Voit fills a need position, in the short term, and his ability to hit off the bench is notable. Just a depth guy there, at limited cost. He is getting the Pete Kozma treatment, in other words.
I wasn't a fan of speed subtraction, but Bader, O'Neill and Garcia all have more pop. Bader and O'Neil can play center field. '17 pick-up Lane Thomas is coming on, too, so the Cardinals cleared some near-term clutter and added longer-term assets. Backfill, as Mr. Good likes to say.
The Cards could get into the play-in game because that spot remains within reach and the competition is middling. Also, they have subtracted several ineffective relievers. Also, they no longer have to play a .181-hitting right fielder with declining fielding range.
Let's see how he plays in Peoria. But, yes, fans can dream of Kris Bryant or Anthony Rizzo until further notice.
Free agency in 2020. Would he extend here if traded here? Or would he seek Machado money in the market?
True, but Carpenter simply can't excel anywhere but leadoff. All attempts to prove otherwise have failed.
I think Rick was surprised to see a manager with a .555 career winning percentage fired in midseason, since DeWitt had never don't such a thing before. The move didn't have an immediate impact; only when Mozeliak purged the bullpen did the team start gaining moderate traction. Matheny must be wondering why Mozeliak didn't do that for him.
I would expect him to get a shot at Peoria next season. The Cards have promoted several hitting prospects aggressively in recent years. More times than not it didn't work, but none of those prospects had this guy's upside.
That seems a bit pessimistic. Carlos would benefit from finishing the season on a higher note, if he is physically capable.
Matheny got great mileage from young power-pitching relievers. But I believe a bullpen mix of tested veterans and live arms is a plus. Hicks is stone cold out there on the mound, but for most young pitchers it's not that easy. But I agree that acquiring proven relief help is dicey because so many of these guys come and go without sustaining success over the long haul.
You can make a case for throwing $400 million at Harper. The Cards could make the money work, just as they could have made the David Price contract work. But . . . I see that outside DeWitt's comfort zone and I see St. Louis outside of Harper's target list of markets. Also, Harper has been front and center in Washington's massive disappointment this season. If he couldn't elevate that team, how is he going to boost this one?
Over the years they have had some level of injury insurance on some contracts. But such protection has become harder to get and there is no protection against stupid contracts that are simply eaten.
The Cards earned some international signing restrictions with their earlier spending spree, which was done in part to offset the looming impact of "Hackgate" on the draft. Since the Cards couldn't give out bonuses of more than $300,000 this season due to the earlier spree, the franchise wasn't going to use all of its total allotment. So it traded some of that allotment to get other prospects.
The Cards have remained competitive the last three seasons. DeWitt is mindful of the fan support, which is why has resisted the call of some to blow up the team and start over like the Cubs and Astros -- piling up 100-loss seasons in the process. Contending year after year is hard and a team can get caught in-between, like the Cards this season.
Ross posted ERAs of 3.34, 3.24 and 3.38 the first three months of the season before back-to-back terrible starts derailed his season. A fresh start for a team not deliberating losing to father prospects should do him some good.
I believe he would either start or force the Cardinals to eat his contract. He wasn't happy moving in and out of the lineup for Matheny and I doubt he would enjoy a part-time role next season.
I noted earlier this season that the Cardinals could assemble two teams as good as the Miami Marlins. Trouble is, the Marlins stink. The trick is turn to quantity into quality. That didn't work in the Ozuna trade, at least so far, and it will be harder to do that moving forward because teams can afford to pay big money to their top young players -- buying into their early free agency years. When those guys finally do become available, often they are mere rental players or hitting their twilight. And the rare prime-age free agent that hits the market is way more likely to end up on one of the coasts than St. Louis. The way out is to hit big on prospects, as the Cards have done with pitchers but not hitters.
O'Neill is on the DL, so, no, he won't play soon. Adolis Garcia gets his first big league look. As for Martinez, he lacks the range Ozuna demonstrates in left field. Jose might be even worse in right field than at first base.
The bulk of the additions were long-term gets, backfill behind the current wave of prospects.
Matheny went to four postseasons in his full six seasons and his team was in playoff contention for the entirety of his regime, minus the last two weeks or so of the 2017 campaign. So I see no reason for regret.
The Cardinals are contending for a playoff spot right now. They are four games out of the last playoff spot despite taking massive injury hits on their pitching staff. They should be right back in the mix against next season if they can add some offensive heft and get at least most of their better pitchers healthy.