Greetings from baseball's Winter Meetings. That was the podium here in National Harbor, Md., a few minutes ago as they readied to introduce the newest members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2017. John Schuerholz and Bud Selig will take their seats here shortly. I'll start taking your questions now -- with the annual caveat of if news breaks or there's news to break I'll need to step away from the chat to do so. Busy times ahead. Lots of questions. Colleague Jesus Ortiz will also be reporting from the Winter Meetings this week, and he'll be hosting chats as we alternate the days. So let's see how long you can keep me here today.
There's a trade show. And there's a chance to get Jayson Stark's autograph.
The Cardinals count all the work he did while on suspension as part of his innings total from the past year. So you've got about 100 innings in games between Class AAA and the majors, and then you have the added 30 plus that he threw down in Florida. That's in the 130-140 territory and the Cardinals have usually looked to a jump to 180 from there. There will be a soft cap on his innings, and it will likely be reverse-engineered to have him available without question in September and October. Expect some maneuvering of his starts or just outright rests for him in the middle of the season, same as they did for Wacha and Martinez in the past few years.
They have had plenty of time for groundwork. The winter meetings, at the very least, offer them a chance to focus their pursuits if not complete them. That's the idea. Momentum for a deal, if not a deal.
I don't see a Bob Gibson-like total for him, if that's what you're asking. But he'll be standard operating procedure for a starting pitcher of his experience, age, and quality.
There appears to be a glitch in the system that is deleting some really good answers. Let me address and I'll dive back in.
OK. Let's try this Turner question again.
Turner to LA always seemed like the likeliest outcome, and the Cardinals' interest in him was just that -- an interest in keeping track of market for him, understanding the cost of doing business, knowing the pace at which things are moving. This goes back to the groundwork question that the Cardinals have done. One of the reasons they pop up in some interesting places -- shortstop talk, Turner talk, Wacha talk, third baseman trade stuff -- is because they have been exploring a variety of directions they could go. That's not unusual. Mozeliak has approached multiple plans at the same time in previous winters and then checked through them based on their feasibility or if they can put it off. Try to sign David Price. Don't. Move on. Try to sign Jason Heyward. Don't. Move on. Pursue starting pitching, prefer Mike Leake to other options. Sign Leake. Move on. Had they signed Heyward, the Cardinals would have looked to trade an outfielder for a starter. Had they signed Price, they would have shifted to looking into available RH infielders as their winter meetings move -- and may have ended up with a free agent instead of Gyorko. And so on. Same thing this season. The goal is to get an OF, but they aren't going to leave them exposed and unfamiliar with other positions should the OFs of their desire not move or sign elsewhere and they have to go another direction to change the look of this team.
It's a great question. I have not heard an answer yet. It will be asked. The Cardinals have to go to Marco Gonzales or Tyler Lyons on their depth chart before they get to their first lefty. That's noteworthy.
It's a podium because it includes a lectern and a table, both of which are on a podium that was set up last night before the press conferences. Had I taken a photo of just the lectern, I would have used lectern.
Two can play this game.
(Alright. Another answer deleted. This will be interesting.)
It would be negligent for the Cardinals not to at least look into what the asking price/possibilities are with Longoria. The word continues to be that Tampa Bay is not a motivated seller when it comes to Keirmaier, so keep that in mind. As for Eaton. It has been widely reported for a long time -- in the pages of the Post-Dispatch and elsewhere -- that the Cardinals have/will maintain interest in Sox outfielder.
My sense of this was the Cardinals had a better chance -- a better bid, let's say -- to get Sale during the season near the trade deadline than they do now. There were fewer teams willing to make the move at the deadline. Now there are more interested teams, more teams that can put offers together, and the standings are all even. That means a team like Atlanta can get involved, or even a team like the Yankees with a bushel of young talent could put something together. What the Sox want for Sale would be Reyes. That's a full stop to conversation with the Cardinals.
He'll be the DH a lot of times, and that's plenty for him. That ballpark will welcome his power. That's a good place for him to hit. He'll play some first base and he'll appear in right field, when needed.
There are hundreds of questions in here. I see four or five at a time. I'll do my best.
Whatever he makes of it. He'll come in stretched out. Could be an uber-reliever, very valuable.
There is a lot they can do. They can improve. They can bring in players that actually, you know, change the look of the team, improve the defense, give the lineup a jolt. They can contend.
They should contend.
Fans should demand they contend.
This isn't new.
Solid. The Cardinals had to find a taker for Garcia (first) and then get that taker to pay the most they would for Garcia (second). There weren't many teams interested in Garcia at this point, so the Cardinals were operating from getting the best deal from a team that really wanted him -- and not just the team trying to make a play on an asset at a low-point. The Cardinals did that. They got three minor-league players and improved their pitching depth at the upper levels. That's a quality move.
I see only one name on that list that is truly likely to be a Cardinal.
Or, given some of the recent compliments tossed at Mozeliak: Return of the Jedi?
If it's the right outfielder: A New Hope.
Star Wars offers fertile headline possibilities.