Oh? The closer? The one that is doing the job at a crazy good price compared to what the market is this year for closers? Yeah, not likely.
And away we go here on Day 3 of the Winter Meetings. Log in. Post a photo. Let the trade bait questions flow. Should be a lively chat here at StlToday.com, live from Gaylord National Resort on the fringe of Washinigton, D.C. Solid place for the meetings, to be honest. It's been a business morning -- but nothing completed yet for the Cardinals. I've heard them described as "quiet" and described as "active, but on many fronts." Go figure. The truth is they are involved in multiple talks about outfielders -- and there's been no indication that they've fixated on one, just come to a comfortable feel on who they'd target and what they're willing to move to get that player. Here's betting they have to give more than they want.
This chat comes with the usual caveat. If there's news, I have to bolt.
Enough prelude. Lets talk.
There have been compensation for managers, of course. Lou Piniella was traded as a manager, and so was Chuck Tanner.
That is exactly how the positioning would work. But it doesn't close out the talks with Colorado, not from what I can tell. At. This. Moment. I am trying to keep tabs on it, of course. Doing the chat here now so it will limit the monitoring a bit. Still have been told by a few people that the Cardinals had eyes on Blackmon. But no one has been able to, with certainty, confirm a recent conversation, just that the Cardinals were aware that Colorado was asking a significant return.
That is their plan. It is not yet clear who. Still pursuing.
So many questions fired at me in one paragraph. Let me try to get to them:
-- There are seven, eight months of baseball to figure that out and a former closer with two 40-save seasons who is still on the team and could still be on the team for 2018.
-- I'm sure he talked to Heyward. I don't know the content of those conversations. Fowler has never indicated that he thought the Cardinals wouldn't contend. He said the exact opposite of that during October and even late in the season. He viewed the Cardinals as a team looking to win with the payroll and support to win. His words.
-- I haven't heard that Tommy Pham is better at center than Randal Grichuk. That hasn't been suggested.
-- A platoon is a possibility. As reported earlier this week, the Cardinals saw adding a platoon bat with Pham as one outcome of this winter. Mozeliak stressed that was not the preferred outcome.
Greater than Colby Rasmus' chances, but not as good as 50/50.
They intend to, and the winds are swirling their way.
All of that is the case. Sometimes you talk to people who just speculated and don't have any tangible, first-hand knowledge of the Cardinals' interests or moves by others. That's not fair to quote them on things they are just thinking along with the reporters and fans. That's always the dance. For my role and for my paper and its readers, I have to find sources with direct knowledge of what the Cardinals are trying to do, not someone guessing at what they want to do because of the agent they bumped into after that agent stood in line with a scout who happens to know a guy in an American League front office that shares the same hallway at the hotel as the Cardinals and once saw Mozeliak leaving the room with a copy of the Washington Post and thus must be interested in what the Nationals are doing.
You see what I mean.
This time of year is always that dance of getting info, confirming info, checking if that info is valid, and then back-checking to see what that info means. We also have to write articles, not just Tweets. So context can be valuable, too. Giving the reader what moves mean as well as what moves are possible is essential.
And, yes, there is always talk about what moves weren't completed. The Cardinals shopping Jaime Garcia at this past year's trade deadline was not really known/confirmed until well after the deadline. The Cardinals calling the Yankees years ago trying to land Robinson Cano and being told it would take Adam Wainwright came out long after the fact. They dined with Alfonso Soriano. There are always stories like that that also help inform future coverage.
One does not mean the other. But it remains possible at last check.
Other teams are aware of Wacha's situation and health, and they are just as curious/wary about it as the Cardinals. The Cardinals did recently dispatch a trainer to meet with Wacha, test his current strength and health, and have that information. They also floated him to a few teams to see what he could get in return. ESPN.com Mark Saxon reported one of those teams was the Marlins.
That would hurt. The trade may hurt. The Chicago White Sox do want to get a legit catching prospect in return for one of their players that they are auctioning off. The Cardinals have a legit catching prospect -- and two more years, possibly, of Yadier Molina. There's a mutual option for 2018. The Cardinals are not really keen on spending the time developing and building and molding Carson Kelly to be their Catcher 3.0 (Matheny begets Molina begets Kelly, if you will) and then move him. This is something they'd like to avoid if at all possible.
Blackmon is old chatter, in reality. Old reports. This has been going on for awhile. Heck, at last year's meetings I was told and wrote about the Cardinals contact with Colorado about two outfielders, CarGo and Blackmon. Odds were high entering the winter meetings that the Cardinals would get a deal done -- or leave the D.C. area with a clear idea of the move that was on the horizon in the coming days. Mozeliak imagined a 10-day window for action, one that started around Sunday and extended into next week. We have seen what he meant by that with the action yesterday and already today.
Give me a second here. Thanks.
If Ian Desmond is worth five-years, $70-million and Dexter Fowler entered this winter more appealing to several teams, then that tells you what kind of world this market lives in.
Fowler, at last check, is not the be-all, end-all for the Cardinals. He's an option. One they've engaged in talks about, talks with. There are still trades that they might find more appealing -- if they can stomach the price.
Lots of plates need spinning.
That factors in, to be sure. A LH, RH, LH, RH, RH, start to the lineup is appealing. But know that the Cardinals want OBP from any side of the plate. That's really a guiding light here. Ability to take the extra base (not only steal bases, but score from first on a double, take third on a single) and the cover ground in the outfield are going to be the traits they seek, and then handedness at the plate is down the list.
We're going through it right here in the chat, as it is happening. Plus, I'll be writing blogs in the afternoon that collects all that is going on here.
Again, I've been told a few things, from outright speculation to shoulder shrugs and intriguing silence. Here's where we're at: Cardinals know Colorado needs to be overwhelmed with a deal for Blackmon. The Cardinals are willing to trade Matt Adams. It is not clear if the Cardinals and Rockies have spoke as recently as today. It is clear that that Cardinals are interested in Eaton, one of multiple teams that have engaged the White Sox to understand what they're offering.
Moments ago, Moore and Hoyer announced the Wade Davis deal.
The Blackmon fallout has been discussed several times already in the chat. I want to focus on the draft pick, because we need to also consider that for how the deal for Desmond now helps inform a market for Fowler. He too comes attached to a pick, and Desmond did and still got $70 million. If Toronto offered $60 million (four years) to Fowler and you see what Desmond got with the same kind of tether to a pick then goodness it's going to shape Fowler's AAV and length of the contract.
News flash: Cardinals couldn't swim in the waters for Sale. They don't have a Moncada they're going to trade. The closest they have is the top pitching prospect, Alex Reyes. So, you can do the math from there.
(And, I know, you were typing that with sarcasm as the accepted language of sarcasm throughout the Internet is either via blue font or hashtag, but I thought it was important to point out the Sale thing now.)