I don't think that's the Cardinals' mindset. DeWitt and Mozeliak know from experience that the team with the best record in baseball doesn't always win the playoffs. They know that the key is to get into the playoffs and then hope to get hot at the right time, as the 2011 and 2006 World Series champions did. Most organizations go through dips. The Cardinals are committed to delivering competitive teams annually, and that's what they have delivered. They have a healthy farm system, and you have to believe they'll contend again next year.
At this point in his development, Carlos Martinez would be a No. 2 starter on most elite staffs. He's the Cardinals' best starter and thus their No. 1 starter this season. He may very well be the only Cardinal starter to pitch 200 innings. He has 58 more strikeouts than Lynn, who is second on the team in strikeouts. As Martinez develops and refines his complete game, he'll be one of the best aces in baseball. He needs to take pride in fielding his position and work his butt off next spring and this winter. Lynn is definitely one of the Cardinals' top two starters. He would probably be a solid No. 3 for a contending team. As you may have noticed at the trade deadline, opposing contending teams weren't clamoring to acquire him. I bet you the Cardinals would have received a strong package of prospects in return for Martinez at the trade deadline, though.
I'm sorry you didn't like the my sheep reference, but I think you validate my point. As I wrote earlier this year, the Cardinals have started to sell lovable mediocrity lately. Fans will continue to show up because they show up for the environment and tradition in the same way Cubs fans embraced their Lovable Losers for decades. There's nothing wrong with having that devout loyalty to the Cardinals. I understand it. I feel the same way about the Dodgers, my childhood baseball team. But as I point out, the Cardinals need to make some major additions to reward the fans who religiously pack Busch Stadium.
I would offer Stephen Piscotty and Jack Flaherty for Stanton and ask the Marlins to eat $50 million of that contract. I wouldn't acquire Ozuna or anybody else. If I'm the Cardinals, I go big or go home this winter. If you cannot get a big bat, land an elite reliever and try to get a front-line starting pitcher. I would run Tommy Pham back out in left field and Dexter Fowler in center field and give Piscotty the first shot at right field next season. Then I would try to use some of the outfield depth to improve the bullpen and rotation.
Thanks for reading. I like Golden Retrievers too.
The Cardinals announced earlier that Aledmys Diaz and Josh Lucas had been called up.
That is a very good question. Catchers: Molina and Kelly. Pitchers: Carlos Martinez, Adam Wainwright, Luke Weaver, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, Tyler Lyons, Matt Bowman, Ryan Sherriff, Brett Cecil, John Gant, Juan Nicasio (I bet they'll re-sign him). IF Matt Carpenter, Kolten Wong, Paul DeJong, Greg Garcia, Jose Martinez, Jedd Gyorko. OF Stanton, Fowler, Pham, Grichuk, Bader.
I don't know that you can expect a completely different roster, but you have to expect there will be a significant change. I would bet you would see lots of new faces in spring training. You have to believe that the Cardinals will trade one or two of their outfielders (Piscotty, Grichuk or Pham). They need some bullpen help. They could benefit from a new frontline starter.
I wouldn't trade Carlos Martinez. He's young and under a very team-friendly contract. Why would you give Lynn or Darvish a bigger contract than Martinez when Martinez is actually the better pitcher at this point and barely entering his prime? I'd keep Martinez and go after Lynn or Darvish, not both. I would use a prospect like Flaherty or Weaver to complete a trade for Stanton. As I've noted, I would go big with Stanton or stand pat. If you cannot get Stanton and you still want a slugger, sign J.D. Martinez in free agency and save the prospects for a front-line starter.
The Cardinals are real close. This team is on pace to 85 wins. If the bullpen hadn't been so bad for such long stretches, they would already be a 90-92 win team easily. The Cardinals have some good pitching and outfield depth. With the exception of Lance Lynn, they're not expected to lose any significant pieces from this team. They could use some of their depth to upgrade the bullpen, outfield or starting rotation. It should be a fun winter.
