Bobo's here, where's all the ballplayers?
That's fair. The Cardinals stayed in touch to see if the Harper market would take a surprising turn south, but there are too many teams willing to spend giant money this winter. Now it's time to focus on fortifying the team weakness, the bullpen, while seeing what Jedd Gyorko and perhaps Jose Martinez could fetch in a trade. I'd keep the low-cost Martinez as bench strength and protection, but if another team wants to offer up a worthy reliever . . .
If the Cardinals lose both Ozuna and Goldschmidt to free agency, then obviously the team would have a ton of money to spend in free agency or in another acquisition. Also, in a year the team will have a better idea of where top hitting prospects Nolan Gorman and Elehuris Montero are in their development.
It appears this season is lost, so a thorough makeover is in order. I would not trade Vladimir Tarasenko, whose $7.5 million salary cap hit through 2022-23 is very team friendly. Goal scorers are very hard to find. I used to have Alex Pietrangelo in the untouchable category, but his contract is up after next season and could command giant money if he gets his game back to last season's level. Pietrangelo could become quite a trade chip once he gets back in the lineup. Obviously veterans with expiring contracts (Bouwmeester and Maroon in particular) figure to get offered around the league for a draft pick. Maroon has some limited no-trade protection and JayBow has a NTC clause, but they want off the sinking ship if better teams throw them a rope.
Matt Carpenter has proven, quite vividly, that he absolutely, positively cannot function anywhere in the batting order but leadoff. Harrison Bader has appealing speed, but not the on-base percentage to lead-off. He is a No. 8 hitter until further notice. He has a lot to prove as a hitter at this level.
Paul Goldschmidt is a special talent. John Mozeliak prefers Matt Carpenter at first for obvious reasons, but he served notice that Carpenter could play third if the team got a terrific first baseman. Which it did. Both guys are entering the last year of their contract, so that made the decision easier.
The Cardinals appear interested in both. If Andrew Miller is indeed healthy, I believe he would be the choice.
Under, but that's because he could land in the bullpen -- give the team's needs there and the starting pitching depth the franchise features.
We'll see whose laughing at NCAA Tournament time.
If Dexter Fowler hits .180 in April, then he shouldn't play much in May unless the Cardinals decide to give up on their season. There is no reason to travel that road again.
You're assuming the Cardinals are ready to eat that $50 million, which is a big assumption. Or that another team would touch any of that $50 million, which is also a big assumption. And now that the Mets have dumped Jay Bruce, I don't see a logical trade matchup that subtracts another outfielder from that team.
Munoz's ability to play seven positions make him an ideal bench player. O'Neill needs to play, so if Fowler rebounds and holds up in right field, he could see more Triple-A time. Personally I would get Jose Martinez unless another teams offers a valuable reliever for him, since Martinez hits well in a part-time role. I assume this team will be able to move Gyorko in a trade, since the organization has a couple of decent utility infield prospects behind him with Sosa and Urias. I see the team shifting between a 12- and 13-man pitching staff next season depending on need. Given the amount of young pitchers in the mix, that would make sense.
If Fowler is brutal in spring training and O'Neill blows up Florda with his bat, I could see the Cardinals going with the guy more likely to help this team win games. Fowler was arguably the worst position player in baseball last season, so I don't imagine he is guaranteed anything. Obviously the Cardinals hope against hope that the '17 version of Fowler returns, but we'll see.
Well, there is that $50 million Dexter Fowler Question. Until that is answered one way or another, I don't see the Cardinals adding to the outfield pile.
That would not be cool at all.
Zero percent. Matt Carpenter will play third base.
Actually, DeWitt and Mozeliak are very good what they do. On their watch, with the team's steady success, the franchise value has multiplied and team has made hundreds of millions of dollars.
Nolan Arenado figures to get at least Bryce Harper money because he plays a more valued position. But this team's interest in that bidding will depend on many factors, including the development (or failure to develop) of Nolan Gorman and Elehuris Montero.
As noted earlier, Miller could be a great get as reliever who can work lefties and righties. Hundley would be a big upgrade over Francisco Pena, so that's a thought. As for Cabrera, he hit righthanders very well last season -- but this is a guy used to playing everyday. I'm not sure the Cardinals would have enough work for him.
Right now he is Randal Grichuk. He can go get a fly ball, which makes him valuable. He can crush home runs, which makes him valuable. But can he reduce strikeouts and hit for a reasonable average someday? If so, he could become an everyday player. With Ozuna a year removed from free agency, it will be important to give O'Neill every chance to reach his ceiling. That process could include more Triple-A time to make sure he is getting the ABs.