I don't. But the subscriber-only chats have been different in tone because of the audience -- and the chance to create more of a conversation vs. this free-for-fall. They are different beasts, and each has its advantage and disadvantages.
My point is this: They can offer top dollar. And another team can offer top dollar. At some point that top dollar just levels off. The Cardinals were willing to "outbid" in a way for Fowler by going the extra year. Is going the extra year for Harper really going to push interested teams away? Are the Cardinals going to go $30m over what the Giants offer, because we're already at the max-out point, right? They're not a team that is going to do what Boston did to get David Price. That's not their model. But in this case, it really doesn't have to be because the offers are going to be enormous -- and that means a team has to ALSO separate itself in another way. That's the point I'm trying to make.
I see a strong argument for this approach. Double down on run prevention. The Cardinals tied with Atlanta for the fifth-most runs in the NL, and they finished just ahead of Milwaukee. They did this with an inconsistent year from Ozuna, DeJong on the DL, Carpenter's hot/cold season, and no production from Fowler. None. Oh, and they traded their 3/4/5 hitter from the previous season in late July. Go figure. So, maybe the way to improve the team isn't to throw more runs on the fire -- but to do a little prevention. Make those runs matter more. I think there's a case to be made that the Cardinals are the better team by doing that. Their last 100-win team was a huge run-prevention team. They play in a run-prevention ballpark. This is not some detour from the Harper pursuit. He can be a part of a run-prevention team, too.
But they are only able to do that because of their development. Boston, LA, and the Yankees can live in an atmosphere few teams can -- they can develop talent, purchase talent, and afford to cover when either of those avenues don't work. It's the best of all worlds in baseball.
Zach Greinke is the one major player who has opted out in the age of opt-outs. Alex Rodriguez did, that's right. But his came long before there was a rash of them. Fine. Add A-Rod, who opted out as the best player in the game. We've seen more opts go ignored. Maddon's opt-out was not like the other ones. His was tied to the leadership of the team, giving him a chance to move on. So, that would be like Fowler having an opt-out for this winter if the Cardinals changed managers. Cespedes opted out -- for a few weeks. He used his opt-out to work his way into a new deal with the same team. The opts out are gizmos, baubles, but we haven't seen them work the way they are romanced to work at the time of the deals.
Only one: Who is Greg Council? Never heard of him.
We can look this information up. First, let's both agree that errors are a lousy way to solely judge an individual fielder and even a team. They're good at the extreme and they mean something way different for a center fielder than they do a shortstop. Agreed? Second, let's dig into the numbers. Jon Jay was twice a plus-5 CF for the Cardinals and once a minus-10 CF for the Cardinals, and he was overall a plus-2 DRS in CF for the Cardinals, which over time put him in that 15-25 at the position. Paul DeJong was a plus-14 DRS at shortstop this past season. That ranked third in baseball at his position. That is good enough that he'll have some strong metric support for a Gold Glove Award, and he did so when those ballots went out to the voters. I don't see the similarity. Sorry.
Because he can play third, I imagine.
I do not. He intends to go into farming and his humanitarian work and has a way for those two things to be closely linked -- and flourishing.
Kolten Wong has strong support from the front office. That has not wavered.
As aggressive as baseball usually use. Baseball has a different pace to free agency than the other sports. There isn't the drop of the checker flag and the race to complete deals or recruit players or anything. There just isn't that kind of pace. They'll meet with Boras at the GM meetings. They'll play footsie. They'll set the tone for future talks. They'll play a little poker. Same as ever. Same as every team.
If Francisco Pena isn't on the roster by Thanksgiving, he will be a free agent.
The Arizona Fall League is considered baseball's "finishing school," and the level of play is similar to a distilled Class AAA league. So, think about the best teams there and then fill a league with them. There are some limits on playing and pitching that does change the style of the games there from Class AAA, but you're usually talking about top-end talents, or talents close to the majors, and hitters must adjust to a quality of pitching and command of pitching they don't see day to day at any level. It's just a sharper game, and that's why it's considered a good prep for players bound for the majors in the near future. Yes, there is a correlation. Players who do well in the AFL often do well going forward -- but that stat is rigged somewhat because the best players are chosen for the AFL. So good players playing well isn't exactly a statistical outlier.
That would be a prudent approach for an NL team, yes.
Decided not to go after? Huh? They did go after. They offered him millions. Many, many millions. The White Sox signed him for more. They did not offer enough.