Greetings, chatters. What a week, huh? The Cardinals went from hibernating to surpassing expectations and they don't seem to be done yet. Mizzou and Illini are ranked sixth and tenth. The Billikens rebounded in a major way. The Blues? They've got Coyote problems. Let's roll.
Finding a little more power for the Cardinals makes a lot of sense, but this trade specifically doesn't seem all that realistic to me for a few reasons. One, the latest we are hearing from the league regarding this year's safety protocols agreed upon between players and owners is that a universal DH will not be included. That means one less spot for an offense-only upgrade, and one less spot for the Cardinals to get their outfielders at-bats if they do add at that position. Second is the Cardinals seem genuinely concerned about shipping out one of their young outfielders too soon and having him blossom somewhere else in a way that could have happened here, just with a little more patience. Third would be the inter-division trading that is pretty rare these days. Teams usually tend to avoid it. Especially with O'Neill, I think if the Cardinals are going to trade him, it will be to a team outside of the division.
They're still looking at at least one starting pitcher, Highland native Jake Odorizzi,who is a free agent, and have shown some interest in bulking up their middle infield depth a bit, but that would likely not be a major name. And if the DH really is going to be held off -- that could change -- then Carpenter can serve as some middle-infield depth as well. Not shortstop. But certainly second. Edman could play some short if needed. Edmundo Sosa as well. But another name in that mix would not hurt.
It's up there in terms of combination of financial commitment and performance, sure. There have certainly been wore free-agent performers, like Brett Cecil, one of those reliever whiffs you mentioned. I think the biggest problem with Fowler was not his fault, but the situation he entered in general. The Cardinals kind of oversold the player he was, and fans had perhaps unfair expectations. The other element was the fact the Cardinals had multiple outfield prospects knocking on the door of the majors, ready to prove they could be better than Fowler. That was not the case in his first season, but it was usually the case after. Internal options would have been just as good if not better. But, hindsight is a dangerous thing. If the Cardinals would have pledged a turn toward unproven internal options instead of singing Fowler, most would not have approved of that. He was coming off an All-Star season. He was supposed to steal some of the Cubs' thunder. And he did, to some degree. The Cubs have not had a reliable leadoff option since he left. It was a regrettable contract. There have certainly been worse in baseball. The Cardinals just don't have all that many on their ledger. Surprisingly few, compared to the good.
He got four years. That's probably more than I would have signed off on. A $65 million payday during pandemic uncertainty is a pretty good deal, all things considered. Shows the Braves are betting on the DH arriving in the NL in 2022 at the latest, too, because Ozuna's outfield defense is not good and not going to age well.
If the league was waiting on the Super Bowl to get off the main stage, now would be a good time to send out some things to get excited about. I agree with you there. Other than the league having a small staff and doing some small moves that suggest a relaunch is coming, there have been no official announcements of plans or a return date, specifically. It's hard to say what would have happened long-term with Vince McMahon running the show, but the pandemic certainly threw a wrench in things. I do think the league would have gotten through at least a couple of seasons, based on how well things were going in the return season.
Indeed. Jacob Kirn's reporting seems to suggest the different moments that are important to both sides. For the Rams, the 2013 Dome arbitration is big. For St. Louis, Kroenke's motives as he built stake in the team are important, along with the later plans to pivot to a riverfront stadium that never gained traction. Depositions completed, per the report, include NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Rams COO Kevin Demoff and Rams owner Stan Kroenke.
I'd be on board with Carlson being a little more aggressive no matter where he hits. The Cardinals not a free-swinging team under Jeff Albert, and I don't see a massive change coming, but Carlson is an example of a player who could benefit from being a little less patient. For a young player, he doesn't get a lot of strikes. Last season Carlson only saw 42.1 percent of pitches inside the strike zone, yet he swung at just 59.4 percent of those pitches that were inside of the strike zone. On first pitches, he saw a strike 57.1 percent of the time. Seems like he could benefit from letting it rip a little more often on first pitches.
That's not a premier position. Adding some depth there should be relatively easy via minor trade or grabbing someone who is awaiting a job as free agent. It won't be a blockbuster deal if it happens.
Some argue Russell is the basketball GOAT. That's why these debates are both impossible to answer definitively and fun as heck. I'm no Brady fan, but hard to argue against him being the greatest football player ever. But please, spare me the talk about him being the greatest American athlete ever. He's in that room, but that's a big, big room.
That Pederson report is interesting. I think it was Greg Amsinger who mentioned it on MLB Network, but I haven't heard or read it anywhere else. It came before the Arenado trade, and before the Fowler trade, and the only thing Mozeliak is saying is that he's still interested in seeing what is out there. We know the Cardinals are shopping for starting pitching, specifically with some interest in Odorizzi, but could they be doing outfield browsing as well? I suppose. It would be a pivot from what they indicated after the Fowler trade, though. That move was made with the idea to free up more time for current outfielders, not clear a space for an outside one. If the Cardinals are determined to add a little more pop to their lineup, and they are convinced the DH is not going to arrive, an outfield addition of some kind might be the only way. A Fowler/Bader platoon might have worked nicely. Bader has crushed lefties pretty consistently, so he could pair up with anyone who hammers righties. Problem would be you're removing his defense in games started by righties, which most are. It's hard to read too deep into the splits of Lane Thomas and Justin Williams. They have not played enough at the major league level. Neither has screamed splits-hitter off their minor league resume. As for O'Neill, he has shown more power (.445 SLG compared to .329) against righties than lefties. Small sample sizes, still, but maybe there's something with him and Bader there?
I'm not sure why he would draw a red-flag conclusion, considering Fowler dropped his no-trade to join a team that has been to the playoffs one time since 2010. A veteran who has become a league-average player, at best, with problems staying healthy deciding to move to a less competitive environment for more guaranteed playing time should not be a bad sign to a guy who says he's desperate to win.
Carve out some room for Jackie Joyner-Kersee
As discussed below, PECOTA seems to underrate defense and pitching, in my opinion. Especially pitching depth. Cards have a lot of arms. I don't think there's any way Cards finish third in division, unless injuries happen.
Optimistic bunch here today. I've got no reason to think Arenado opts out. That's my stance until he gives me one. If he starts barking about the Cardinals' trade-deadline decisions or something, I'll adjust my stance. Until then I'm going to believe him when he says he came here to stay here.
31-9. Refs did not decide the game.