Bobo's here, where's all the ballplayers?
Well, I think there is certainly a chance. In an earlier chat I suggested the Diamondbacks ought to fold if they didn't keep their cornerstone hitter Goldschmidt, but that team seems ready to join the tank-and-rebuild movement rather than offer up nine-digit contract extension. SI.com suggested an offer of catcher Andrew Knizner and Connor Capel would get it done. Even for just a one-year guarantee of Goldschmidt, that sounds fair.
Do you live in St. Louis? Then probably not. MLS seems like a shoo-in at this point, but I remain steadfastly in the No-Harper Camp. Scott Boras is going to play this for all it's worth and it's very hard to imagine the Bill DeWitt Jr. playing along with that.
The free throw thing is hard to fix in-season. Given the long hours these guys practice, the Billikens are pretty much who they are at the line. Asking for more than incremental progress is tough. The same goes for long-range shooting. As for the turnovers and playing more value on each possession, that clean-up can continue. From that standpoint SLU still has room to grow.
I expect some moves. Now, those moves could be forward-looking trades if Doug Armstrong concludes that this season is a wash. The Blues are rapidly reaching the point where spending big for short-term help makes no sense. History tells us the hole the Blues have dug will be difficult to escape.
If the Cardinals do trade for Goldschmidt, the franchise will have to set aside a huge payroll chunk to offer him on an extension or a next contract. So trading for him could make signing Harper even more unlikely.
The trade package I noted earlier seems reasonable. Perhaps add one mid-level pitching prospect. After all, this guy is just a rental player at this point.
Sure, the team can always afford two megastars. But Carlos Martinez and Dexter Fowler are still scheduled to get paid in 2021. Look at the players that will getting into the arbitration process and therefore real money in 2021: Jack Flaherty, Harrison Bader, Alex Reyes and Jordan Hicks. And what if the team re-signs Marcell Ozuna to giant dollars? What if Wong pans out and gets another deal? What if the Cardinals sign two relievers to big contracts this winter? A lot of ifs.
Personally? Zero on Machado, 5 percent on Harper. My colleagues are far more hopeful than I. I've watched DeWitt for years and years. I watched Boras for years and years.
What rumor? The NFL is understandable worried that the Chargers move to LA could be disastrous, but winning stadium proposal in San Diego does allow for enough expansion to bring the team back home. I'd bet on that over the Chargers moving elsewhere on the continent.
The Cardinals have no need to move Jose Martinez unless they get value in return -- and efforts thus far have failed. Assuming the team will address its near-term corner infield need another way, the logical return would be a relief pitcher capable of handling high-leverage work.
We kept hearing how fast the Red Wings were until the Blues pinned them in for 30 minutes and generated a bunch of odd-man rushes of their own. So this team isn't as slow as it looks. That said, speed is at a premium in the league and the Blues will certainly look for that element when it does make some moves this season. And, again, I do expect moves. Either Doug Armstrong will try to save the season -- if this team finally gains some traction during the next few weeks -- or he will start working on next season. I do not see him sitting still. Although he won't make a trade just to make a trade, he has assets other teams like.
It certainly could, especially at those prices. This team could end up making forward-looking trades that also shed some contract in response to the miserable start.
That doesn't seem like a deal that would interest Seattle, as much as the team liked O'Neil as a prospect. Haniger is coming off a breakout season and he is still a year removed from arbitration. And from the Cardinals' perspective. Fowler is the team's right fielder until he isn't. O'Neil is even earlier in the earning cycle than Haniger, which makes him appealing here.
Fowler has almost $50 million left on his contract, so he gets a shot at right field unless the team miraculously makes that contract vanish. Obviously the Cardinals would like to add another left-handed hitter (or a right-hander with great splits against righties), but the primary need is more heft period.
I would think Arizona will look for prospects in a Goldschmidt trade. And Jose Martinez makes way more sense for an AL team as a DH.
Andrew Miller is said to be healthy, so that's worth a shot. I'd be a bit more concerned about Zach Britton's wear and tear than Miller's, but both bring some risk.
I'd say there is about a 10 percent chance of the Cardinals making no major moves. There is always the possibility that every pitch will fail. But this time around I do believe the team will be more aggressive. Notable change is in order.
The Chief may not have much stomach lining left if he sees another first period like the one in Detroit. This team practices hard, puts extra time in on the ice and says all the right stuff. But collectively the group is just flat.