The contract is meaningless. If Tom Stillman loses faith in Armstrong, then he's gone at that point. Armstrong got the Blues to their first Final Four in 15 years, then started retooling with youth. Winning a playoff round in a transition year was an accomplishment. Now the build-up continues with a new nucleus. We'll see what this team really has in guys like Fabbri, Edmundson, Barbashev and Sanford. If those guys are players, then this team could be positioned to make some deep runs in another year or two. If not, then you will probably get tour new GM.
Not Trea Turner, which would be amazing. Looking at their minor leagues, potential corner outfield power hitter Juan Soto would look good in the long-term mix.
No, the Cubs will win the division. If they have to make five trades to win, they will make five trades.
You look at the Simmons package -- under contract with fairly friendly terms, prime age, running at a 2.9 WAR right now . . . hard trade to make.
I'd take Molina behind the plate if I want to win another title, especially with the pitching staff slipping. I think they would take Fowler back too, rather than rotate guys in CF. I'm guessing Maddon might take his chances with Wong, too. But, sure, that is a much better team. Hence the World Championship.
Pham has an OK arm, but not the most accurate as we've seen. Piscotty has enough arm to play right field, but it's been Mishap City for him out there this year. But I do expect him to grow into that role for the long haul.
And yet Les Snead kept his job, as did Kevin Demoff. That's classic Stan Kroenke, which explains why the Avalanche might be the NHL's worst-run franchise and the Nuggets are a fringe playoff threat at best.
As much as I promote the whole "pay Vegas to take him" thing, I have no idea if that has any traction. Other teams are making similar pitches. I can't put odds on that. I don't see a buyout this summer. Maybe next summer, if he sticks around and struggles again.
For Sanford and Barbashev, yes. This team is up against the cap and needs some guys playing on first contracts. I see a young D-man making a push too. Walman is the guy to watch. Schmaltz, being further in the process, could stick as a No. 7 if the team decides he has reached his ceiling.
Well, they've won a lot of games for a lot of years and filled the stadium night after night. That said, Matheny is on the spot.
I'd call up Sierra to play center field, moving Fowler to left field, and I'd call up Luke Weaver and add him to the bullpen. As for an external move . . . well, if this team is still dawdling, it would be some sort of trade to add a young player that fits into a new long-term nucleus.
No, the Blues will lose just one player. The only tough call is the last forward spot -- and I would keep Ryan Reaves over David Perron. Bouwmeester logs big minutes with tough matchups, defensive zone starts and penalty killing. Those are hard minutes to replace. I believe the Blues are committed to him playing out his contract and developing young D-men (Parayko, Edmundson, Walman, Dunn, perhaps Schmaltz) around him the next two years.
Teams with anybody of value will ask for Magneuris Sierra, Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly and Jack Flaherty, just to name the top few. Of course, these same guys could make the Cardinals better in the next few years. Perhaps you trade Kelly, if you believe Molina will hold up as a 125-game catcher through the end of his deal. Perhaps you move Flaherty or Weaver, given all the depth at pitcher. But right now I don't see another Scott Rolen or Jim Edmonds trade to be made.
Don't believe there is a Plan B.
Should the Cardinals start over the with the big league field staff, it would be fascinating to see what, if any, role Oquendo may have in that. He fills a valuable role for the organization now but it had to sting when he didn't get his chance to manage here. And it's not like he's 73 years old.
Union Station is booming?
Impossible to tell now, of course, but at least they made a play for some high-ceiling offense. Worth a shot under the circumstances. And the guys singing under their slot value will at least fill organizational roles and help the machinery run.
Not giving five-word answers.
That is a thought. To shake the team up, you have to change the nucleus. Given his age and the time left on his deal, the time might be right . . . if it comes to that.
The league was going to adjust to him. It did. So can he, like Piscotty, keep adjusting? Teams build a strong case against every opposing hitter -- where to put fielders, what pitches to throw, which locations to hit -- and force hitters to adapt. Piscotty has his deal, so he has time to adapt. Diaz is on the clock.