cardinals did with Garcia, Wainwright, Molina, Wong, Craig, Carpenter, and so on. Lynn and Jason Motte were the players who leap to mind that got deals that coverage arbitration and then didn't reach free agency. Lynn did not want an extension that covered any years of free agency. His representative made that clear. The team had to adjust its preference to make that deal possible.
They want to let agents know, apparently, that they are serious when they set a deadline. They wanted to have a deal -- or get the agents to commit to a figure they could defend. The bet was that the figure (the ask) would come in lower that way. And both did. If agents believe a team will always agree at the midpoint, then they push the ask up to move the midpoint. Now the Cardinals are forcing that back down by saying they'll go to hearing. Even if they lose the hearing, they've probably already won some rebate on the cost.
Traveling to Cuba with Major League Baseball's goodwill tour in Dec. 2015 was something I never thought I would get a chance to cover. That was a challenge, an experience, and a uneasy joy. That ranks just ahead of an All-Star Game in St. Louis, a World Series at Wrigley Field, a visit to the White House with the 2011 Cardinals, and yes the chance to interview a few presidents over the years, including a conversation in the dank tunnels of old Shea Stadium with former President Clinton. There are certainly others. I have been lucky to have the opportunities I've had in this career.
They saw him as a platoon player and set a price based on that, then moved off in another direction.
I don't know. Sorry. Number assignments come later, as spring approaches. Stay tuned.
Bourn would be another one, and perhaps I should have included him with the following caveat: I don't recall hearing a time, even when he was peak Bourn, that the Cardinals had interested in him. Still, he's available and can be discussed, sure.
He'll be more fastball/changeup based and, yes, his fastball will leap in velocity. There's a growing sense around the team that he shouldn't be counted out as a starter. I'm going to explore that more in tomorrow's Post-Dispatch.
There's a lot to unpack here, and to be honest these are the questions that front offices are trying to figure out. I've seen and heard comments from GMs about how they could approach a two-way player, and what that would mean for his availability in those roles. Matheny was one of the officials who mused that he wouldn't mind having a starter one day, a pinch-hitter the next, an outfielder the third and fourth day, and then a starter after a day off. A Miller-like reliever? That seems a bit of a reach at this point. I don't think interest in him or his versatility would be limited to American League teams. Now, his interest might gear toward AL teams because of the DH possibility. Teams are looking for the same answers as you.
Goodness, man. I wouldn't have voted for him if I didn't think he was deserving. Why I put him on the ballot ahead of other Hall of Fame-caliber players I also considered for that year was to keep him on the ballot. But the vote itself -- look, it's not a participation ribbon. I vote for the players who I think are deserving of being Cooperstown. That is the very first hurdle a player has to clear for my vote.
Bowman can. Wacha has remaining options, but now has service time to influence how easy that is. Garcia is out of options. Adams is in the same spot as Wacha.
Rick Ankiel didn't pitch as an outfielder, that throw from center at Coors, notwithstanding.
This is more complicated than just an extension. Hate to do this twice in the chat, but I've spent time over the past two days reporting and exploring this very question. It's an important part of the coming season for the Cardinals, and I'm going to explore that in tomorrow's Post-Dispatch. We'll have a host of Cardinals coverage in the paper tomorrow. I've given you a sense of two of the articles.
He attended the writers' dinner last night and accepted an award on behalf of Whitey Herzog. He participated in the '67 reunion, and at last check is expected to spend some time in spring training. He's moving around well, and was great in the discussions with his title team.
It does sound more open. That was certainly Mozeliak's message on Sunday at the Warm-Up. I would list the favorites in this order: Jhonny Peralta, Jedd Gyorko, Matt Carpenter (if Adams hammers way into first base), and then Greg Garcia. But let's put it to a vote.
I was, yes. It was not something I expected the Cardinals to do. They had staked out approaches and positions counter to doing so in previous years. This is a change.
Fascinating question because there is definitely a gray area, and that's clear when MLB has an authenticator slapping holograms on baseballs and everything during games. Teams own jerseys and the like. Teams purchase the baseballs. But there are certain moments and things that are understood to belong to the player. I.e., no team is going to rip a milestone homer away from a player or say he can't go home with the jersey he just threw a no-hitter in. They will be authenticated but then it comes the possession of the player, almost like a de facto gift. Now, some gear is owned by the player because it's provided by manufacturers and sponsors. Gloves and bats are like that. Shoes. Batting gloves. So, on. Other equipment is owned by the team if it's purchased by the team. There is no simple, legal answer that I know of for your question, but there are accepted norms about the difference between game-used (team) and milestone (player).
This is a wonderfully creative question, laced as it is with Vedderisms. I find it interesting that signing Jose Bautista is the show of financial force mentioned here. I'm not sure I share that opinion. Edwin Encarnacion would be a different matter -- in part because it would have taken that year of uncomfortable spending when he's really a DH in an NL dugout. (Let's not ignore the fact that Encarnacion was also interested in an AL team because being a DH could improve his earning potential; just saying.) The payroll is up at this point from last year. The Cardinals still have room to spend. They are going to have need to spend, too. Fowler, Carpenter ... that's the start of a new core. Leake has the contract to be part of that too. But more is needed. A pitcher could be on the horizon with the departure of Lynn. A core position player would be welcome, and those are costly, costly. Signing Bautista wouldn't have been a show of financial force, it would have been a surrender to a need. (Not that that's a bad thing, or that it wouldn't improve the Cardinals.) No, a show of financial force is what the Cardinals did with Fowler, wanted to do with David Price, and, yes, need to do to maintain their stance as a contending club beyond 2017.