Derrick touched on this topic in his blog. There are always better ways to evaluate and develop players. The Cardinals are out on the technological frontier with every other progressive organizations, trying to find edges. They were one of the first organizations to entertain new ideas and give power to bright guys lacking the traditional baseball background. Now almost every team is doing that.
He has finally moved onto the radar screen after many years in the minors. But Fernandez is not on the 40-man roster, so somebody will have to go to accommodate him. The Cardinals opted to out Chasen Shreve back on the 40-man roster and take a look at him first.
Actually I crossed path with the flying Leiweke brothers when they teamed up with the old Kansas City Comets when I worked on that side of the state in the early 1980s. (I'm old). There's a good story there. It's amazing the success they've had.
Chris Davis . . . oof! When it goes bad, it can go really base. That poor guy just can't make much contact against today's pitching.
There's no question that the Cardinals have made some poor buys in free free agency. This franchise has never viewed free agency as a primary means to build a roster, but it's inefficiency on that front has been uncharacteristic. For years and years they avoided dead money. Maybe it's for the best for the Cardinals that the free agency market has crashed. It will be really, really hard to make a big mistake these days since nobody seems willing to step up with big dollars for mid-level contracts. Look at the deals Mike Minor and Lance Lynn got in Texas: $28 million for three years and $30 million for three years.
That, or maybe Armstrong will put his best team on the ice next season and try to win again. In the past he has traded guys rather than lose them for nothing, But those teams weren't special. And at times he let guys play out their last year, like with David Backes and Troy Brouwer as the Blues went to the Final Four. I could see Schenn playing out this year as a rental, then seeing what the Blues and other teams had next summer. He could really build value by getting back to 65 to 70 points.
Injuries took their toll. He has had stretches of very good pitching, but he hasn't sustained it.
I believe Nashville, Dallas and Chicago (regaining Andrew Shaw, adding Robin Lehner) really helped themselves. The teams that made the playoffs last year all look good for again this season, although Colorado could take a temporary step back while playing some really good young guys this season. Arizona could move into the bracket at the 'Lanche's expense after adding Phil Kessel and getting injured guys like Antti Raanta and Nick Schmaltz back.
The Cardinals have found talent down in the draft before -- like Matt Carpenter -- and they must do it again. They also need to score bigger hits with the international market. That's tough because other teams are investing more scouting/development dollars there and it's harder to outwork teams.
No, the deliberations after Mizzou's appeal presentation could extend into the season.
He saw Matt's midseason '18 power surge as evidence that he was still an elite hitter. As it turned out, he was wrong. But Fowler looked dead in the water last season and had a nice rebound, so there is still hope for Matt. He will put everything he has into getting back on track.
Those are good calls. I mention Smart because his recruiting/coaching combination could have Georgia in the Top 5 a LOT during the next few years.Lincoln Riley could make a run like that too for Oklahoma. Then again, maybe one of these guys will flame out like Rich Rodriguez.
He could play center field, with Fowler in right.
That would be a huge mistake. Again, the Cardinals have spent a lot of trade chips. The price paid for Ozuna and Goldschmidt was high. The talent surplus they had a few years ago is gone. There are a lot of older guys in the core group.
As Shildt would say, Ozuna has a presence in the lineup, When that's gone, the team suffers. Letting Ozuna walk would be painful, given the trade price paid to get him. The other factor here is the market: What's out there for Marcell? He is not in the star category, especially after his injury-marred season, and some pretty good outfielders have been disappointed in what the market bore for them. Perhaps the Cardinals could get him for a lot less than we imagined in the spring.
Yes, he could become a trade chip. This team does have a lot of infielders. Edman is making his case and Munoz offers upside. They can't field like Wong, but Kolten's hot-and-cold hitting has kept him from reaching his full potential. He's a good guy to have on your team if your top seven hitters are strong. Then he can tack on some offense as a No. 8 hitter and save runs with his range. But it's fair to say that he didn't become the true difference-maker the team hoped for.
The Dodgers went through a phase of trying to buy a title. That didn't work, so they did the moneyball thing, dumped salary and stressed player development. Meanwhile the Cardinals have held a steady course under DeWitt.