Among the top free agents, if they get that far, next year would be Harper, Machado, Kershaw, Donaldson.
This used to be the case, and I think it still is, but players can choose to be paid just during the six or so months of the season or all year long.
Off what they did last year, it's not unfair to expect that Pham and DeJong could duplicate their seasons but they now are on everyone's radar during pre-game scouting sessions. Luke Gregerson, last with Houston, will be the closer pending the signing of somebody else but there are many live arms in the system that are expected to be bullpen types later in the year. Alex Reyes could be one sooner than later if he doesn't go into the rotation in May, which is the club's target date as he recovers from Tommy John elbow surgery of last year. Jordan Hicks and Ryan Helsley are two names to watch although they still are very inexperienced professionally.
Tyler O'Neill, who had 31 homers combined at Tacoma and Memphis last year could be a fifth outfielder. Alex Mejia, who was taken off the 40-man, could make it back as a reserve infielder.
Leone never has closed in the majors and probably doesn't have closer stuff. But the game isn't always saved in the ninth inning and he seems serviceable enough to help out whenever. The closer's role, however, will be something of a work in progress.
At this moment, on Jan 22, 2018, I see the Cardinals as five to seven wins better with the addition of Ozuna and Oquendo. Seven would take them to 90, so let's stick with that. Ninety would be a second-place finish probably. The closer _ whether from within or without _ seems still to be the one piece that's missing.
The Cardinals aren't the only team waiting for the shift in agents' philosophies, i.e., the demand for four, five, even seven-year deals. John Mozeliak and Michael Girsch would consider three-year deals for starting pitchers, for instance, if somebody like Arrieta would drop to that level.
There is only a "gap" as you put it, until Alex Reyes is back. He is a No. 1 type starter. Granted he hasn't had the chance to be a 1 or a 2 yet but the Cardinals forecast a Martinez-Reyes punch before the season is too far along. .
Mo's take on Hicks is that his breaking ball isn't advanced yet to big-league status but he feels Hicks' fastball is good enough that he still could help. Don't forget that in 2012, Trevor Rosenthal reached the majors one year after being in low-A at Quad Cities, and basically developed his other pitches as he went along. .
I'm not sure why Ozuna's accomplishments last year were in quotation marks, as in "big bat." Stanton's year was something unworldly but Ozuna was sought by even more teams than Stanton and his 37 homers, 124 RBIs and .312 would have been MVP consideration if Stanton hadn't been around. It took four players to get Ozuna.
Thank you. And I certainly would offer up several combinations such as the one you devised if it meant one of then could get Archer.
Utility men rarely are "locks" but Garcia has several things in his favor: He is a lefthanded hitter who can play all three infield positions, save first base. He is an accomplished pinch hitter. He is out of options.
The Cardinals are banking on a healthy Carpenter this year after he labored with right shoulder issues last year. They are also counting on moving him around between first and third, with second mixed in. And they will see if he can actually hit third. Any disruption would be on him. But this doesn't mean they wouldn't trade him if any they thought they could improve.
Lance Lynn would sign in a heartbeat if he could get $15 to $17 million for four years. He won't. Cardinals might be interested at three or fewer but they like what they have coming up. Lynn, while outspoken, didn't really "burn any bridges." They're all adults and they can take it.
Mo hasn't really said the club is done. And you never can really say that with 125 free agents still out there. If a starter dropped in their laps, as in three years or fewer, they might be interested. Any closer would be a two-year deal.
Not a bad club. You're always going to have the center fielder debate, with Curt Flood, Terry Moore and Willie McGee involved. And Lee Smith would rival Sutter as the closer. Ted Simmons versus Molina also is an interesting argument depending on whether you want offense or defense first. But I would send your team out there with little equivocation.
Not yet. But there will many free agents (or their wives) asking their agents to get them a deal, any deal. Now.
I thought _ and I still do _ that Grichuk can be a 30-homer man and a good outfielder. But the club wants to see Bader after he was named minor league player of the year. I'd hoped they might get more prime-time players for Grichuk but, in truth, he wasn't a regular here any more and a suspect bullpen could use all the help it could get.
There are no particular standards set by the Hall but the voters will have to factor that the game has changed. Maybe they already have. Jamie Moyer, who won 269 games, didn't receive a single vote among the first 192 revealed.
No question that the Nationals. Cubs and Dodgers are division favorites. Giants could be sleepers if McCutchen and Longoria have something left. Cardinals belong in second-tier group and could go higher if Reyes is the real deal. Keep an eye on Rockies, too, if their starters can get them to a deep bullpen.