Illinois has looked like the better team so far this season. Will be fired up still from last year's thumping. Illinois has two bigs in Kofi and Giorgi who are playing at a very high level, and will eat Jeremiah Tilmon's lunch if he does not show up with his head on straight. Tilmon might have three fouls before he gets off the bus. Mizzou will have to defend, hit 3-pointers and get Good Tilmon to have a chance, and it has had a hard time putting all of those three together so far this season. I predict a close, perhaps ugly game. I do think Illinois takes this one.
Different scenarios. Stanton was not a free agent with an unlimited list of teams competing to secure his services with the biggest, longest contract. He was a trade chip whose contract, while large, was also known and cemented, which is a different deal. A set cost. Not an open competition with the game's biggest spenders. The Cardinals calculated what his price was worth in terms of salary and prospects offered, and then waited to find out if he would accept a trade to St. Louis. That's quite different than a free-agent bidding war for a proven star. Signing Scherzer, Cole, Rendon as free agents forces a team to decide, like the Yankees did, that it will win at all costs to get the player it must have. The Cardinals stop short of that, and have results they can point to that they believe justifies the restraint.
There's always going to be a wait-and-see about how results from any non-MLB league make the transition. This will be no different. I think Cardinals fans can feel good about the team's track record of nice additions from that league, the KBO. Former reliever Oh and current starter Mikolas both caught the Cardinals' attention there and convinced them they could work. Oh was a great value and Mikolas was great in his first season, though we will see how the extension he signed last spring plays out over time. Kim's slider is well thought of. We'll see what the Cardinals say at today's press conference, but I would imagine he will be a swingman type who could be a starter if Carlos Martinez can't, or a LH bullpen piece if Carlos can hold down that rotation spot.
That's why the number of years on this soon-to-be announced contract will be interesting. Just know it's a multi-year deal at this point, for a 31-year-old with 13 seasons beneath his belt.
Unless the Cardinals are specifically planning on using Kim as a reliever, I would think so, yes. We'll know more about his projected role this afternoon. His signing would fit the description Girsch described at one point during winter meetings -- a starter who could shift to bullpen if Martinez holds down the gig.
The Cardinals explained it like this at Winter Meetings -- the job they were pitching depended to some degree on the pitcher they were pitching. If you sign a Keuchel or Bumgarner, you are not signing them to relieve. That would have forced someone -- maybe Martinez, maybe someone else -- from the rotation. That the Cardinals are hopeful Martinez is an answer for the rotation again likely encouraged them to aim lower, toward starter/reliever, swimgman types on their list.
It's time to hear from them after this setback. Hope to have that answer at some point soon. I don't think they came this far to stop now, but they are also likely ticked that the state that had their back at one point is now backpedaling publicly. That's bad business.
I gotta run, folks. Thanks for a lively debate and discussion as always. Finish your holiday shopping! Talk soon.