Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thanks for joining us this week. Fire away.
Interesting first question. Jake will be 37 next May, and he hasn't pitched since 2016. I cannot imagine the Cardinals having much interest in Peavy. I would assume Peavy might have to settle for a minor-league contract with a an invitation to big league spring training camp from any team that signs him.
I saw that report as well. The Rays are reportedly considering a rebuild similar to what the White Sox started last year and what the Astros did from 2012 through 2014. I don't see how Piscotty would fit into that with a salary that jumps to $7,333,333 in 2019 and 2020 and $7,833,333 in 2021 and 2022. When thinking of Colome, you probably have to look at the price the Cubs paid for Wade Davis last winter when they gave up Jorge Soler. I would assume the Rays would want a top prospect or young major leaguer who is relatively cheap.
First of all, let's make clear that I do not encourage gambling. If I were to bet, however, I would bet on the Yankees or Astros to win the 2018 World Series. I don't bet, though.
Several teams have shown interest in Logan Morrison. If you consider that the Cardinals have asked Matt Carpenter to prepare for a super utility-type role, you can safely assume that the Cardinals are casting a wide net and will check in on every free agent first baseman. Morrison had a strong year with the Rays this past year, and he would definitely help upgrade the Cardinals' lineup in a deal that shouldn't break the bank. With all that said, keep in mind that reports out of Boston and Orange County, Calif., say the Red Sox and Angels have also checked in on Morrison.
At this point, I assume the Cardinals would not pick up another bat if they can acquire Stanton. As I noted earlier, the Rays aren't likely to take on an expensive contract in exchange for Colome. The Rays are reportedly looking to slash payroll, not add payroll.
Wainwright has said he expects to be ready to go in spring training. I would way until at least the first week or spring training to guess whether Wainwright can hit 90-mph again.
That is a very good question. Morrison had 38 home runs and 85 RBIs in a breakout eighth season in the majors this year. He had a 3.6 WAR this year, compared to a 1.4 WAR for Martinez. He is 11 months older than Martinez, who has a 1.6 career WAR similar at 29 years similar to the 1.6 WAR that Morrison had at this point last year at 29. In reality, though, the Cardinals aren't in a position to wait and see what Martinez can do. They need to upgrade the offense now. If they think Morrison can help anchor the lineup, they must pounce.
I would assume the Marlins are the most motivated to unload Stanton's contract. Before trading Yelich, I would assume they'd rather trade Ozuna, a Scott Boras client who might draw the most top prospects because he's eligible for arbitration the next two years and likely won't re-sign with a hometown discount when he's eligible for free agency. Boras clients aren't known for giving discounts. Based on reports out of the GM meetings, the Marlins aren't jumping at any deals. They're slow-playing all this while not even letting teams know if Stanton would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to their teams.
John Mozeliak is working several parallel tracks. They're too smart to just sit and wait on the Marlins. They are clearly talking to several other clubs, including the Rays, and free agents, according to multiple reports. It would be foolhardy to sit and wait around for Stanton. As much of an impact as Stanton would make, it would be wise to move in a different direction soon if the Marlins appear to want to drag this thing out.
I assume that Mozeliak was the best person to speak with Fowler because he's the one who signed him. He's the only one who knows exactly what the Cardinals promised him. If you read between the lines, which I love to do when trying to understand what people are saying and why, you also have to realize that Mozeliak is the one best suited to speak with Fowler in case Fowler said that he would rather the team try to trade him to a team that wants him in center. When you have a no-trade clause and your boss still sees a need to tell you the team isn't looking to trade you, well it makes sense to wonder if they're gauging your interest in a potential trade.
The ability to speak in Spanish helps me interview the players in their native language. Even the majority of Latin American players who speak English well will tell you they're more comfortable speaking in their native language. But ultimately it's all the same. You have to connect with all the players, whether they're born here or in Latin America.
I could not possibly answer this question because I haven't asked the Angels GM or even Mozeliak about this. Keep in mind, however, that the Cardinals have Paul DeJong at shortstop.
Mozeliak has made it clear that the Cardinals are looking for two relievers for the back end of the bullpen. Cozart definitely has to be on the Cardinals' radar, but I don't know that he qualifies as the middle-of-the-order bat that Mozeliak hopes to land this offseason. They need an impact bat. I expect them to shoot higher than Cozart, at least early on.
It was a very close call. Bellinger was the clear first choice, but second and third was close in my mind even though it's clear that some voters didn't even deem Bell or DeJong worthy of being on their ballots. Bellinger was the only NL rookie with more home runs, RBIs, extra-base hits and runs than Bell, who also set a record for most home runs by a rookie switch hitter with 26.
I have to disagree with you. Many people have mentioned Stanton's opt-out clause. It's definitely something teams must consider when deciding how many prospects to give up for him.
I don't think it was an about face as much as the Cardinals were hesitant to discuss the move with the media before telling Fowler in person. As you may remember from the end-of-season press conference, I made sure to ask Mozeliak and Matheny if they had made Fowler a promise that he would only play center field. I asked that question because it was clear to me that they couldn't afford to have him in center field if they have better options, which they do, on the roster already. I've covered baseball long enough to know that there are times when sources cannot give candid answers - or will not give candid answers - because they haven't informed a player. Trust me, though, the Cardinals saw the same need I did when evaluating their season.
I would assume the Cardinals would need to give up multiple top pitching prospects and perhaps Carson Kelly and Harrison Bader to land Archer and Colome in the same deal. It won't be cheap.
If you're asking me if any Cardinals officials complained, I would say no. They know what was going on in the clubhouse, and they clearly realized they need to clean everything up. As you can tell by their new coaching hires, they are committed to living up to the Cardinal Way. I promise you I didn't write that column without multiple sources addressing the issue.