Good afternoon. Thank you very much for attending this week's live chat. I hope you all had a great Halloween. Fire away.
I cannot speak for the local media or the national media. I can only tell you that Matheny is a decent manager. When he has had talented teams, he's led the Cardinals to the playoffs. When he has had inferior talent on the roster, they have missed the playoffs for two consecutive seasons. I would say that no manager in baseball would have led the Cardinals to the playoffs if you consider all the relievers who failed to live up to expectations and the position players who struggled.
Gurriel's gesture was wrong. He deserved to be punished. Commissioner Rob Manfred was in a difficult position, considering the hypocrisy of suspended a player for a racially insensitive gesture just one year after the Cleveland Indians' fans were often shown in the stands wearing the racist and stereotypical Chief Wahoo logo. Hopefully, the five-game suspension Manfred handed down to Gurriel means that he's also going to push the Indians to get rid of that racist logo. I don't know what it is about Houston and the Dodgers that brings out ignorant racial storylines. Few people noted that 30 years ago, Dodgers vice president/general manager Al Campanis was in Houston to open the season against the Astros when he made the comments that ended his career. In April 1987 Campanis told ABC's Nightline that blacks "may not have some of the necessities to be a field manager or general manager." As we all know now, the Dodgers fired Campanis for his racist comments. Considering that Gurriel has played in Japan and knew that it's a tremendous insult to call a Japanese player "Chinese" he clearly knew he was making an offensive gesture and slur when he referred to Darvish as "chinito" Chinese boy. Hopefully he'll learn from this mistake.
The Astros and Dodgers definitely are tremendously more talented than the Cardinals. Those lineups are stacked. If Tommy Pham can duplicate his numbers, he has to be considered an impact bat. The Cardinals need another one. The Astros' bullpen, however, is reminiscent of the Cardinals', and that's not a compliment.
If healthy, Wainwright might be able to give the Cardinals at least 25 starts.
I don't think the Cardinals will trade Matt Carpenter or find a team that would be willing to give them equal value, so you probably should give up on that hope.
I answer this question every week multiple times, so I'll try to remain consistent and say the Cardinals probably won't have to give up too much unless the Marlins agree to eat $50 million or so from the remaining portion of Stanton's contract. There aren't many teams that can absorb Stanton's contract, so that hurts the Marlins' trade leverage. Also, keep in mind that there's no guarantee Stanton will agree to a trade to St. Louis. If he agrees and the Marlins eat a large chunk of his contract, I can imagine the Cardinals giving up a top prospect, a young major-leaguer and perhaps another one of the franchise's Top 10 prospects.
Rest assured teams consider everything.
John Mozeliak has already stated that he doesn't believe in untouchables. So you can rest assured that the Cardinals are open to any ways of upgrading the team, but I just don't see a team giving the Cardinals equal value for Carpenter.
I assume that it's unrealistic to expect the Cardinals to land more than one impact bat this winter.
I would bet that the Cardinals' wish list has an impact bat as the top priority, a closer second, and a third reliever next. A starting pitcher would probably be at the end of the wish list.
I promise you that Bill DeWitt Jr. and John Mozeliak and Michael Girsch would disagree with your theory. There is nothing affordable about Stanton's deal.
Dave Roberts will have a quick hook tonight at the first sign of trouble. I would assume that Darvish will be fired up after an embarrassing performance in Game 3, not to mention Yuli Gurriel's racist gesture. Tonight may also define Clayton Kershaw's legacy. The Astros' offense is strong, but they have been silenced in the postseason. The Astros must hope McCullers can go deep and that Keuchel can relieve because their bullpen is a mess.
If Derek Jeter's group wants to get to a $ 90 million payroll, they surely will try to trade Stanton. They haven't ruled out listening to offers for Yelich or Ozuna, but Stanton is clearly the big contract they want to unload.
A year ago, I wrote a column showing how big the gap was between the Cubs and Cardinals. The same column can be written this year about the gap between the Cardinals and the Dodgers and Astros, but the Cardinals' will definitely cut some of that gap if they landed Giancarlo Stanton, an elite closer and another quality reliever.
All I can tell you is that I don't expect the Cardinals to trade Matt Carpenter.
I have strong working relationships with folks from both teams. I'm just cheering for a great game. I will tell you, however, that the Dodgers are my hometown team and the team I followed and loved as a child.
Don't rule out anything. What we know now is that Bill DeWitt Jr. has noted that contracts similar to the one Stanton signed have traditionally proved to be bad for the teams. The Pujols deal is an example that DeWitt has used.
If the Cardinals cannot get Donaldson or Stanton, they might be wise to upgrade the bullpen and wait to make a splash when the big names come on the free agent market after the 2018 season. The free agent market isn't very good this winter.
This is a very good question. I must defer to the brilliant Jeff Gordon on this question. He'll surely have a more thorough answer if you ask him next Friday.
The Cardinals already have plenty of outfield depth. They don't need Yelich and Stanton. Keep in mind that they also have Tommy Pham, who is a tremendous bargain, and Dexter Fowler set to return next year.