Bobo's here and we've got some ballplayers. Happy ballplayers, we bet, after the blockbuster Nolan Arenado trade. So let's go!
I don't believe the Blues have to protect Mikkola because first- and second-year NHL players are exempt from the expansion draft. Faulk was an obvious guy to expose due to his contract . . . and then he morphed into a strong all-round player. Now he has big value, especially as harder-to-find righthanded shooter.
The trouble with Carpenter is he's a terrilbe fielder. Arenado and Goldschmmidt will play almost every game on the corners if they are healthy, so there's not much for Matt to do unless the players reverse course and want the universal DH. As for the leadoff spot, I have no good ideas on that. Neither do the Cardinals at this point, so I expect Mozeliak and Co. to keep an eye on the outfield market. Like you say, expecting Edman to hold up there seems unrealistic.
The club loved Wong. The club needed the payroll space, period, so it let him walk. Nobody was going to take much Dexter Fowler money. Nobody wanted Matt Carpenter's money either. And the Cardinals took the money and invested it in Nolan Arenado, filling big offensive and fielding needs while finding a everyday slot for the useful Tommy Edman playing for minimum dollars. All of that made total sense.
I've addressed that topic quite a bit. We could see a defensive corps featuring Mikkola, Bortuzzo, Scandella and Parayko all playing in the same lineup. That would give the team four rangy defensemen plus the suddenly sturdier Faulk. That would create a mix that would Berube more comfortable both with his penalty-killing and with his 5-on-5 play.
The Olympics are marketing gold for a league still building its brand, both in North America and abroad. Coming back from the pandemic, the NHL faces a years-long rebuild of its business. The high-profile Olympics should help that process.
No. 91 has a no-trade clause but not a no-movement clause, so I suppose that is possible. No offense to Sammy Blais, but I don't see this team pulling a muscles trying to keep him out of the draft. And Sanford needs to become more consistent to earn protection -- and the bigger money that he will command as he gets deeper into his career.
The Cardinals knew they would eat Fowler and Carpenter money, which is why they let Wong go and why they needed some financial relief from Colorado to get through the 2021 season in one economic piece. I didn't think the Rockies would go that far, which is just of the reasons I kept downplaying the Arenado trade chatter.
The division-only format does make rescheduling tougher. There's no much that be done with the (Great White) North Division due to border-crossing restrictions, but the NHL might have break down divisional barriers to get teams anywhere near 56 games played this year.
There have been a few queries about that. No amount of telling people that Fowler's money was dead money could make that point stick.
I don't see the outfield logjam Cardinals management speaks of. There's not one established big league hitter in that pile. So if this team could find a veteran outfielder with leadoff skills at a good price point, that would make sense. Not sure such a person exists via trade or free agency.
The Blues must like what they see. Questions that arose during bubble hockey are being answered. Binnnington is very confident, but at some point his camp might want to grab the security if the Blues are willing to pay him the going rate for Top 10 starters.
I am glad to be wrong about the Arenado trade because like I said last week, such a deal would make the Cardinals more interesting. And now they are more interesting.
At $7.5 million for this year and next Peralta as expensive as Fowler. But the Cardinals are still paying Fowler almost his entire salary, so I'm not sure that chasing Peralta would bee "opportunistic" as Mozeliak says. Now, if they can dump some other salary . . .
Good news: He is gathering steam among the voters. Bad news: There are some no-doubters becoming eligible for the Hall of Fame in the years to come. That crowding could hurt him. Also, the electorate has become less predictable with newer voters using different criteria for their selections. I believe the old school ball writers would vote Scott in. But in this climate I don't know.
Given the flat salary cap for the next few years, that will be a strain. For me a higher priority will be keeping Jaden Schwartz. Jaden is a different type of winger, but one this team needs. And don't forget that Jordan Binnington will get more money in his next deal.
I guess the easy answer is that a LOT of running backs have put up numbers in the game. And the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection process is tricky. A player needs strong advocates within the selection committee to make his case. One would think the late-career success in New York and the postseason glory would help him. But no. So, yes, he's one of those overlooked players. Other Gridbirds have reached the Hall, so I can't blame his time in the STL for that.
I was shocked as well, as regular chat readers know. Sure, there was lots of hopeful chatter about Arenado in the media. But we had been there before. And knowing Bill DeWitt Jr.'s history added to my pessimism. Like I said last week, I would be happy to be wrong about the trade. And I was: happy and wrong.