It's not really arcane. It's negotiated. See, the year is carved up like this -- the international signing period goes from July 2 to mid-June every year. Teams have the whole year to sign their international amateurs who are eligible, and for that whole year it counts against the negotiated cap limit. It's just like the draft in that way, just spread out over nearly 12 months. Baseball is still in the 2016 July 2 window then and the Cardinals are one of the teams that have blown past their spending cap. That's why it matters to them to get Roberts available now, before June 15. They can make a play for him. After June 15, they have a spending limit on them that would take them out of negotiations.
Teams don't know when will be available. Baseball doesn't advertise that because there isn't a standard investigation when it comes to assuring the player's paperwork and age and citizenship and everything is on point. That's what is happening now.
But here's a little news ...
Luis Robert is holding a showcase event Thursday in the Dominican Republic. The Cardinals are going to have their scouts there, including Mozeliak's lieutenants. They're interested. They want a chance to make a play for him. They, and every other team, are waiting for baseball to drop the green flag.
Matt Adams has caught a fly ball in left field. This is not a drill. Matt Adams just caught a can of corn in left field. He gave the dugout a fist pump after the routine play.
Yes, quietly. Don't tell anyone. They might notice.
He articulated it this past week. The Cardinals and Molina's reps have planned to meet this week after the WBC since the beginning of spring training. Or, at least, both sides mentioned that to me as the preferred timetable given the international tournament and the preference to get something done before opening night. Molina gave clarity to something that the team already believed and may have even been directly told.
Oh, sure. There have been plenty. Rick Hummel has been updating both players' conditions regularly at StlToday.com. Lynn is set to throw Thursday here in Florida on the back fields, and that will be his last appearance before a regular-season start. Gant has a groin injury and is likely to start the year on the disabled list before going to Memphis.
Better than most people probably expect. It's left field. He's moving well.
Eventually. Today, it's probably Trevor Rosenthal.
Well, he got torched on his fastball during one of those starts. He just had no feel for it, and yes that meant that his cutter and changeup were also misbehaving. He couldn't locate his fastball, couldn't get it to the edge of the strike zone and the Mets feasted. The curveball has been fine. But even he can't go up there and flip it 90 percent of the time and have success.
I have only seen one Cubs game this spring. It was a replay at some odd hour of the morning. I didn't really study Heyward's swing at that time. I'll see it plenty this season. It looks to be producing the same results from afar, and from what I've read. The question for me is how long can the Cubs keep Happ in Class AAA. Does he move somebody who is struggling out of the lineup? If the Cubs are going to commit to Baez and go through the ups and downs with him because of his defense (insert hmmmmmm, chin-scratcher emoji here), then does Happ hit is way into the lineup at the expense of the next bat that wilts? Could happen.
Of course. As Bill DeWitt Jr. once told me with some players it's pretty much implied.
It will be at about the same time as normal. They'll roll out opening day in the hour leading up to first pitch. The real wrinkle is ESPN. Sunday Night Baseball is going to have its national audience to appease and a game earlier in the day, so it's not likely to give the wall-to-wall coverage of the ceremonies that the locals want, and that local broadcasts give. So Fox Sports Midwest has done a cool thing: It will run the festivities. Live. In their entirety. All the way up to turning the game over to ESPN for first pitch.
I didn't get any indication it was his agent that brought it up to him. The team did take note and was aware of it as he went out to the field. They at least noticed that he was angry about something, and then they realized he had expressed that frustration to a reporter. As to who let's a player know about how comments can look and when to rethink them ... yes. Yes, it's all of those. It's the team. It's the manager. It's teammates. It's an agent. It's a wife. It's a parent. It's a friend. It's all of that.
There have been teams interested. The Angels and the Royals called on Wong this past winter, and neither of them have really settled on a second baseman in the final week of spring. But otherwise I don't agree with the premise of your statements. The manager's ability to run the roster the general manager puts together has not been compromised.
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Interesting theory. Peralta has had a good spring. Just FYI.
I don't know whether he wants that job or not. He hasn't really advertised an interest, and it really hasn't come up like it has for other players.
Gyorko at second would be one. Peralta at cleanup is the other.
Carson Kelly is 22. He has yet to have a full season in Class AAA. He's a standout catcher, a solid prospect, and he could handle the defensive side of the role now or in the near future at the major-league level. His bat came around last year, and there is still upside there -- and improvement that needs to happen for him to be do more and do more consistently in the majors. Molina's extension could go three, four years and Kelly would be, what, 25 then at the end of it, 26. He also would still be in the pre-arb years, so that the Cardinals would be getting a good bang for the combined cost of the catcher position.