This will be a very quiet week, according to the people I trust who know. Barring some drastic unforeseen move, the Cardinals aren't going to make any noise this week.
If the Cardinals go after Donaldson or Machado, it will be more because they think those two stars can help the team take another step toward a title. They already know that DeJong can play third or short, by the way.
It's difficult to compare basketball and baseball. In basketball you draft a player in the first who can usually contribute right away. In baseball, you have to wait a few years to see if your first round draft picks even pan out. For instance, Carlos Correa was the first overall pick in 2012. Lance McCullers was picked in the supplemental round of that draft as well. They didn't debut until 2015, when Correa was the AL Rookie of the Year. The next year, the Astros picked Mark Appel first overall and let Kris Bryant fall to the Cubs with the second pick. Appel has yet to reach the majors. Bryant has already been the NL Rookie of the Year and NL MVP. Even those who pan out such as Bryant and Correa and McCullers still depend on 25-man rosters to win. In basketball, you need only five starters and can usually get away with a rotation of nine players.
That's a pretty deep question. As long as there is gambling, the NFL will be fine. Regardless of what folks say, they don't care about NFL concussions. It's the same as watching a boxing match. You expect guys to get hit. People still celebrate thunderous tackles. The NFL will be fine. Trust me.
I assume that Harrison Bader has the inside track, but Tyler O'Neill definitely has a chance to hit his way to the Opening Day roster if he absolutely crushes Grapefruit League pitching. For instance, if O'Neill blasts 10 home runs in spring training with a .340 average and Bader struggles, you can bet your Bob Gibson bobblehead that O'Neill will break camp with the Cardinals.
Wow. Bless you for wasting your time watching that mess. I have no idea why U.S. Soccer would call up some of those guys. Even by January camp standards, some of those call-ups made no sense for a national team that should be building toward the next World Cup cycle. There's no need in taking looks at guys who will be 30-plus in 2022.
I have yet to hear anything about the XFL coming to St. Louis.
I haven't heard anything regarding the netting. I promise I will ask about in spring training for you, though.
Preach, my brother! I would take what agents say with a critical eye. An agent's job is to get his client the best deal possible. A front office's job is to keep one eye on the immediate future and another the franchise's long-term health. History is full of examples why it makes no sense to jump into this very weak free agent market.
You are absolutely right about Piscotty, who may actually bounce back well now that he's closer to home. They never committed too much money on Grichuk and Adams. Wong, on the other hand, proved to be a good starting second baseman last year. Teams attempt to lock up young guys to long-term contracts. Sometimes it works (Carlos Martinez), sometimes it looks bad (Piscotty). Many agents thought that Martinez sold himself short with his long-term deal last February. The Cardinals will continue to make these types of gambles knowing some pay off and some don't. I covered the Astros when they gave Jose Altuve a long-term contract that proved to be tremendously in the team's favor. A few years later, I was also covering the Astros when they gave Jon Singleton a five-year, $10 million contract before he even played in the majors. Guess what? Singleton was ridiculed throughout the baseball industry for accepting such a deal. The Astros were believed to have gotten the best out of that deal. Well, Singleton was a monumental bust. He has a career .171 average with a -0.1 WAR over parts of the 2014 and 2015 season and never reached the majors in 2016 and 2017. Now in the final year of his five-year contract he has been suspended 100 games for testing positive for drugs of abuse. The Astros gave him this $10 million deal after he had already been suspended once. Long story short, all teams make these gambles. Some work, some fail miserably. At least be glad the Cardinals never gave Grichuk and Adams long-term deals.
Steroids are performance-enhancement drugs. Greenies aren't. That's all I can tell you on that front.
You would have to ask sports editor Roger Hensley this question. It's above my pay grade and was decided long before I moved to St. Louis.
I will defer to the talented Jeff Gordon on this question. He'll do his chat on Friday, and he is more knowledgeable about the inner workings of the NHL. My expertise is baseball, which is why I'm more willing to speak authoritatively on deals because of my contacts throughout baseball.
It's a tremendous testament to the Cardinals' farm system that they were ranked 13th by Baseball America after unloading two top prospects in the four-player package for Marcell Ozuna. They were ranked 12th last year. They unloaded Sandy Alcantara, who was on Baseball America's Top 100 prospects list. There is always room for improvement unless you win the World Series. The Cubs aren't as good as they were in 2016. The Cardinals are likely going to be better than they were last year. If I were to predict the order of the NL Central finish this season, I'd say Cubs, Cardinals, Brewers, Pirates, Reds. I fully expect Alex Reyes to push the Cardinals to the wild-card this year.
At this point, nothing is imminent with any of the remaining free agents. Things can change, but people I trust tell me the Cardinals aren't involved in the Hosmer and Moustakas markets. Take that for what it's worth.
Interesting theory. As of now, though, there is nothing close with Lynn, according to a person who would know.
I hate having to answer this question because I will come off as a bit of a hypocrite. If I were an owner, I would definitely employ a full tanking similar to what the Astros underwent. You're either in it to win it or you're not. There's no need to have an above average or high payroll to be mediocre. I'd be honest with the fans, cut beer prices, sell the atmosphere and stock the farm system and then attack when your window to compete was open. You could get away with that process in certain cities, but I don't think you can get away with it in Boston, New York or Los Angeles.
If I could add one free agent, I would add Lance Lynn on a one-year deal to provide cover for Adam Wainwright and buy the Cardinals more development time for Jack Flaherty. That deal would have to be a one-year, team friendly deal to help Lance improve his market value heading into next season.
I would disagree with your claim that the Cubs are clearly much better. I don't think anybody said this was going to be a trans-formative offseason. They added a two-time All-Star who immediately anchors the middle of the batting order.
Cardinals fans have been spoiled during Bill DeWitt Jr.'s chairmanship. They are lucky to not go through what is happening at other cities where fans truly have reasons to be bitter. If you're a bitter Cardinals fan it's only because the DeWitt front office has created such high expectations.