Good afternoon. I hope you're all having a great day. Here's hoping you all are poised for a wonderful Christmas and New Year's. Fire away.
Archer and Colome would definitely improve the Cardinals, individually or as a duo. The Rays officially began their firesale in earnest today by trading Evan Longoria to the Giants. John Mozeliak has done a real good job of restocking the farm system. That depth paid off when the Cardinals could flip prospects for Marcell Ozuna. The farm system remains healthy, but I'd argue that it might be too costly to acquire both Colome and Archer.
I don't think that's necessarily the only factor to consider. You also have to consider that Weaver and Hudson will be under the team's control for five and six years. You also have to consider that Weaver's salary is near the league minimum and Hudson's will be as well when he's finally promoted. Also, you must consider that it's not an apples-to-apples comparison. Payroll, years of control and farm system depth are all things to consider. It's too early to know if Weaver will be a better pitcher than Archer in two years or ever. Hudson is a hard-throwing prospect who projects as a reliever, but he still has a shot of developing into a solid starter as well.
I don't know how serious the Cardinals were about Longoria once they got Ozuna. Longoria is 32 and signed through 2023, so I don't know if the Cardinals wanted to absorb that contract.
As I wrote several weeks ago, the Cardinals couldn't afford to neglect the starting rotation this winter. They needed to buy some developmental time for Alex Reyes, Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson. They accomplished that in a sense by signing free agent Miles Mikolas. There remain plenty of questions with Adam Wainwright's elbow and age, Luke Weaver's disappointing showing in his last two starts of the season and Michael Wacha's shoulder issues at the end of 2016 and 2015. It may be trite to say you can never have too much pitching, but it's true. If they have the budget, the Cardinals would definitely help their chances in 2018 if they added another quality starter to provide depth.
That question is impossible to answer unless you're Michael Girsch or John Mozeliak or the Rays' front office. It's all about supply and demand. It's a matter of competition, meaning it all depends on how many other teams are eager to make a trade for Colome.
The Cardinals want to improve, so that would be the biggest fascination with a player of Donaldson's caliber. He's a player who would definitely improve the lineup. He would be an improvement over what they have at third base and push Matt Carpenter to third base, where he's arguably best suited defensively.
If you're asking if Longoria being off the table affects the Cardinals' interest in Colome or Archer, assuming there is serious interest, it wouldn't change that interest. I thought it was foolhardy to assume the Cardinals would give up as much farm system depth as would have been necessary to acquire Longoria, Archer and Colome from the Rays.
I've asked several Longoria questions. There are still a few on the queue, but they're all similar to the ones I've already answer. I'm moving on from Longoria questions now.
I don't know how serious the Cardinals were about Longoria, but I agree that I wouldn't have made that deal. I wouldn't call him washed up, though.
The best tool to combat such a problem is to build a powerful farm system to have a championship team full of homegrown talent. Folks who come up with the Cardinals tend to like playing here and would rather stay here if the economics are closer. The Cardinals can only focus on what they can control. They still have a loyal fan base willing to pack Busch Stadium. They don't take a backseat to anybody in the National League in terms of support and tradition. It's clear that the city of St. Louis and the region isn't as appealing to folks like Stanton, Price and Heyward,but you cannot blame the Cardinals for that. The Cardinals must focus on winning and selling winning. That sales pitch is much easier to make when you're winning, so that's the first step.
How many championships did the Angels win with Vladimir Guerrero or Albert Pujols or Josh Hamilton? How many championships did the Mets win after they signed Carlos Beltran? How many championships have the Dodgers won since 1988? If you look at the recent World Series champions - Royals in 2015, Cubs in 2016 and Astros in 2017 - you'll see that those teams won with cores that were homegrown. It's not as easy to buy a championship as some might suggest.
The Cardinals need a closer. If they landed an elite reliever for the back end of the bullpen, I'd like their chances for 2018 even if they didn't make another deal. If I were the boss, I wouldn't be too concerned about making another acquisition other than a closer unless the deal was too good to pass up.
I'm all in on Alabama or Clemson, who will face each other. I'm not very impressed with Oklahoma. I wouldn't be surprised if Georgia plays Clemson in the championship game.
I don't know that there is a stud starting pitcher on the market that would make me want to winning a bidding war, to be candid. They need an elite closer. They could bolster the middle of the rotation in free agency, I guess, but you're not going to find a frontline guy that is better than what Reyes can potentially be next season.
I don't worry about that problem. You can build super teams in the NBA because you don't need many players to form a powerhouse, but baseball has had tremendous parity in recent years.
Merry Christmas to you. I've been under the impression that Colome has been an option regardless of what happened with Longoria. Take that for whatever it's worth.
The Cardinals are motivated to improve. They've showed tremendous urgency this winter. They've already proved that they want to catch and surpass the Cubs, so I wouldn't say that a Darvish signing would be even more of an inspiration.
That thought crossed my mind earlier today when I heard somebody say that some folks wondered if somebody would buy them and move them to San Diego. The St. Louis sports community would definitely benefit from having an NFL team back in town, but I cannot imagine the community rallying enough to get the NFL stadium that an owner would want to return a franchise to St. Louis.
Archer posted a 4:07 ERA last year and a 4:02 ERA the year before, so I don't know that I would go all in on giving up what it would cost to acquire him. He would definitely project to the be a solid No. 3 and perhaps a No. 2 behind Martinez, though. It all would depend on how much of a price the Cardinals would have to pay in terms of prospects.