Ha. Right. Actually, I've been working on a piece on the different personalities working well together in the Cardinals' clubhouse.
I would argue that you're not giving the Cardinals front office officials credit for their competitive nature. They want to win and build a consistent winner. If that means proving their critics wrong, it's not because that's the goal.
I wouldn't necessarily say that, but I also wouldn't expect them to go deep into a bidding war for Machado.
The free agent market might include Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw, Manny Machado and Marwin Gonzalez, who is an amazing utility man who pushed the Astros to the World Series title last year. I know Marwin isn't considered a big time free agent, but I respect him enough to mention him here.
You make good points. Long story short, players need to figure out a way to make sure they are paid for their true value so that they're not seeking free agent deals that are based on past performances instead of future projections. At least in the past, they knew that they would be rewarded for past performances. This free agent class learned that teams aren't willing to care about their past performance as much as their future projections, and that's a problem when you've given your best years during arbitration.
Gyorko will share playing time at third with Carpenter, who will also share playing time at first with Jose Martinez. DeJong could be the future third baseman if a shortstop comes up. Munoz could also challenge for playing time at third this year.
I would agree that this Cardinals rotation has a lot of upside, especially if you consider that Alex Reyes is waiting in the wings.
At this point, my money would be on Leone early on and perhaps even Alex Reyes over the course of the season if the team decides to use him in the bullpen.
I wouldn't expect Reyes to hit behind Ozuna. Sorry.
I fully expect Carson Kelly to be on the opening day roster if he's healthy.
That is a very good question. That would have been the perfect follow-up question.
The Phillies' improvement will actually hurt the Mets' odds. I haven't made my predictions yet, but I would say the Cardinals will be in the hunt for the wild-card.
You have to assume it's a test for the big leagues. I hope commissioner Rob Manfred wouldn't let this happen.
Are you predicting an injury to Mikolas? Nobody can predict injuries. I think Mikolas will be solid if he executes the way Mike Maddux recommends.
Most teams have a good idea which players are locked into the opening day roster before spring training even starts. They arrived in camp with a pretty good plan. Guys who haven't established themselves are the ones who have to put up good spring training numbers, as was the case last year when Jose Martinez beat out Tommy Pham. Stats matter the most this spring for unproven players fighting for jobs. Bader, Munoz and Garcia have to keep putting up numbers to edge each other for the final position player's roster spot.
I would assume that the regulars will start playing full games early next week.
I'm afraid that I haven't followed this one closely, sorry. The Brewers should have signed him, but I have no idea.