I can't imagine Walt being at risk of a six-season stretch of not significantly improving the team at the trade deadline. I'd agree with you.
If the Cardinals trade away Wainwright and Molina, I don't think they would be coming back. They could be free agents looking for the best team to tack on with and win. Pretty rare to see guys shipped out as rentals and then return on a new deal. Has it happened? Yes. But consider the pride those two guys have, and how they might process the Cardinals dealing them away in a season that was supposed to be their (maybe) one last ride.
The Marlins and the Pirates are the only two National League teams averaging fewer runs per game than the Cardinals' 4.39 during Jeff Albert's tenure as the team's hitting coach. The Cardinals rank in the NL's bottom five in average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage during that span. That's not cherry picking. That's a body of work that is approaching three seasons. Hard to argue with your conclusion.
Maybe I'm crazy but I don't quite trust the Dodgers. The Trevor Bauer situation is a problem. The Dodgers have a losing record against winning teams.
A do-everything defender who can get on base at a high clip and bring power? You bet. I think he's been under-appreciated because he bounces around so much but he's arguably been the Dodgers' MVP in 2021. He's almost 31, so the age question is a fair one, but the Cardinals have already banked pretty big on the right guys beating that trend. The commitments to Goldschmidt and Arenado are significant and they are why talks of a big pivot toward youth/future are not going to be realistic -- unless Arenado opts out.
If you're OK with trading him at an all-time low, perhaps. He's Andrelton Simmons at the plate this season. Not helping his value much.
Tony La Russa used to talk about this with Rick Ankiel, the outfield version. Ankiel would risk life and limb to get a fly ball or make a slide. TLR talked to him about finding a balance. Playing aggressively as you can, with a sense of trying to stay on the field too. It's a fine line and you would rather see a younger player need to be pulled back instead of pushed forward. I think some of that is true with O'Neill. Again, this latest injury is just bad luck, but now that he's answered questions about his swing and added the bat the Cardinals swore was coming to the defense we saw last season, the next step will be maximizing his time on the field. He plays hard and that won't change, but I do think he can play a bit smarter, too. The Cardinals seem committed, and it's easy to see why, to making O'Neill a staple of the lineup moving forward. Ideally they would have a fifth outfielder who could step in and be serviceable if he or another starting outfielder is out. This season has not produced one.
He was traded for Tyler O'Neill. This is the first season where it hasn't looked so bad.
I agree. Teams almost refuse to do anything before the deadlines now. They should all be moved up.
I covered Dorial Green-Beckham's commitment ceremony. That was a very big deal. People forget. But I do think this is a unique time, for a few reasons. Drinkwitz has it rolling, the NIL discussion is giving fans/boosters/supporters a chance to get in on the action and literally put their money where their mouth is when they say they want to help the team, and the SEC factor is finally starting to kick in for Tiger fans. In the SEC, recruiting is the offseason. Fans track which players are coming in for visits, which committed players are visiting elsewhere, etc. The Pinkel era downplayed recruiting mostly unless it was the big in-state additions, and Gary was notorious for dismissing rankings. Drinkwitz is more of a prototypical SEC coach. He leans into it and fans the flames with social media. And fans are responding. There's some risk there. I saw Butch Jones go down in the same flames he fanned a Tennessee when his big-splash classes didn't amount to much on the field. The wins are all that matters in the end, but better talent should mean more wins, and Drinkwitz is improving the talent level of the team if he gets all of these verbal commits to the scholarship paper finish line.
He's about to become the first post-expansion player to win 3 Cups in a row while playing for two different teams. I agree that it's worth considering. His minutes have gone down and he's not the player he once was, but he comes up big in big moments still, has the net-front presence and enforcer gene and there isn't a person in Tampa or STL that won't say he was important to winning and winning big. The team he's on tends to make the playoffs and make noise there. I don't think it's a coincidence. I'd love to see him back somehow. Enjoy the parade!
The need for starting pitching help and the Cardinals' ability to win when they get decent starts, even despite lack of offense often, have been crystal clear for some time now.
The Cardinals this offseason committed their biggest contract ever to a third baseman known for fire. He's got plenty. What they need is starting pitching help and on-base percentage for the lineup, whether it comes in a salty or sweeet variety.
It has been suggested that Nogowski was not too happy to be back in Memphis. If that agitation led to him being moved to the Pirates, where he's already playing regularly, I'd say he was right to be hot. Good for him. Still not sure why Cards were so resistant to give him some sort of shot in the outfield.
The shortstop future is pretty murky. I agree that I don't see the Cardinals adding another club record contract for an infielder with Goldschmidt and Arenado already on the books, and that's what it would take to be a real player in the free-agent shortstop migration this offseason. If betting today, I'd bet DeJong gets another shot next season. Trading him now would be trading him at his lowest. Maybe Mozeliak has a trick up his sleeve at the deadline, but that's my guess as of today.