Fewer National League owners seem adamantly against it, including Bill DeWitt Jr. But this may have to be negotiated into a potential roster expansion to 26.
Dakota Hudson was an important pitcher out of the bullpen after he came up last season and I could see him opening the season in that same capacity with more likely Ponce de Leon and Gomber starting at Memphis where they can get more regular work.
Gyorko is a valuable righthanded hitter off the bench and could get starts at second base against some lefthanded pitching or even at third. Wieters has to show he can be a trusted receiver and thrower. His offense doesn't matter.
It would be great to have all the early games played in warm weather but that would be too much of an advantage for those warn-weather teams in getting off to fast starts. Given the recent weather patterns in St. Louis, though, I don't imagine the Padres and Dodgers are looking forward to those series very much.
None of the above. Unless Ankiel is broadcasting.
He has to show he can handle a full schedule of games without his body betraying him. Then, he might be considered elite.
The Cubs have been strangely quiet. Perhaps they are thinking they'll get some mileage out of Darvish and Morrow. If so, they could be fine. But that's a big "if."
Ten Gold Gloves and 10 All-Star Games certainly should do it. His numbers pale only in home runs. He's had five .300-plus seasons, rare for a catcher. He has hit .326 in the NLCS and .326 in the World Series and has caught 88 postseason games.
Ted Lyle Simmons. Next, Kenton Lloyd Boyer.
But this is the same team which gave Mike Leake $80 million for five years and Dexter Fowler $82.5 million for five years when nobody else was that interested. Also, Pujols did not have a 10-year contract with the Cardinals. It was seven at an average value of nearly $15 million a year, which was pretty good nearly 10 years ago. I do not seem them struggling to land Goldschmidt. This is why they traded for him, to be a potential face of the franchise for five or six years as Molina's and Carpenter's times wind down.
I don't hear much 'opener' strategy among National League teams. They can't afford to waste players, even pitchers, in the first inning. Milwaukee only did it last September because there were expanded rosters. But I like that 1 through 4 and am anxious to see it.
Reggie Smith, as I recall, wasn't keen on re-signing with the Cardinals and wanted to be traded to the West Coast. I got along well with Vern Rapp and was a good game manager. But he had trouble relating to players and media, both important aspects of the game then and now.
The numbers, in many cases, are irrelevant. You have to see how a player is swinging the bat, how he is moving on the bases and in the field, how he's throwing.
Pitchers are allowed to wear inserts or even helmets if they like but most say it throws off their equilibrium.
As mentioned, Fowler looks better. I'm not awarding him a job yet just as I'm not putting O'Neill in the Hall of Fame yet. When pitchers and hitters reach closer to top speed in a couple of weeks, we'll have some better answers.
The Cardinals had only one pitcher with 180-plus innings last year and it was Mikolas. Waino may have a good season but he won't be averaging six innings a start or pitching 180 innings if he is the fourth or fifth starter.
I would have to say suspect, at this stage, as he's battled injury. He still is with the organization.
He has played first base quite a bit but the Cardinals see him as their catcher in a few years. At worst, he could be on the club as a combo player in a year or so.
And some castigated the Cardinals for not signing Donaldson. I never thought that was a good investment, one year or otherwise.