Stanton already has a longterm contract, and the union wouldn't let him take a pay cut. Theoretically the Cardinals could ask for a brief window to try to work out a contract extension with Machado. Tampering is prohibited.
The Cardinals held on to Lynn because they weren't just going to give him away and there wasn't that much interest in him to begin with. Keep in mind that it's Sept. 20 and the Cardinals are still in the wild-card chase and the NL Central race. They kept Lynn in hopes of making a playoff run. Why give him away when he can still help you win?
You assume that teams are rushing to acquire a guy like Wisdom. Although he had 31 home runs and 89 RBIs as a 26-year-old at Class AAA Memphis, he also struck out 149 times. That's a lot of strikeouts at Class AAA.
You have to remember that teams have a hard international free agent signing cap, so Otani isn't likely to receive more than a $8 million signing bonus because he's still under 25 years old. With such a level playing field, you have to believe that his desire and ability to pitch and hit at a high level will probably put NL teams in better spots. You also must consider that he might look at it differently and prefer the AL because he can hit as a DH. An AL team might actually be better because the AL has a DH. In the NL he would hit on the days he pitches but only as a pinch hitter when he doesn't start.
I have not seen the renovations in person yet. I will be there tonight, though. I'm looking forward to it. The hope was that the renovations would help St. Louis stay in contention for events. I don't think it's realistic to think the NBA is ever coming back here again, though.
I firmly believe the Cardinals will re-sing Nicasio. They'd be wise to re-sign him before he even becomes a free agent.
Born and raised in L.A., you might understand that I'm a Lakers fan. I've been a fan of the Lakers since I was a kid. I don't follow Team USA very much, though.
I think the Cardinals realize they need to make some major improvements. They vowed to become more athletic last offseason, and they did get a bit more athletic with Fowler and then more athletic throughout the year when they called up some of the younger guys. Tommy Pham is the most athletic left fielder the Cardinals have had in a while. They'll let some guys go and tweak the roster in hopes of getting better next season. I expect a new closer and a bat. But if they don't find a drastic improvement offensively, they'll be wise to seek a starting pitcher.
Fowler has always been great with me since I covered him with the Astros. I can only speak for myself. I haven't called for the Cardinals to trade him, but I have said that they would be wise to check in with him to see if there's a city where he would be open to accepting a move if the deal was in the Cardinals' best interest to help the club. I've never heard anybody say that he's unhappy. He's definitely not a distraction.
Bill DeWitt Jr. has earned plenty of equity with Cardinals fans because his ownership group has traditionally fielded a winning or contending team. The last two seasons have been tough on the Cardinals, but the future is bright. I sincerely believe that they'll be fine next year and in the new few years after that.
I don't see Voit and Martinez both being on the roster at the same time next year. I cannot believe that you would play Bader over Tommy Pham, the outfielder with the best WAR on the team by a long shot. I wonder if Gyorko might be a better utility man. I bet Diaz or Greg Garcia will be backup infielders.
The clubhouse chemistry won't be a problem. They fixed a lot of the issues this year and addressed them through a few players-only meetings, two of which occurred in Cincinnati. They have a lot of standup guys in that clubhouse, and it helps that Wainwright and Molina are still around to whip guys in line when necessary.
I don't think you'd have to give up many prospects for Stanton in part because his big contract limits the Marlins' leverage. If the Marlins put Stanton on the trade market, it would be because they want to get rid of his contract. Very few teams can take on his contract, so the Cardinals could catch a break there.
I cannot speak for the fans. With so much outfield depth now, Fowler is seen as a luxury by some now. I would only check with him about waiving his no-trade clause if it were a city he wanted to play in. When healthy, he has been a productive player with an OPS above .800. Grichuk and Piscotty might not have high trade value because of the numbers they've put up this year.
I'm excited to see the Blues' home preseason opener tonight at Scottrade Center. It should be a lot of fun.