Carlos Correa is a former Rookie of the Year. He's already been an All-Star and helped win a World Series. He's 23 and considered a future cornerstone of that organization. The Astros rewarded Correa for three of the best seasons for a shortstop in history. Pham had a major breakthrough last season to prove that he's one of the best outfielders in baseball. Unfortunately, the Astros had more to put in their algorithm to determine their offer for Correa than the Cardinals had in their algorithm for Pham. Don't forget, however, that both men were renewed by their clubs. Neither is getting paid what his truly value would reflect on the open market.
I couldn't possibly address what Law sees.
You can never have too much depth. Moreover, I don't know how much sense it makes to trade Fowler and/or Pham until you know that you can re-sign Ozuna to keep him beyond the 2019 season. The most likely scenario would be for those guys to come up and prove themselves when playing time opens up because of an injury. Then if they prove themselves, they could be moved via trade to fill a position of need. You also have to remember that Fowler has a no-trade clause.
Exactly. In the past, teams were always paying free agents for past production more than for the future projections. If this remains the case, the players' union must figure out a way to start arbitration and free agency sooner in the next collective bargaining agreement. It's a shame that teams will take advantage of the players' most productive years and then claim that they're not worth market value when they become free agents. The fact is that young stars under a team's control aren't paid fair market value before they're eligible for free agency.
I'm sure he still has more to prove, but at this point he's the top option to back up Yadier Molina.
I would suggest that Manny Machado is the most likely big free agent that the Cardinals will pursue this offseason.
When healthy, Matt Carpenter is one of the Cardinals' best hitters. He's going to be a super utility guy this year, so Carpenter will play third as well. Moreover, it's important for fans to remember that Jose Martinez bats righthanded and Carpenter bats lefty. The Cardinals' lineup is heavily righthanded, so Carpenter's lefthanded bat is needed in the lineup for that reason as well.
If Knizner keeps hitting the way he's hitting, it may eventually make sense to move him from behind the plate. For now, though, it's important for him to keep working on his defense behind the plate.
Teams factor different aspects of a player's game differently. There is no universal way of judging players anymore, not that there was ever only one way to judge a player's value. Heck, it's unclear which WAR is factored by teams in their algorithms to judge players.
It all depends how you judge your starting rotation and the back end of your bullpen. If you're going to go by the metrics that show it makes little sense to let some starters face the lineup a third time through the order, then you're going to need eight relievers. Matheny catches a lot of criticism because fans want it both ways. If you want him to do the smart thing and pull Wacha and Wainwright and perhaps even Mikolas after two turns through the order, well then you better accept that he might need eight relievers. Moreover, at least early on these aren't young arms that can be ridden.
First of all, there are still 13 spring training games remaining. Can we wait until the end of camp before deciding that Kelly's swing isn't ready for the season. Moreover, people I respect think that Knizner still needs some more development as a defensive catcher in the minors. I wouldn't add another catcher to the 40-man roster just to demote Kelly to Memphis. Kelly has earned the right to make the opening day roster.
First of all, thank you very much. I'm glad you liked that column. Rick Hummel, one of the greatest baseball writers of all-time, suggested Valera as a topic. I'm glad you enjoyed the column. Speaking of Matheny, he's one of a handful of managers who have cared enough to become fluent in Spanish to communicate well with his Latin American players. More than that, if you pay close attention he takes it a step further and correctly pronounces their names correctly. I used to take for granted how difficult it is to pronounce names correctly. It used to bother me when people would pronounce Jesus as "Hey-Zeus." Well, except for Bobby Valentine, who used to call me "Zeus! King of Baseball!" That's a story for another day. My father in-law used to call me Hey-Zeus, but I was too respectful to correct him. Then after my daughter Kathleen was born, I started noticing that my dad, who was born in Mexico, would refer to her at Cat-A-Lean. As a Mexican American born in the U.S. I never appreciated how white people and Mexicans might have difficulty pronouncing names. So, yes, I made it a point to tell Matheny that I notice how much he cares and I thank him for caring to treat his Latino players with the respect they deserve. It's the simple things, after all.
If he remains healthy, I predict that Carlos Martinez will contend for the Cy Young Award.
Ozuna would be fine. As I noted earlier in this chat, fans should know better than to worry about spring training stats when it comes to established big leaguers, especially a two-time All-Star such as Ozuna.
That's a very good question. I cannot wait to see the Blues again tomorrow. I want them to put two good weeks together before I think they've turned it around. They've just been too inconsistent, and their depth has been ravaged, so it's at least impressive to see that they won two in a row on a very important trip through Southern California.
Wainwright is such a positive influence in the Cardinals' clubhouse and community that I bet the Cardinals would extend him for another year if he had a strong season this year. He's one of those greats who deserve to exit on their own terms.
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