Good afternoon. Thanks for joining this week's live chat. I hope you're doing well. Feel free to fire away.
I was very grateful. To be honest, I've been a bit paralyzed this week. The trade news and subsequent press conference kicked my butt back into gear. With what is going on in my old hometown, especially in the Kingwood area that has been ravaged since Monday, it's been tough to stay away from all the misery. If you pray, please pray for all the folks in Houston and the surrounding suburbs. Yesterday alone about a dozen dear family friends had to be rescued by vote from their home. Going back to your question, the Cardinals have not spoken to Lance Lynn about an extension. They could definitely use that money on him or even clear up some budget for another move. Don't rule them out of the Stanton sweepstakes if the Marlins pick up some of that contract, which they likely would.
You make some good points. I would argue that it's much easier to stick with a lineup when everybody is clicking. Can you really say that about the 2017 Cardinals. Kolten Wong has been steady and Tommy Pham has been strong since he was called up. Gyorko was hot until July, and Carpenter has been steady of late and Molina has been on fire lately. But the other pieces of the lineup have been inconsistent. Consider Dexter Fowler's poor start, which prompted Matheny to smartly move Carpenter back to the leadoff spot. Consider the rough start by Aledmys Diaz. Consider Piscotty's rough year. Some of the fundamental issues are more on the players than the manager. Every outfielder in the big leagues should know what base to hit. The same should be said for infielders moving into the right position to be a cut-off man.
We don't know how much of Leake's salary the Cardinals have eaten, but it's a definite break not to have his full salary hanging over the payroll. I have to believe the Cardinals will not tender Rosenthal a contract next year. They can use that savings on a position player's salary. I would expect the rotation to be Carlos Martinez, Adam Wainwright, Luke Weaver, Michael Wacha and either Jack Flaherty, Alex Reyes or perhaps even a veteran free agent or trade acquisition.
John Mozeliak wouldn't say which starter will take Leake's place, but he definitely hinted at the possibility of Flaherty, Dakota Hudson and Sandy Alcantara being close to ready to help the team either at September call-ups or early next year.
Your theory makes sense, but you also have to consider that a struggling franchise like the Marlins might want to dump a salary that could account for 30 percent of their payroll if not more. Very few teams in the majors can absorb such a contract and put together a payroll big enough to compete, and the small-market Marlins are not one of them. As the Astros did when Jim Crane was preparing to buy the team from Drayton McLane and after he bought it, the Marlins might unload salaries to reset the course of the franchise.
Lynn is OK with the media. He's candid and a great quote, which is the most important thing. He'll fire away from short answers often, but you always know you'll get a candid answer instead of a canned one. I think he's respected by teammates. He's intense, but most starters are when they only have one chance to perform every fifth day.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cardinals will send the Mariners about $17 million of the $55 remaining on Leake's deal. They got away from $38 million of a bad deal. That sounds like a win to me.
Actually, I would argue that they definitely have a chance to reach the playoffs. Although I disagree with you on that point, I would agree that they should play the younger players more. I bet you Magneuris Sierra and Harrison Bader will give the team a boost. I also expect the young arms that come up will bolster the team in the rotation and bullpen. You cannot teach the 101-mph fastball that Sandy Alcantara will bring to the table. Jack Flaherty has done more than enough to deserve a shot in the majors.
There is something to be said for your way of thinking, but I wouldn't say the Cubs have exactly pulled away from the Cardinals. The fact remains that Flaherty will likely enter spring training in the running for the fifth starter's spot. He has done everything necessary to deserve a shot, and the Cardinals need a starter. If he gives them the best shot to still contend this year, they should bring him up. I'd call him up to start and Sandy Alcantara to pitch out of the bullpen. I'd piggyback start them both too if that was an option. Don't give up on the Cardinals yet, my friend.
There are 39 players on the 40-man roster, so there is a chance. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets the start, but John Mozeliak wasn't ready to say who would be called up yet.
There are many reasons. MLB tried to include an international draft in the recent collective bargaining agreement, but Carlos Beltran and dozens of other star Latino major leaguers vehemently disagreed with an international draft. Puerto Ricans, who are U.S. citizens, are eligible for the draft. But all other international players are amateur free agents.
Thank you. I wouldn't be surprised if the Cardinals made another deal, but I don't expect one. At this point, I get the sense that they want to see what they can count on this year. With the Leake trade, they kickstarted their much needed roster changeover.
I wouldn't be able to gauge that. He didn't seem unhappy here, but it's important to realize that the media only sees a small fraction of what goes on in the clubhouse. We hardly even see the players in the clubhouse.
Unless the Cardinals can get a front-line starter via trade, and I mean someone of Justin Verlander's level, I wouldn't go out and add a free agent veteran. I'd rather give those innings to young studs such as Alex Reyes, Jack Flaherty, Sandy Alcantara and Dakota Hudson. I'm sure they'll make a run at Lance Lynn, who has been one of the Cardinals' best starters all year. But if you cannot re-sign Lynn or acquire a front-end starter, might as well go with the young studs.
I assume one or two of those outfielders will be elsewhere next year. The Cardinals might considering selling high on Tommy Pham, who is arguably the most valuable of those players considering he's about to hit his peak and he's relatively inexpensive. Fowler is going nowhere. Martinez might be a better option as a designated hitter in the American League or a first baseman elsewhere. Piscotty might benefit from the old change of scenery. Whatever the case, the Cardinals have plenty of quality outfield depth.
If you're asking if I think the Cardinals are less of a contender now that Leake has been traded, I would argue that they're better off with him.
I'm always hesitant to say how a guy fits into the clubhouse. I'm building strong working relationships with guys in that clubhouse, and none of them ever said Leake didn't fit in. That's all I can go by. I don't think Lynn's comments were out of line or surprising. He's candid and speaks from the heart. I'm sure all the Cardinals players would like to see a boost to the roster. He wants an extension, so I'm sure it bothers him that they haven't given him an extension.