Don't discount durability as a value that Longoria brings. He is an everyday player, and the Cardinals talk about Gyorko as someone they would like to spot starts, find matchups, spell starters, that kind of role.
I think the Cardinals are realistic about where they would fit in the pursuit of Machado as a free agent. Josh Donaldson would be more likely as a free agent. But, overall, yes I think they would prefer to improve for 2018 and know what they are for 2019 and not go through this same thing every winter.
That is not the case, no. That would be an assumption based on fact not entered into evidence.
Nope. Just affirm their allergy for $300 million contracts until next winter.
Rumor? Huh? That makes no sense. Of course Paul DeJong wants to play shortstop. He's put in a lot of work to prove he can be a major-league shortstop and he proved that he is an improving shortstop. That's not rumor. That's obvious. That should be expected. If he didn't want to play the position that the Cardinals want him to play, then there is a real issue. Now, he is familiar with third base, more so than is even at shortstop. So the move would be natural for him, and it's also not a rumor that the Cardinals expect at some point in DeJong's career for him to be a third baseman.
Let me ask Ron Washington and get back to you.
Not better -- better contract, better control, better fit, that kind of thing.
I took some time here to dive back into the numbers to take a look at this. Ryan Franklin worked with something like nine or 16 pitches, and his game was really leveraged around not allowing free bases. Look even to that series in 2009 and how it ended for the Cardinals at Dodger Stadium. Walks. With a walk, then Franklin was a bloop, a bleeder, a dropped fly ball away from a rally. The idea of a closer who is immune to that is one who has power. If you sort through successful relievers from last year by strikeout rate and strikeout to walkout rate, you're right, Colome is going to be down ballot. Addison Reed is not going to be. What Colome has is that slider/cutter that is vicious, and that you get a lot of awful contact on. Colome really saw a decrease in his line drives this past season and also the home runs allowed. Those saw dips. The contact rate is something to note, but if there aren't walks and we're talking about a lot of grounders and fishing out of the zone on that slider/cutter, then the style of closing isn't blowtorch, but it also isn't the tightrope you describe.
Sure. Gold Glove defense is good.
I really can only speak to what we've been covering/writing about this at the PD, and from that perspective what we've said is that the talks with the Rays have been ongoing, they got some advancement this past week, and they have involved a variety of scenarios. Never got the sense that the Cardinals were on the brink of a deal with the Rays. This is likely for several reasons:
-- The Rays are notoriously deliberate when it comes to trading. There is some sense there they have paralysis by analysis and that they must eke out every edge from every trade.
-- The Rays are talking with multiple teams.
-- The Rays are exploring a variety of trades with these teams.
-- This is a recipe for slow progress.
I wonder if they are more apt to rent a player like him now that they have Ozuna in place for two years. It certainly makes more sense -- but the cost is all that matters. Cost. Cost. Cost. If the Cardinals thought they could get Machado for a year for a reasonable package of players, then they'll be in, they'll push for it, they'll take the rental and like how they look in 2018 and be happy to qualify Machado and then take the comp pick in 2019.
There is not. Things get quiet around Christmas, usually.
No surprise. They just aren't going to waste teams time when everyone knows Machado wants to go to free agency. As he should. It does limit what the O's can ask for in return. Or, it should.
The Cardinals, given their preference, would like to avoid trading Alex Reyes, Jordan Hicks, and Luke Weaver if at all possible. Any deal involving Carson Kelly would also have to be a whopper. And, internally, it sure does seem like they want to hold onto Tyler O'Neill.
O'Neill. Sierra. Garcia. Machado. Bader. Mercado. Arozarena. Good cluster after that. That seems like a good list. Really bunched up there around Machado, but I'll go with his high ceiling.
Both are definitely in play here. Since this past spring training -- and probably even before then -- the Cardinals have been skeptical that the Blue Jays want to pay Donaldson's salary in the coming season given what point they are in the standings and their building of a team. That seemed like a cost that they would want to move, from the Cardinals' perspective. So they keep in touch.