Wow. I never expected this question in this manner. No, I don't think relegation/promotion would work in the NBA and MLB. There's just too much history involved there. The MLS monopoly won't let relegation/promotion work in America, but I wish U.S. Soccer had the guts and vision to force MLS to have relegation/promotion. I bet soccer will grow further in the U.S. if we had relegation and promotion because there would be more incentive to develop young American soccer talent throughout the country.
I have not asked the FO that question, but I would guess no.
This is a tough question that really puts me on the spot. Pham is your reigning team MVP, so he's earned a secure starting spot. Wong has done more than enough to be declared the starting second baseman. Gyorko has done enough to have earned the starting third base job, but he will share at-bats at third with Matt Carpenter. With that in mind, it's fair to assume that Gyorko probably has the shortest leash.
I don't think the Cardinals are trying to bargain shop, if that's what you're asking. The Cardinals attacked the needs they wanted to fill right away. They'll surely add another reliever, but I don't think they're necessarily waiting for the market to drop.
Adrian Gonzalez is a bargain, but he has plenty of baggage. It will be interesting to see how he handles the New York market and the clubhouse dynamics. He didn't exactly enjoy the Boston spotlight. Considering they could pay him the big league minimum, Gonzalez was worth the gamble. I don't know how much he has in the tank, though.
Jaden Schwartz's absence has definitely impacted all parts of the team.
It will be interesting. Let's be clear, though, Matt Carpenter is a starter. He'll be in the starting lineup regularly, so it's not as though you're mixing three guys. You're actually just shuttling two guys - Gyorko and Martinez. If the Cardinals want Martinez to start, Carpenter will likely play third. If they want Gyorko to start, Carpenter will likely play first. That's how I read this situation. This isn't a platoon-type situation between two guys. This is a super utility starter and two guys who will get plenty of starts as well.
Mike Leake is a fine example that most Cardinals fans should remember when looking at this current free agent market. There are no must-have players in this free agent market. Even J.D. Martinez's price appears to be tumbling down. I wouldn't gamble on giving Jake Arrieta a three-year deal, much less one for five years. It's a huge gamble to give Lance Lynn a four or five-year deal. The Cardinals aren't making deals with only one year in mind. They had to pay the Mariners some cash to take Leake off their hands after running him out on the mound for two starts more than they wanted to just to salvage his trade value. I've yet to find anybody who can tell me which remaining free agent is a safe multiple-year gamble.
I don't expect either of those two young men to start the season in the big league bullpen, but I full expect to see them in the majors at some point this season if they are healthy.
The plan never changed. They publicly stated what they wanted to address and then addressed those two pieces, the bullpen and middle-of-the-order bat. Then they added a starter as well after realizing they needed a starter. I may be wrong, but I don't remember them saying they were going to land other pieces as well. With all that said, I think know they realize they would be wise to secure one more reliever. I bet you they'll sign or acquire another reliever before opening day.
Your comment has been noted.
You make a very good point. It's not in the Cardinals' interest to let agents or opposing teams know that they still want to acquire another free agent reliever. It's not in their best interest to sabotage their bargaining power. As I've stated here numerous times and as I noted in my column in today's paper, the Cardinals will land another reliever.
Thank you. Happy New Year to you and yours as well. I appreciate the fans' impatience, but I'm pretty certain they'll land another reliever. After the season I was quick to say that the Cardinals needed to add another starting pitcher to buy time for Reyes and Flaherty and Hudson. I think Miles Mikolas is the type of gamble that makes sense because he buys you developmental time for Reyes, Hudson and Flaherty.
I absolutely believe that Alex Reyes will be a crucial piece to the Cardinals' 2018 season. I bet they would have made the playoffs in 2016 if they had called him up two weeks earlier, and they might have reached the playoffs last year if he hadn't been injured. I'm excited to see what he can do this upcoming season. He can either bolster the front of the rotation or the back of the bullpen. He's that special. Obviously we must wait to see how he rebounds from Tommy John surgery, but most pitchers now bounce back easily from that ulnar collateral ligament replacement surgery.
I'll answer your question. I think the Cardinals are better now than they were at the end of the 2017 season. They have Ozuna in the lineup. They've added Gregerson and got rid of Oh, who was a disaster last year. It remains to be seen if Miles Mikolas is an upgrade over Lance Lynn, but I don't think that you can deny that Alex Reyes and Mikolas and Gregerson is better than Lynn and Oh. Jack Flaherty is close to ready. Diaz wasn't in the plans, so there's no need to have him clog up the 40-man roster. The return the Cardinals received for Diaz should tell you that the Cardinals weren't the only team that thought they had better options at short.
It's a much bigger gamble when your farm system is weak. Fortunately for the Cardinals, they've fortified the farm system again and seem to have quality depth ready to play a crucial role in 2018. They had more than enough depth in the farm system to land Ozuna. They still have plenty of strong arms ready to make their marks on this upcoming season.
The Cardinals are optimistic about Tommy Pham. They've long believed that he could be a special player as long as he remains healthy.
I agree with you. Hudson is closer to the majors.
John Mozeliak doesn't make the lineup decisions. Mike Matheny does, and we have no idea where Carpenter will hit yet.