A day late, but no longer one bat short, the Cardinals chat is back. Thanks for joining Ben Frederickson in the crucible for the final two days of the winter meetings. We're back from Lake Buena Vista, Fla., after one of the busier winter meetings for the Cardinals that I can remember. Technically, they completed only one transactions during the official run time of the winter meetings, but in reality they finalized four -- two pitchers signed, two outfielders traded (one from, one to) -- and the Cardinals were the most active team at the meetings according to rivals and agents and any report you could get your hands on. I'm sure you have questions. Some of the answers are still unknown. But I'll take my best swing. Away we go.
They are not, no. Not from what I understand. They met with Baltimore during the winter meetings -- heck, the team suites were right across the hallway from one another, and Rays down the hall -- and got a feel for what the Orioles are asking for Machado. It's steep. As mentioned in The Post-Dispatch, that helps the Cardinals understand what kind of value and options they have elsewhere in the market for a third baseman. They do this a lot. Check one price to know how another compares. It's one reason why you hear about the Cardinals meeting with an agent for a player we all know they don't have interest in. They don't. They have interest in what that player is being offered. It gives them a control group for other decision. Look, the interest in Machado is there. But it's also within a limit. The Cardinals made very few declarative statements before the deals being done Thursday, but one was Michael Girsch on how the team would no longer think it could bring a pending free agent in, woo him with the magic of St. Louis baseball, and re-sign him. That is no longer a strategy.
They made a deal for talent, not taking on dollars. Cardinals also signed Gregerson, so the interest in just collecting a $9m reliever was lessened.
You mean because of other trades? I think the chances are high that we'll see both of those players with the Cardinals in major-league spring training. Munoz is a 40-man player, and Schrock has the look of an NRI. That makes sense for the team to see them in that setting, especiall Munoz is now positioned as a possible UT infielder or backup SS for the Cardinals.
I see where you're going, and it does make sense entirely as possible scenarios. I've been candid in the the chat and I've tried to be honest in print about where things are with the Cardinals and whether they are interested in Wade Davis. There is a real reluctance on the Cardinals end to pay for past saves. If they think they're signing a closer because of WHAT HE'S DONE and not WHAT HE'S GOING TO DO they tend to look elsewhere for how to spend that money. That's just their approach. Mozeliak said they might be moved to change that approach, but leopard doesn't change their spots, right? The Cardinals prefer to make closers or control closers, not buy them. And, so, it really will depend on how all the moves work. Orioles want a haul for Machado. Rays are motivated to move a contract. Can the Cardinals leverage these two motivations to get a deal that addresses both needs. Entirely possible. Difficult. But entirely possible given the depth of pitching and outfielders the Cardinals still do have.
One way to assure that a big slugger gets pitched to is to have a lot of players on base in front of him. That was something that Tony La Russa always brought up. While he talked about getting a deterrent behind Pujols, he mentioned a more favorable practice was just making sure the opponent had nowhere to put him. Get Fowler, Carpenter, or Pham -- or two, or all three -- on base ahead of Ozuna and you've got a situation where the opponent has to do something with Ozuna, or at least cannot completely avoid him. You do see why the Cardinals would look into added depth to the lineup for this reason, but OBP can still be valuable when you've got some SLG like Ozuna.
They need a starter. They are throwing quantity at their issue, some quality.
Good questions. 1,. He's going to see a jump to $10 million, or a tick more, based on comps. The Cardinals are going to want to agree to a deal before having to go to arbitration with him. 2. This is a reasonable way to do that. The Cardinals really don't want to do deals like this without getting a free agent year, but this is a different case, and they did do a deal like that for Lance Lynn. 3. It's unlikely. Scott Boras likes to get his players to free agency, and you look at the age that Ozuna is and the fact that he's set to be a free agent after next year's Harper/Machado Jamboree sets huge salaries and all indications are that Ozuna, if he's the player the Cardinals want him to be and need him to be, is set to make a huge deal as a free agent, and the Cardinals are going to have to figure out if they want to offer that in spring of 2019, when such a talk is more likely for them after Ozuna has taken advantage of a year to get to know the place. Committing at this point, on both sides, to three years doesn't make sense unless the Cardinals are getting a super-deal, and Boras is not out to give them a super-deal.
Two years of Ozuna. Control matters. And the cost of getting Machado for one year is steep, steep, steep and the return will be a draft pick when he bolts for another team and the jackpot contract.
Tyler Chatwood could be a breakout starter. Hendricks-style.
That is coming today, and I may have to step aside from the chat briefly to talk to him. You have been warned. But I will be back.
Nope. Kelly is being prepped for the majors so they need Class AAA catchers. Just to get people updated, the Cardinals signed Tony Pena's son, Francisco, and Steven Baron to be the tandem at Memphis.
An outfielder, especially one with more years of control than Colome, and a standout pitcher. I've been told those are the cornerstones of a deal that they want to make.
If he has a no-trade clause, sure.
It's a good question and I think it's one that I've learned people want a direct, sexy answer and I will inevitable disappoint because I'm not involved in the conversations and thus can only get answers in general terms or have an educated understanding of how the trade talks have gone. Randal Grichuk has been mentioned in connection to the Rays. Harrison Bader would fit the profile of what the Rays would entertain. Jack Flaherty would be another example, but give how the Rays and Cardinals have discussed a variety of outcomes with different players from the Rays, it's unclear who is tied to Colome, who is part of a larger deal, and it's clear that some of the deals would involve a lot more than just the names above.
Cardinals are sure talking like they intend to keep Grichuk. They also see Tyler O'Neill as a possible option there as the backup outfielder, with Jose Martinez also in the mix at the corners.
The years commanded would have to shrink.
Before I plunge in here, let me first say that one of these teams (ahem, Rays) are notoriously difficult to make a deal with and thus would probably be even more difficult to pull of a three-team deal with, and one of these teams (ahem, Cardinals) have said that a three-time deal to pull off what they want this winter is unlikely. They didn't see it.
There is a lot to unpack here, but at first blush that's a lot of salary that the Orioles are taking on and I'm not sure how that makes them better. Sure they get two pitchers and they get some control there, but as a bonus they get $80m of a third baseman, and while that's cheaper then the alternative of trying to re-sign Machado as a free agent, that's also not really a better team. The two best players in this deal are going to the Cardinals. No question. The other teams would take note of that. The deal certainly sets up the Rays to shed salary and take on young players, but why would they just want quantity like that. You have the Cardinals giving up eight players, and all of the players the Rays are getting are from the Cardinals, so why would they not just make that deal directly with the Rays and nix the O's because the Cardinals would be effectively trading seven players for Archer, Colome, Odirizzi, and Longoria, and then flipping Longoria, Wacha, Odirizzi for Machado.
If you look at the deals in that way you see how it doesn't satisfy what the O's and Rays want.
He has been in discussions. Recent comments from Mozeliak suggest that he's their fourth outfielder and their insurance against injury or ineffectiveness from the starters.