I would say the most likely of those would be to acquire Stanton via trade. I don't think the Cardinals will go after J.D. Martinez although he would fit into this lineup.
Do you know the difference between a major league salary and a minor-league one? Luis Perdomo of the Padres earned $507,000 last year. He's earning $544,000 this year. That's a million over two years. The Cardinals didn't think enough of him to protect him, so I bet you he's glad that the Padres ethically picked him in the Rule 5 draft and started his major-league clock. Remember, these guys can play winter ball if they think they need more innings or at-bats to continue their development.
The bullpen is definitely a possibility this year for Wainwright. I know he wants to be in the starting rotation at the beginning of next year, though. The bullpen option is in case that's the best way he can return from the disabled list and help this year.
Keep in mind that the Cardinals thought so highly about Piscotty they gave him a long-term contract to buy out some of his arbitration years this April. I wouldn't be surprised if either one of them is traded or if both. Also, it's important to recognize that there's a reason many baseball people tell you not to put too much weight into September and spring training stats. Grichuk and Piscotty both have plenty of potential.
I bet you it's a combination of lack of talented SEC defensive depth and a fast tempo offense. Mizzou isn't the only SEC team that may put too much pressure on the defense with its tempo on offense.
At this point, the Cardinals still see Alcantara as a potential starter. He is still young. Remember, he barely turned 22 last week. He's still refining his command. He could be nasty as a starter once he develops better control with a four-seam fastball. Keep in mind that he throws a 99-mph sinker. He's still will fill out and become stronger.
With all due respect, I covered Mike Hampton's season with the Mets and his free agent courtship in the winter of 2000. It's Mike Hampton, not Mike Stanton. You cannot fairly judge his deal with the Rockies because we all know pitchers struggle at Coors Field. Nobody in their right mind would have compared Sandoval to Giancarlo Stanton, ever! I made the Pujols comparison in a column a few weeks ago because I wanted to explain and give the Cardinals' ownership and front office a chance to explain why a deal for Stanton would be unrealistic if the Marlins didn't pick up some of Stanton's contract.
Thanks. I try to be candid with all my answers, but there are some things that I don't know. I hate when folks pretend to know something yet have no idea.
That is a very good question. I am 100 percent against selling high on Tommy Pham. I cannot tell you how badly the Cardinals need Tommy Pham in that clubhouse. He sets an example in a way that some of the other veterans don't. He hates to lose. He is a pro. He wants to compete and win. He's not there to enjoy the big league life or rest on his laurels. He's hungry in the same way Yadier Molina is hungry. He's a leader through actions and words the way Adam Wainwright is. A major reason why I wrote my column last night because I was asked by somebody on the inside to notice the difference between some veterans and Molina and Wainwright. Believe it or not, not all guys are all in. I know some of you guys complain about Matt Carpenter, but that man plays through everything because he cares about his team and his profession. There are very few guys like Molina, Wainwright and Carpenter in that room. Take it for what it's worth.
Everything is on the table in Miami, considering that many believe Derek Jeter's group will look to trim payroll and start a rebuild. I just think that the Cardinals need a once-a-generation bat in the middle of the order. I wouldn't give up farm system depth for a guy who isn't much better than what you already have in the majors.
I think the Astros will reach the American League Championship Series. I would never bet against them, but at this point you have to think that the Indians are the team to beat in the American League.
As I've stated often, you can never have enough starting pitching. Jack Flaherty and Sandy Alcantara can probably benefit from more minor-league development next season.
The Cardinals need to find a true middle-of-the-order bat this offseason and perhaps a closer. If they miss the playoffs, they'll know they have to build a better roster and fix some of the clubhouse dynamics. They need more guys like Molina and Wainwright and Pham and Lynn.
I haven't discussed this issue with Dexter, but I would assume that he would consider any options. He's a bright guy who understands this is a business. I would bet he would approve a trade that would be a good business deal for him and his family.
I don't know if that's what it would take, but I assume that the Cardinals could cruise into the playoffs if they can win seven of their 10 remaining games against the Cardinals as long as that means that it 2 of 3 against the Brewers and 5 of seven against the Cubs. It cannot be 3-0 against the Brewers and 4-3 against the Cubs.
I don't know that a return to the starting rotation this season is realistic at this point in the season, considering he has been on the disabled list almost a month. He's probably likely to return and pitch out of the bullpen. His next step will be a bullpen session or live BP on Thursday, so I don't know if he'll need another bullpen before coming off the disabled list.
I agree that the Cardinals need to make multiple additions this season, beginning with the middle of the batting order. They have plenty of outfield depth, and they need to flip that depth into help in the rotation, bullpen or other positions. They'll need a closer as well. I would argue that it would be wise to add front-line starting pitcher too.
Whether the Cardinals make the playoffs or not, they know they have a busy offseason ahead this year. They need to improve several aspects of the roster. They'll need a closer and they'll need to thin out some of that outfield depth.
I stand by my friend Jemele Hill. That's all I will say about that.