Bobo's here, where's all the ballplayers?
Klim Kostin, like the rest of the AHL's San Antonio Rampage, is off to a slow start -- 2 goals, 3 assists and 17 shots on goal in 13 games. He is a big winger with NHL strength right now and a good shot, but he is still trying to get up to the North American pro pace. Bokk is a shifty, skilled winger playing against men in the Swedish Elite League. He has a goal and 5 assists in his first 14 games for Vaxjo this league. These are different types of forward prospects, but there is a high ceiling on both and they are still very young. Defense Jake Walman is a smooth-skating defenseman who needs to take a big step for San Antonio this season. If he does, he could see time as early as this season.
Obviously the Blues don't want Thomas getting ahead of himself and relaxing. But by keeping him beyond his free trial junior-age trial, the Blues have essentially committed to him for the season. Sure, Thomas could head out to the World Junior Championships for a boost if his play slips, but clearly he has earned a place in the team's plans for this season. And another thing: The Blues want to keep all of their personnel options open in case the team has to make a coaching change or a team-rattling trade. Sending Thomas back to juniors after nine games would have eliminated a big option.
Obviously Doug Armstrong is not going to discuss his interest in another coach while he has the current coach running the team. Doug is guarded by nature and I expect him to be ultra guarded on this topic.
Best wishes. As I have written many times, I don't see the fit. The Cardinals have the Dexter Fowler Problem to deal with first and good low-cost options (Jose Martinez, Tyler O'Neill, Adolis Garcia) at the position. They need a corner infielder. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal is plugged in at the national level and he noted that the Cardinals are not serious bidders on Harper at this time.
Jake Lamb is a nice option, moderate risk for a guy with power coming back from injury. Kyle Seager of the Mariners is another. I have dismissed the Paul Goldschmidt chatter in the past, but the Diamondbacks might be ready to go the tank-and-rebuild route and put him into play. He has just a year left on his contract, so he would be rental with re-signing possibility -- although he would be 32 when he hit the market. That is dangerous territory for hitters. But for one year . . . .
Ville Husso hasn't done anything in San Antonio to suggest he is ready, but, sure, Chad Johnson could keep playing if he remains hot. Coach Mike Yeo is in "win now, win often" mode, so he absolutely would lean on Johnson. The Blues face some tough scheduling down the road and they will need both netminders -- so establishing the Johnson Option will be key.
Ah, but the trouble with back-ups is more often than not they get exposed with regular work. Ask poor Brian Elliott about that. His rough go in Calgary has been followed by more turbulence in Philadelphia.
I have the same answer every time: I cannot imagine the Cardinals winning what should be insane bidding for this player. They aren't not known for insane bidding and outfield is NOT THEIR BIGGEST NEED.
I feel your pain, but this is not just a Mizzou story. Many, many schools have gone this technicolor route. As a grabby old-timer, I would like to remind college programs that nothing says "We are not great" like gaudy costume changes. Real powers stick to their basic, iconic look and somehow get the top teenagers to sign with sign with them anyway.
Goldschmidt would fill a glaring team need. Harper would force the Cardinals to do other things, such as find somebody stupid enough to take Fowler's contract off their hands. Now if John Mozeliak can get out from under Fowler's deal, then we may hear more chatter from the national guys about Harper coming here. But remember, Scott Boras sees Harper as his greatest opportunity yet to prove his own brilliance. He wants to talk somebody, likely an owner, into agreeing to a contract that makes the whole industry gasp. I don't see the Cardinals playing that game.
10 games is the mark for burning the first year of the entry-level deal. That is the big deal. The 40-game mark starts the clock toward unrestricted free agency. But that is seven years down the road, so that should not be a huge consideration for a team desperately trying to win this season.
No, but he would add depth to the lineup. Goldschmidt is the guy you want, of course, and if Arizona bails . . .
As I noted earlier in this chat and in every other chat I've done in recent months, the Cardinals have $50 million in dead money parked in right field in Dexter Fowler. If some moron is willing to take that contract off the team's hands, great, but right now Fowler adds $50 million to the price tag for Harper. Martinez was one of the NL's most productive hitters last season and he plays for almost free. Then there is Tyler O'Neill's potential. And Adolis Garcia in reserve. And bigger team needs at third base and the bullpen.
That, and the fact Kevin suffered an unfortunate injury, then returned from that setback to play horribly for the Rangers. Kevin was a productive player here and great guy for the media, but he had an inflated view of his ability. He is a great power-play guy who needs sheltering at even strength.
I believe Mike has already gotten a good look at the issue from his spot on the plank. With two NHL coaches already fired, I believe Yeo is one losing streak away from losing the gig. I don't say that with glee or with disrespect, it's just the nature of the business. Mike knows it and has said as much.
There is always a chance for Kyrou. If he tears up the AHL, the Blues could make room for him. This team will always welcome more speed and skill, especially the speed. The key for Jordan now is to find the domination gear he displayed for stretches at the junior level. Also, he must avoid drifting as he did earlier in his junior career.
I wouldn't rule the Cardinals out of the starting pitching market, but other things would have to happen -- like a big trade to acquire a cornerstone hitter at the expense of a starting pitcher. Obviously the worst time to trade a player is when he is coming off a down season marred by injuries. Is another team prepared to pay full value to get Carlos Martinez at this point? If so, sure, John Mozeliak and Co. would look at that.
Again, such a move would require the subtraction from the high end of their very deep stack of starting pitchers.