Wieters. Unless he proves to be physically washed up, his ability to switch-hit and his strong track record of earlier performance gets him the job.
Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves . . .
Zero impact. St. Louis gets a NBA or NFL if a mega-billionaire buys an existing team and insists on moving it here, whether the league likes it or not. That is the only path. Local politics don't factor into the equation.
This season and next should be fine, since Pietrangelo and Schenn each have a year left on their deal. After that the salary projections get more challenging. If Binnington is legit, that helps a great deal. The Blues would only need to make minor changes with Sundqvist, Barbashev, Thomas, Kyrou, Blais, MacEachern, et al, coming along to fill bigger roles. The Blues could feature a nice mix of young guys and veterans for some time.
We have a good team down there. BenFred is off to Florida next week to join the fray. We're good.
Fair question. The Nationals' offer included deferred money, which Harper did not want. But essentially he took deferred money in the form of three extra years on the contract from Philly. Also, he agreed to no opt-out despite having all the leverage. So why not stay in Washington with a better team or head to San Francisco for better geography?
I'm guessing it would five big-dollar years tacked onto the back of this season to get his attention. The Cardinals love to add option years with triggers that could make the deal even longer. Will Goldschmidt take the sure thing from the Cardinals this season or bet on himself to get something bigger in a market that tends to punish guys in their 30s? The market is extreme, rewarding the very top guys but shunning everybody else. Goldschmidt needs to consider the frustration J.D. Martinez felt before landing in Boston.
We know Molina can play first base and Wieters has been an excellent catcher in the past. So that may be another way to look at the same question. As for Wieters, he has started a few games at first, but that is not a calling card for him.
Go back to 2017: .264 batting average, .363 on-base percentage, 22 doubles, nine triples, 18 homers, 64 RBIs. That is a notch below his '16 season in Chicago but a reasonable expectation compared to most of his MLB work.
If healthy, sure, there is a lot to like. Deeper batting order than the previous few years, strong bench, some nice bats in reserve at Memphis, nice mix of veteran pitching and rising pitching prospects . . . barring wholesale injury, this is a nice group.
IF Wieters is anything like he used to be, I would expect him to get the back-up job. There is no comparing the credentials of these two. Pena is a great fit for the clubhouse, but Wieters could help win a few games with his bat. Side note: If he does make the team, the Cardinals will need to have an emergency catcher ready so Wieters can do some pinch-hitting in the middle of games.
I can't answer that. Ask the guys in Florida that. I assume the team monitored his conditioning/throwing program, the club doesn't keep him under 24/7 surveillance. Maybe it's just bad luck. Pitchers often have shoulder problems. Ask Michael Wacha.
The players keep saying they just needed time to jell on the ice and off of it. It didn't help that Yeo constantly shuffled his mix while desperately trying to win from game to game. But there was no good reason for the team to be that bad. The talent was there. Credit Craig Berube for pulling the group together. He simplified the tactics, but the biggest achievement was getting guys to pull together. The Chief doe not play games with players. The Chief will break it down for you in 20 words or less with a firm, direct delivery.
Wieters has won two Gold Gloves, so he is not Hector Villanueva back there. As for pitch-framing and the such, if Wieters sticks around he could learn a lot from the pitching-centric culture here. It's not just Molina, it's Wainwright and the staff as well.
Sure, players cite it when they go to Florida and Texas and skate on the state taxes. That is a pitch that teams in low-tax states make. But each player factors thing differently. Harper's No. 1 goal, it seemed, was to get a record total dollar amount. Some guys need to have that big number for their ego. Other players will take less money for a chance to win or to play in a bigger market, in a compatible stadium or in a place closer to their home. At some point, how much money do you need? How much can you even spend? Each player has to make that call. Goldschmidt will face those sorts of decisions this season.
Sure, the Blues will have a chance. But can this team get better game to game, series to series? That is what it takes. Get into the bracket. Play well from the drop of the first puck. And then get better and better, gaining confidence and building momentum. When that happens, teams can morph into something much greater than the sum of their parts. But usually a team hits a wall in there somewhere, like the Blues did against San Jose the last time they got to the Final Four. The game is so emotional. Either a team gets on that ride and stays on it or it doesn't.
Alex Pietrangelo is better all-around defenseman than Erik Karlsson. He has also been far more durable. Before his ankle injury, Karlsson put up some crazy numbers as Paul Coffey-style defenseman. But he has done nothing in San Jose this season to suggest he would vault the Blues to the Next Level.
That camp still wants a long-term deal. Teams seem interesting in just a one-year offer at this time. There is a lot of risk in a short-term deal for reliever with that sort of mileage on him. Kimbrel was seeking $100 million over six years when the market opened. The Phillies might have gone big on him had they missed on Harper, but it's hard to see a team like the Braves and Twins going more than a few seasons for him. This is quite a standoff. There was even talk of Kimbrel sitting out the season, but his agent shot that down.
Not sure Paul would settle for five years unless there were some option years with fairly easy triggers. But $30 million per year seems right.