They have their priorities, and they have their things that they'll monitor. Whether they add another bat or not, they still will need a lefty reliever (or a second reliever), and whether they add a bat or not they will still look to add a lefthanded-hitting infielder. These are the moves that round out a roster, that complete a roster, that have to be done regardless of what other conversations they have. And then there are the conversations that happen outside of the main track -- or, as I said on the radio the other and was mocked slightly for it, outside the snow globe of the winter. These are the conversations the Cardinals stay in to see where the market goes. As reported over the weekend, the Cardinals don't have much taste for the long, long deals, but if a Harper market shrinks to a shorter term and higher average value they wouldn't mute the phone calls ...
Greetings from Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino here in Las Vegas, on the edge of The Strip. The baseball meetings are starting to come awake here -- just down the hall from the lobby, through the casino, around the corner, past the $5 coffee stand, through a foyer, down the stairs and then through another long hallway. Right there. Yeah, you've got it. It's an interesting hamster maze for the winter meetings -- and rather spread out for being all in the same set of buildings. We're going to do be doing a daily chat here from the winter meetings. You're stuck with me today. Ben Frederickson has tomorrow. Whoever isn't chatting will be blogging, so we'll have the Constant Cardinals Coverage (TM pending) that you've come to expect. Fair warning: These won't be marathon chats as there are things to report and meetings to attend at times during the day, and at any point reporting could sweep away from the laptop for a bit. But we've got time now. You've got questions. Let's go.
Glad Lee Smith was elected. Tony La Russa clearly gave a heck of a stump speech for Harold Baines. His career lines up with many players were Very Good and didn't get many votes at all from the writers. Smith's career stands out, especially through a modern lens. Full disclosure: The time I had a chance to vote for Lee Smith, I did not. He did not crack my top 10 for the ballot. The Baines Standard could lead to a rather larger Hall if it holds.
They have not been aggressive on the starting pitching options.
Leftovers. Food Shack. If you're of age, Civil Society. Freshii is a good place for lunch. Crux for coffee. That's a good start, and not too far from the ballpark, any of them.
Scroll back. This is something that I imagine will gain more clarity in the coming day, hours. That's the idea. That's my phone is plugged in.
Tell me what they slug, tell me how they get on base, and I'll have a better idea.
The Cardinals told me they don't expect to be active with the Rule 5 draft. This was the name I wondered about. Lefthanded hitter. Could be snagged via the draft. Kolten's younger brother. They have good scouting reports on him -- as do other teams. Change of scenery candidate. He's got to improve his arm strength to be a real utility option, or a starter for some times. Eager to see who snags him.
Lane Thomas exists. Recognize.
He wants more playing time than they are going to offer.
Piniella was one vote short. Steinbrenner did not get five.
Releasing him and swallowing the $50 million remaining on his deal? That seems ... uncharacteristic.
Let's make this VERY CLEAR: This is the Cardinals' viewpoint. This is me explaining the Cardinals' viewpoint on this subject. We good? You sure? OK, let's go. I thought this was an actually an interesting point they made and somewhat of a revelation on how they look at contracts. They talk about age -- but it's not entirely about age. It's about not making a long mistake. One example I was given was how a 10-year deal is just that for 10 years -- and the team isn't going to bet on an opt-out. The Cardinals don't, and other teams don't either. If they sign a 10-year deal they are expecting the player to be there for 10 years and cost them ALL of the contract. Five is twice as long. So five more years. So five more years of salary. And five more years of problems because of that. I was trying to land upon a metaphor that would work for this. It's somewhat like a car lease. Do you want the 2013 model for five years -- and know you've got to stick with it for five -- or do you want the 2018 model for 10 years. Sure, there's a 30 percent change that the 2013 model will fall apart and not give you the drive you want by the end of the five-year deal, and there is a 10 percent chance that happens for the 2018 model.But if it does, hey, what you're set with the 2018 model for another seven years and the 2013 model for another two. That's a significant gap. That's the difference between a lemon and an annoyance. And the Cardinals feel their opinion follows the math of that risk.
Would be a good add if the Cardinals were bending toward run-prevention and didn't get Goldschmidt vai trade. I thought he'd make a lot of sense with a fortified defense behind him. At this point, the Cardinals can see if his market craters, but how likely is that really?
There is no indication that will be the case. The Cubs appear to be hibernating, for example.
Too much to give up. Good idea for a target. Should be landed for less -- if the Twins have any interest in moving him at all. Which they may not.
Would they? I'm not so sure they'd have to move anyone.
Yep. Spoke to his agent. Just exploratory at that point. But they're considering.