Bobo's here. Ballplayers are lined up, so let's get rolling.
Yes, I believe Doug Armstrong will be busy. There could be lots of talent up for sale ahead of the deadline, including Bo Horvat and Timo Meier from this side of the league. So that could drive prices down somewhat. And most contenders face severe salary cap crunches. But Armstrong knows he's not bringing back a number of these players, so he will get what he can in
Teams have to wait to make big trades because teams looking to upgrade need to create salary cap space. There are a lot of ways to do that, but it's easier closer to the trade deadline that at the start of February,
This definitely could be a tough market to sell in, due to the reason you cite. And there are a lot of teams in rebuild or retooling mode I mentioned Horvat and Meier. Patrick Kane could be up for grabs. Or Captain Serious, Jonathan Toews if he decides not to be part of the rebuild in Chicago.
We all love the Chief. But with the team dead in the water, everybody and everything in the organization is under scrutiny right now.
The Cardinals see a six-man rotation. a mostly complete bullpen, a mostly set everyday lineup with interesting competition/upside in the outfield and DH. And with the prospect depth you mention, they will be able to make moves between now and the late summer -- as the team did last season while aggressively upgrading the starting rotation. The 2023 roster is not frozen.
I would keep Faulk off the trade list, since he provides pretty solid value at his price point. Schenn is a heart-and-soul guy, like Alexander Steen. And like Steen's contract, his deal will age badly. But Armstrong does value his leadership. Krug will certainly hear his name is trade speculation, unless he firmly vows to use his no-trade protection. Binnington has shown some positive signs at times this year, but he will need to play a LOT better to draw trade interest. I see Joel Hofer coming up next year and pushing him. Armstrong has declined to trade away assets to dump a salary, so I don't expect him to travel that path with Binnington. The best case scenario for the Blues is get better production from Binnington next season so he will be marketable down the road. Goaltending has been a mess league-wide this season, so at some point there might be a market for him.
The list starts with those two for sure. I'd give McDavid a slight edge over Makar, but it's ever so slight. Leon Draisaitl would be in the top five. Andrei Vasilevskiy and Igor Shesterkin might round out the top given, given all the goaltending woes in the NHL this season.
The Blues are happy to build around Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou. It's safe to say that most NHL GMs would have prioritized those two over Thompson -- who was slow to develop in Buffalo after he is slow to develop in St. Louis. Big forwards often need more time, but even given that axiom it's safe to say that Thompson ranks about the league's most pleasant surprises.
If teams could find the cap space today, the Blues would make trades today. As noted earlier, it gets a bit easy to build cap space closer to the deadline.
I don't see the Blues paying any sort of premium to keep a bottom six forward and third-pairing defender on a team that fell part. To make real change for next season and beyond, the Blues will have to create as much cap space as possible.
If they have a need that a rental player can fill, the Cardinals will make that trade -- as they did last season while bringing in Jose Quintana. As for Pederson, a lot would have to go wrong for them to rent another outfielder. But, yes, a lot can go wrong.
Actually, that's not bad to park in downtown Toronto for a big event.
My daughter and her family are in on the Chiefs in KC, so what makes them happy makes me happy now that I watch the NFL from quite a distance.
Bullish? I wouldn't go that far. Cautiously optimistic that will be somewhat more useful than last year? Sure. But expecting another season like his 2021 campaign seems wishful. O'Neill seemed utterly perplexed at the plate last season during those stretches between injuries.
OK, but what if DeJong actually hits this season? I'm not optimistic, like most people, but Matt Carpenter pulled it off a year ago. Also, the modern practice of hitters going into these performance labs is interesting. Even those suffering from DeJong Fatigue might appreciate a deeper dive into how these guys try to refresh or even reinvent themselves as hitter. The game has really changed that way in the past decade.
To many people, the definition of "defending Bill DeWitt Jr." is the refusal to lapse maintain the default position that Bill DeWitt Jr. is a bad owner. A lot of people spew the same stuff every week from that default position.
If there is a good deal to be made, he will make it. He has proven that he's not afraid to make changes.