Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you so much for participating in my weekly chat. Here's hoping we can stay on this chat for four hours or until every question has been answered. Fire away.
I have to apologize for the delay. I was on the phone with an important source, as I do before each of these chats, to make sure I had good background to speak authoritatively on the teams I cover.
Thank you for your nice compliment. I've covered a full-blown tanking, and it's very unfair in many ways to fans who pay big league ticket prices for minor-league baseball for multiple years in a row. The Astros could get away with it because they already weren't drawing good ratings on TV because their cable network, which eventually failed, wasn't getting much distribution.
This is a very good question. I need to double check to figure out the exact figure.
Thanks. See you there. This year I'll be around camp from Feb. 24 to March 10. As I did over the years when I covered the Astros and Mets I look forward to meeting up with fans after games. Spring training is the best time to get to know our loyal readers.
It will be interesting to see how long this freeze will last. With a third of the teams not committed to compete, it's difficult for agents to build up bidding wars. I wonder if Lance Lynn regrets not taking the Cardinals' qualifying offer. I wonder if more players will take qualifying offers next year.
Lance Lynn has not signed anywhere yet. I just fired off a text to Lance's agent. I wonder if they regret not taking the Cardinals' qualifying offer.
I would defer to Dave Matter on this matter, pun intended. Even if Michael Porter is shooting baskets I wouldn't assume he's on the way back. Moreover, there's a long way to go from shooting baskets and/or lifting weights and being physically ready to compete in an NCAA game. There's a reason teams have preseason workouts, exhibitions and more than a month of preseason games before jumping into league play. Mizzou has only 10 SEC games left before the SEC tournament. It would be surprising if Michael Porter rushed back from surgery to help the Tigers this season.
The Cardinals definitely have some questions heading into spring training, but I fully expect them to compete for the playoffs this year. I realize some fans are bitter. Nonetheless, it seems like a stretch to assume they will finish in the bottom of the NL Central. standings.
According to people who would know, Lynn isn't close to any deal at this point. If you're asking me if there's a chance the Cardinals sign him, I wouldn't expect it unless he returned at a discount this spring on a one-year deal. At this point, I don't expect the Cardinals to make any significant signings.
Many hockey insiders I respect say the Blues should trade for a Top 6 forward, but I wonder if they might not ultimately decide that they need another goaltender. They've been on a roll again ever since Jaden Schwartz returned. They've won three in a row, including two with Schwartz back. The better they play, the more it might force the front office to make a move and try to make a stronger run at a Stanley Cup this year.
The Cardinals' rotation is set for now. I haven't heard that anything is imminent with the Cardinals, but you never know what happens down the line.
If the Cardinals are sputtering and below .500 at the trade deadline, I could definitely envision the Cardinals making some changes.
I don't know. I assume either Jim Thomas or Tom Timmermann.
Yes, the Cardinals definitely envision Tuivailala as a potential closer. Matheny has given Tuivailala chances to prove himself. Let's not forget that Trevor Rosenthal and Seung-Hwan Oh have handled the back end of the bullpen the last couple of years while Tuivailala tried to establish himself in the majors.
If the season began today, I would assume the lineup will be 1B Matt Carpenter, RF Dexter Fowler, CF Tommy Pham, LF Marcell Ozuna, SS Paul DeJong, C Yadier Molina, 3B Jedd Gyorko, 2B Kolten Wong, Carlos Martinez.
One-year deals made of desperation usually originate with the agents wanting to place their players with a team. I wouldn't expect Mo to make the first move in those types of scenarios. With that said, I've spoken with Mo this week and he's comfortable with the roster he has going into spring training. At this point, I don't expect anything to happen other than perhaps a few minor-league deals.
Stanton, who had a 7.6 WAR last season as NL MVP, has a 35.1 WAR over eight years. Ozuna, who had a 5.8 WAR last season, has a 13.7 WAR over five years. History would say that Stanton is likely to have a higher WAR than Ozuna this year, but that doesn't mean that Ozuna cannot continue to blossom.
Sure, if they wanted to sign those two they could definitely do it without losing money this season. But the type of contracts those two former aces want will likely not make sense toward the end of the deals. You are right that most front offices now realize it doesn't make sense to give long-term contracts to players who will never match their previous glory.
The Blues are fighting for a playoff spot. They cannot afford to throw games away. Carter Hutton has been brilliant lately, and Mike Yeo is doing the right thing by playing the hot goalie at a time when his former starter has been shaky. Hutton has given up only two goals over his last three starts, all victories. He has a shutout in that span. He likely would have had another shutout last night if the Blues didn't have to play most of the final two minutes defending on a 6 v 4 penalty kill in which Montreal pulled its goalie. The biggest reason Yeo is going with Hutton over Allen is that Hutton deserves to start.