OK, it's go time. Bobo's here, where's all the ballplayers?
JayBow carries a $5.4 million cap hit. Buying him out would have created a bit more cap flexibility if the team replaced him with an entry-level salary. If they replaced him with another veteran, then it would have been a wash in cap terms. So there wasn't much motivation to buy out a guy last season who was logging big minutes despite his injury. Once he shut down for surgery, there as no way to buy him out. Obviously he is struggling to regain his game post-surgery, but most of the D-men have disappointed to this point.
Not really. The LA situation isn't great for that team, to say the least, but the Chargers are stuck there for 5 years. The team has SoCal ownership, so it's hard to imagine a big relocation unless the team is sold. And then there is the lack of a suitable stadium here.
I wouldn't trade him coming off an injury-ruined season because his value is at a low. And this team ought to hoard its pitching until it proves it has a surplus, both in the rotation and the bullpen. That is not the case now. As for a return for a guy like Carlos, this team would need to get a young, power-hitting third baseman back. That is the team's most obvious need.
Actually, he is still one of the league's best young D-men. His hits and shots on goal were up last season with another 35-point season, but the plus-minus dipped. Like many of his teammates, he needs to pick up his game.
Business as usual overall, with the team leaning on Carlos Martinez and Marcell Ozuna to come to Jupiter next spring ready to perform to their expected level. Had those two guys played to their '17 levels in '18, the Cards would have made the playoffs easily. I would expect some change as the team looks at third base and left-handed relievers. It's possible Matt Carpenter could see some time at third if the team gets a first baseman instead. But either way, the team wants to add a middle-of-the-order hitter.
Remember, MLB also over-reached on fantasy sports and tried to control that for its own profit. It's worth a shot anyway. MLB has done a remarkable job opening new revenue streams. It got into digital media ahead of the other leagues and made a killing. Will MLB's play for the gambling cut work? We'll see, but it will be weird to see Our National Pastime embrace wagering. Betting kiosks on the concourses? On-line betting on MLB-controlled sites?
There is no doubt Mike Yeo is in trouble. This team has been a mess. There is so much talent, yet they are losing ground in a hurry. Mike is scrambling for answers, changing things game to game. If he doesn't hit on some combinations quickly to build better chemistry, GM Doug Armstrong will have to make a change. Yeo knew the expectations coming in and understands the challenge at hand. His team needs to play a positive statement game to steady itself.
So here we go with this chat's version of Prince Albert in a can. Geesh, people have too much time on their hands.
Ah, people. I'm starting to miss the Jon Jay Troll. Or maybe it's the same guy with a new gag.
They could be out of the hunt a lot sooner than that if they don't put together a winning streak. In the era of three-point games, playing catch-up is hard. Teams need to go on long winning streaks to do so -- and good luck doing that in the Western Conference.
He is already on the hot seat. Obviously the Blues are underdogs in these next two games, but I'm sure Armstrong is eager to see marked improvement in their play. Again, what's happening now cannot go much longer without triggering change.
Adding to my previous point, the Blues have also made a series of big mistakes up ice that have allowed teams to attack with speed. Then there are the individual blunders in the D-zone like Parayko handling the puck like a hand grenade behind his net in the last 10 seconds of a game.
I consider former Dodgers GM Ned Colletti to be a friend, so I'd be happy for him with Team Kershaw finally got its parade. And my cohorts from Boston can be a bit overbearing about such things, so . . .
Parayko isn't going to hold the puck against the wall for 9 seconds, so that is not a great option. At best he forces a face-off with 3 or 4 seconds left. That's better than a giveaway, of course, but a D-man of his caliber just can't spit it up there. As for Petro, yes, his leadership is fairly called into question. He hasn't played well personally, unlike last year, and this team appears dazed, as it did for long stretches of last season.
I believe there will be some slippage going into next season for a host of reasons, including the loss of ballpark/Ballpark Village novelty. The Cards have enjoyed freakishly high ticket sales at some pretty big prices for some time, so some fan fatigue is inevitable. Combined that with a team that wasn't very entertaining and there will be slippage. As for major decline, it would take a Cubs-style tank-and-rebuild program featuring three or four seasons of deliberate losing.
Match made in heaven? Subtract some key issues (Fowler's remaining $50 million, Harper's likely asking price, the abundance of Cards outfield prospects, presence of the.300-hitting Jose Martinez making minimal wage) and then maybe it is. But those issues are there and they are significant. I am not on the bandwagon like the Two Bens. I love Harper's game and his attitude, but I wish he played third base.
If Ozuna wants to cost himself tens of millions of dollars, he will show up to spring training with a rag arm. If wants to score a nine-digit contract, he will show as close to 100 percent as possible with help from doctors and therapists. If rag arm Ozuna shows and has a similar season, then the Cards might make him a moderate offer. If Gold Glove Ozuna shows up, he will likely price himself out of the STL.
It's possible we could see an interim coaching scenario with Berube, if things don't improve. That would depend on how Armstrong viewed the coaching market and whether he expected other teams (notably Edmonton and Minnesota) to make a move at some point this season. Contract or no contract, Armstrong knows he has about one coaching change left before it could be his turn to move on. That's just the way it works in the NHL and all the parties understand that.