Hello everybody, and welcome to another in the ongoing series of Cardinals chats at StlToday.com. This week, I'm at the keyboard -- ready, poised for any and all questions you have about the Cardinals, the division, the World Series, whatever. Fair warning: I have not seen "El Royale" yet so my ability to answer questions about that and other movies currently in theaters is limited. I have seen Venom. I also have a few backs of old baseball cards that I may open along the way here. You've got questions. I've got a laptop. Let's see if that combination can lead to any answers. Away we go ...
I like the way you're thinking: The Cardinals have depth when it comes to starting pitching, for sure, but a rotation can always improve. And some kind of deal would make sense for the reasons you mention. But here's my thinking: The Cardinals should use what they have (pitching) to get what they cannot develop (middle-order hitter) and what they cannot ge ton the open market (middle-order hitter). There are a handful of pitchers who will be free agents who make sense for the Cardinals, especially lefties like Corbin (gonna be pricey) and Keuchel (more likely, at this point). Add a lefty like that and perhaps Gomber shifts into the relief role that the Cardinals also have to address, or into a package that can be used to trade for the hitter that is needed. Before they get to Greinke, I think they should explore some other options for the rotation. Now, taking on that contract might grease other deals ...
Wow. We must have been listening to different press conferences. I didn't hear a whole lot of pep talk in Mozeliak's insistence that accountability is coming to town, that the owner isn't happy, that the division isn't getting worse, and that 90 wins won't cut it. And, no, the Marlins are going to keep the player who you apparently like because he hasn't had a chance to fail yet. Always easy to dream on players like that.
Jon Hamm is probably a fan of both, I bet.
A whole whole whole lot of sense. He is the player that checks the most boxes for the Cardinals when it comes to what they need, what they can offer, and so on. Whether they sign Harper or someone else or no one else the Cardinals will field offers for Jose Martinez and see what the market for a trade is -- with an eye on getting return from an American League team for him. The spot they have for him on the roster right now is off the bench, and they realize there may be a better fit for him and a better return for them.
They're going to try. It's going to cost money.
Yes. Absolutely. Luck plays a part. Depth plays a part. Talent plays a part. Two-thirds of that equation can be addressed with payroll, of course.
We will never know. But I see a wider gap in the players than you do, I guess. Stanton had a 126 OPS+ for example, to Ozuna's 106 +. And remember that 100 is average. So you're talking about a player that was prone to do more damage, day in and day out, than the other player. And Stanton had a 4.0 WAR, and Ozuna a 2.9 WAR, per the calculations over at Baseball-Reference.com. There is a gap there, too. It's not in the RBIs. By several measures Stanton was the better player, but whether he would have helped make up the difference for the Cardinals is impossible to know. Does he pitch lefthanded?
That is correct. Their plan at this point is to continue to target that tier of player, and there were some tryouts recently (in the past month?) down at the academy as the Cardinals and other teams continue to sort through the available players in this window. Signing continues on through June, so there will be another wave or two of players available. The Cardinals also want to deal some of the available cash. They'll be doing that throughout the course of this winter as they look at options. It's one of the wells the Cardinals intend to go to -- but it's limited a bit by the teams that want to expand their purse, and as we saw today one of the teams eager to do so made their moves, signing the Mesa brothers.
He is on a schedule provided by the Cardinals. At the last, he'll be in Jupiter in January for a part of it and then funneling that work into spring training.
We see hit-and-runs a lot. Gets the defense in motion. They're effective. Bunts are the flip phones of baseball.
Probably. His contract says so.
Why would Arizona enter teardown mode and take on Fowler's contract -- and why would Fowler accept a trade to a rebuilding team like the Diamondbacks as part of the process of them trading their best players? I'm not sure this lines up. No, simply greasing the deal because the Cardinals would take on money for Greinke and that would then lead to expansion of the deal to discuss/include other Diamondbacks at a talent-cost.
They are sick of it, yes.
There is a school of thought that it actually gained its popularity and wide usage from ESPN and the Sportscenter lexicographers behind the desk. The same group that brought us walk-off. That's not entirely so. "Go Yard" or "Going Yard" could date back to when ballparks were widely known as ball yards and Comiskey park in Chicago was known as "The Yard" and nearby were the stockyards. So, "Go Yard" could be drawn from any of those phrases because a ball leaving the ballpark would be going to all those places -- out of the yard, out of The Yard, toward the stockyard. Dickson's Baseball Dictionary does not give a first usage of it that I can find, so the date is entirely intangible.
And, regarding the extension part of it: That is the Cardinals' play. That is the play they desperately want to make. It's the play that ownership thinks serves them best, and despite their experience with Heyward they think this is still the best way for them to get and keep players. Trade. Woo. Extend. Trade Woo. Extend. Call it the Holliday Protocol. Or, the Rolen Model. Or the Edmonds Gambit. Whatever. This is where the Cardinals believe they have the best chance to get the signature player of the future -- trade, sign, keep.