Bobo's here. Let's get some ballplayers!
Sanford is playing himself onto the bubble for sure. He is young enough to grow into Top 9 role, but he can only get there with more consistent effort. Given his size, he is worth further time investment. But I see both Klim Kostin and Jordan Kyrou playing for the Blues this season if they stay healthy and keep working at San Antonio. As for Fabbri, he's done little on the ice since returning from his second major knee operation. Armstrong has made him available to other teams since the summer. Big offers didn't pour in for him. I don't mind this trade because the Blues get back a guy with some size and some penalty-killing ability. The PK need is big with Steen out for a month. Berube will let him take a few spins to see how he fits. That return beats, say, a fourth-round pick given the immediate need.
That's a reasonable assessment. While the Cardinals have produced a lot of players with their build-from-within approach, they have not produced impact hitters. That lead to the Ozuna and Goldschmidt trades and all the wishful thinking about Carpenter for his twilight years. If they stay the course, cycle out bad contract and avoid new deal that handcuff them, the Cardinals could do some more exciting things in a few years. Ah, but how to get from here to there?
I do believe he could use more rest. That said, he has some fundamental problems at the plate. He started very well this season, then struggled to make consistent contact for the rest of the season. His inability to even produce productive outs with runners in scoring position really hurt this offense.
It was going to take many more injuries for Robby Fabbri to earn regular time on this team. Again, the potential of Klim Kostin and Jordan Kyrou to play this year factored into this. In a sense, they had already passed him on the depth chart. Craig Berube has scratched him so many times that he had to move on. The Chief had no faith in him and Robby really wanted a fresh start elsewhere.
The Blues see Nathan Walker as a depth guy. If he comes up, it will be to play the 13th forward role and maybe fill in here and there. That's the role he was brought into the organization to fill. The Blues could have Bortuzzo fill in on with a 7-D, 11-FW alignment to kill penalties and maybe play some wing if somebody got a bad bowl of chowder. But, again, the real question is when does Kostin get his first look?
Bill DeWitt Jr. does not believe is hated here. His team just won another division title and reached another NLCS, things that few other franchise do with any any regularity. He can cite 12 straight winning seasons and he can appreciated six straight years with attendance of $3.4 million or more. Folks keep talking about all the simmering outrage among Cardinals fans, but from DeWitt's seat as chairman he sees none of it. Yes, Mozeliak has made a number of mistakes in recent years and he has drawn plenty of scrutiny at the P-D, STLToday.com and elsewhere because of it. But DeWitt has a hand in all big decisions, he likes Mozeliak and he prizes continuity.
I believe that is way too little for a player of Lindor's quality. You are correct to wonder if Lindor's mere two years of control will lower his cost, but I see that as too low. You might argue that such a package approximates what Miami got from the Cardinals for Ozuna. But in Lindor you're talking about a big-time offensive player at a hard-to-fill position. I would expect Cleveland to hold out for more. And since the Cardinals would have little chance to retain Lindor if he keeps playing the way he has, they have to think long and hard about offering up assets like Dylan Carlson, Dakota Hudson and Nolan Gorman -- guys I'd want if I ran the Indians.
Sure. Like I said, Sanford is on the bubble. Any time you've been around a while and you are in and out of the lineup and perhaps getting some looks by default, you are in some peril.
Word was that no, Ozuna will not take the one-year qualifying offer. And all the pro-Carpenter chatter from the Cardinals brass reminds us that the franchise is not eager to just eat his money and invest in somebody else to play the position. That is subject to change, of course, but I'm guessing the Cardinals at least give Matt the spring and perhaps up to the trade deadline. The fact Edman plays well over there helps them stay patient. Shildt deserves manager of the year, but he was sneaky good this season. I can see him getting overlook by some.
Good question. One, many elite NHL prospects arrive from major junior hockey. That is basically minor league hockey with tough schedules and tough travel. These guys grow up in a hurry. The U.S. developmental program in Michigan offers similar benefits. As for the physical side, many top prospects are also training with NHL-like regimens in the summer, right next to NHL players. So they are more physically mature than your typical 19- or 20-year-old. I'd say this similar to the NBA, where the top prospects play at a crazy high level in summer basketball, then take on a year of weight training in college before starring right away. Take away that year of college and many of the very top kids can jump right into the Association. Their summer ball is THAT good and many play for basketball academies disguised as high schools.
The Edmonton game was a step in that direction. Jake Allen had a good game, which was most reassuring, and the Blues were able to stay off of the high wire for a change. At some point they may need a bit more skill and by midseason Kyrou could providing some of that.
Fans may be frustrated, but if you hate an organization that is THIS successful -- compared to immediate rivals like Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and Kansas City -- then you probably have anger issues.
You stick with bad decisions because you are still paying those guys big dollars. Let's say you buy a new car that you end up hating and you do so with a five-year loan. You are immediately under water on that loan after the car's instant depreciation. Can you afford to take the loss while ditching this car to get a new one? Maybe you can strike a trade-in deal that lessens the hit and move on without having to wait three or four years. In baseball, it's hard to make a trade-in deal. Other teams aren't dying to absorb bad contracts. You can ditch them in the NHL because teams have to meet a salary floor, so a rebuilding team will take on a dead guy if you throw them a prospect and/or a high draft pick to help the retool. But there is no thing in MLB. Long story short, the Cardinals will stick with some guys because they owe them a boatload of money and aren't inclined to outspend their mistakes.
Baseball has changed. The days of horse trading are over, which explains why Whitey Herzog did not last long at all as an executive and why Walt Jocketty ultimately failed miserably in Cincinnati. Franchises have massive baseball operations departments. They generate mountains of data on everybody in the industry. Sometimes needs match up nicely and teams make deals, but it's much harder than ever before. Franchise guard their assets and adhere to carefully crafted long-term projections and plans. That said, Mozeliak has been more successful than most over the entirety of his career and that's reflected with 12 consecutive winning seasons and regular trips to postseason play.
It was expected to be soon. He wants to pitch and the Cardinals want him to pitch here. He accepted a creative contract last time and met the incentives. He is in a better bargaining spot now after staying healthy for a whole season.
Well, this team has minimal payroll flexibility and not a lot of surplus talent to trade. So that limits their movement more than anything. They hope their regulars play well because many of them have huge contracts. There is some growth potential, especially on the pitching side, but for the most part the guys getting paid need to do their job to keep this team in the hunt.
For the moment, they are selling Tommy Edman a good multi-position player who will be in the lineup a lot. That's fair, based on his developmental trajectory. He has put up numbers consistently while rising quickly. The bigger question is the outfield pile: What will the team have with Harrison Bader, Tyler O'Neill, Lane Thomas, Randy Arozarena and Dylan Carlson next year, in two years, in three years . . . that is the mystery.
He got 316 plate appearances as the leadoff hitter last season and hit .204 with a .310 on-base percentage. So, no, that is not the answer.
Like the DeWitt said, what happened in the NLCS is the beauty of short-series baseball. The 2004 Cardinals might have been the best squad in the DeWitt Era and it got skunked by the Red Sox in the World Series. Then 2006 team piddled much of the year and won it all as massive underdogs against the Detroit Tigers. DeWitt was pleased to win the division and reach the NLCS. As I noted earlier, they are many franchise where such achievements are rarely seen.