I can't imagine that. One, those elite players are likely to target the top markets. Two, Bill DeWitt Jr. has had to eat a lot of money lately -- Mike Leake, Greg Holland, Jhonny Peralta -- and he is sitting on a bad Dexter Fowler investment. So I don't see him committing $300 million to $400 million to outspend the world as Seattle did to land Robinson Cano back in the day.
Outfielder Adolis Garcia has finally caught fire in Memphis and he appears to be legit. But he is not on the 40-man roster, which is still a bit jammed up, so that may not happen. That logjam has blocked third baseman Patrick Wisdom as well. And Wisdom cooled down after a encouraging run this summer. Edmundo Sosa's stock has slipped to the point where utility infield seems to be his ceiling. On the pitching side. Conner Greene has some power potential but he has continued struggling with his command.
Sosa and outfield newcomer Justin Williams are on the 40-man roster. Sosa has been playing multiple spots this summer, so he could free up Munoz to play outfield in that scenario. Sosa has been in the organization forever and he is due for a big league look to continue his development.
I haven't seen a good theory. He was clamoring for regular at bats to gain his timing/stroke, but he got 189 plate appearances through May. Carpenter started working his way out of his funk in mid-May, but Fowler did not. Fowler made some progress playing every day under Shildt, particularly with his plate discipline. He drew eight walks in his last nine games after drawing just eight walks from May 18 to July 21.
That would be awesome. Ah, but Colorado certainly has the resources to keep its best player for the long haul if he wants to stay. And if he wants to test the market in 2020, then that makes him a rental player for 2019. And as a rental, he is a better fit for a serious World Series contender than a team needing to add heft to its long-term nucleus. Why would the Cardinals pay a huge long-term price to rent a guy for one season?
Ross had back-to-back terrible starts in July, but otherwise he has been a solid this season pitching for a terrible squad. He hasn't worked deep into games, but he has earned respect as a solid pro. The Cardinals claimed him to gain some protection. (I dropped him from my fantasy team and I need to get him back!). John Mozeliak said Ross could either join the rotation, perhaps on the weekend in Kansas City, or eat some bullpen innings this week if the need arises in the meantime. Let's see if the bullpen is taxed the next few days.
Fowler's injury was a good news/bad news deal. The good news: The team is frankly better without him playing right now. They benefit from both Bader and O'Neill (when healthy) will get regular work to close out the season. Munoz gets more at bats too, which is a plus. The bad news: The injury eliminates Fowler's ability to rebuild his stock with a strong finish. I can't imagine another team taking any of Fowler's contract before next season, since there are hundreds of inexpensive available outfielders capable of hitting .181.
Nah, the Padres like them younger. The 40-man roster crunch could thrust Sosa into play as it did Breyvic Valera before him, barring additional changes to the big league roster. How many utility infielders do the Cardinals need?
I never warmed up to the pitcher-hitting-eighth thing because it puts a weak hitter into the game one at bat sooner. How many times does a starting pitcher struggle early on, then settle down? The pitcher hitting in the No. 8 spot can throw a struggling starter a life preserver in the second inning. Also, if the goal is to have a better hitter coming up before Carpenter as the "second leadoff hitter", it also means the goal is to get the third out in the previous inning sooner. Which is stupid. The better solution is to put Carpenter down in the order where he can drive home runs, but by now we must all concede that he is utterly incapable of hitting anywhere but leadoff.
I like him better as a starter, given his full pitch assortment. Other guys, like Mayers, have fewer tools but the ability to add more velocity in the relief role. Prospect Ryan Helsley could turn out the same way. Then there is a guy like Gomber, who could fit the long man/left role that Tyler Lyons was supposed to fill. Also, Poncedelon could be a long man. Since the Cardinals have about run out of near-term starting pitching prospects, I would keep developing Hudson as a starter.
Another problem with Machado is his desire to play shortstop. He is not a shortstop, at least not a good one. I imagine he will come off that demand if he wants to stay in LA, but for now it is an issue. You are right about the challenge of getting a true impact hitter, since fewer of those guys get to free agency and they can be really hard to land outside the very top of the draft. And the Cardinals won't deliberately stack up 100-loss seasons to get one.
A team can always make room on the 40-man roster as the Cardinals have shown with recent moves. But is there a rush to do it now for Garcia? He struggled for half a season at Memphis before coming on. Regular work there could put him over the top. Whether he enters the picture in September or next season, we'll see. But the good news is he has made himself a candidate. That made it easier to trade Pham and Mercado different and/or younger assets.
I'd say Cardinals chats during the postseason, since the sense of fan entitlement was overbearing. The Rams chats were brutal, but the team was brutal and that was to be expected.
Jay has had a nice run since last I encountered the Jon Jay Troll in these chats. Not bad for a guy that was supposed to be DFA's and unclaimed way back when.
Fowler's contract is evenly structured. Year 1 was fine, Year 2 was a disaster and there are three years to go. Ouch.
All signs point to him retiring. He is a well-respected manager, but he spent most of the last decade falling short with huge payrolls. I see the Cardinals going with a recent winner or a rising star. Could Shildt be that rising star? Sure, if he can rally a team that has been cleansed of failing veteran relievers and Fowler's out-making.
To me Gant is a fill-in starter/long reliever type, valuable to the organization but not likely an answer. I could see Weaver translating to the bullpen at some point. He's got some Joe Kelly in him -- lively stuff, but difficulty getting hitters to the swing-and-miss counts. Weaver is young, so that command could yet come.
The primary reason, initially, is that the relievers on hand were getting shelled and there was a dearth or near-term relief prospects in the minors. Once the Cardinals offloading or disabled a bunch of guys, that was a good way to ease him into the fray. And with Ross coming on board and (presumably) other starters presumably returning at some point, he could stay there. Or he could flip roles with Gant or Weaver. Fluid scenario.
Gant's status depends on two things: How well he pitches and the health/availability of others. I like him better in long relief and I imagine he will end up back in that role as Schildt's other options materialize.