Mikolas cashes in

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This topic contains 75 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by Avatar gscottar 2 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #83235
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    Robert Reed
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    “I was listening to the Front Office show on MLB radio today and Jim Bowden trashed the Cardinals pretty good for the Mikolas extension.”

    Did he think Mikolas might sign with someone for fewer years? Because I disagree with that. Or did he just want the Cards to wait until the All-Star break? I’m quite curious as to what — specifically — he thought the Redbird front office should have done differently.

    “He also cited the Cards as being pretty bad at long term extensions as he mentioned Fowler, Wong, Craig, and the offer to Heyward. The only long term deal he liked was Holliday.”

    Well, we could go right down the line. First off, Fowler was dumb at the time, and the Cards are reaping what the stupidly sowed. But that of course was not an extension, it was a misguided free agent inking. The Wong extension has been fine. Neither good nor bad so far, all things considered. Allen Craig got a weird injury, and the Cards dumped that salary anyway! If there’s an organization to criticize for mis-valuing Allen Craig it’s the Red Sox and their incompetent then-GM, Ben Cherington. (Three last place finishes in four years, folks.)

    Heyward? As with Allen Craig, the Cards are not the team to criticize. That would be the Cubs, when it comes to Heyward.

    The Cards also signed a few other guys to extensions over the past several years. Matt carpenter has worked out spectacularly well. And has Mr. Bowden checked Paul DeJong’s deal? Over the next five seasons Paul will make less than $23M total. (Per Fangraphs he was worth $26M in 2018, and $24M in 2017.) Oh, and then there are also two cheap club options at the end. So the Cards have control through his age 31 season. It’s almost certainly one of the best 4 or 5 deals in baseball, if he continues as is.

    “I generally like Jim Bowden although I know some on here do not. I usually find him insightful and entertaining but I think he is off base on Mikolas. Sure there is some risk involved but if Mikolas had another good season in 2019 he would have cost much more than $68M to bring back.”

    I agree, gscott, in large part. I don’t think too terribly much of Bowden’s baseball acumen, but I don’t generally dislike him. (He should know the Cards are not interested in a massive reliever contract like Kimbrel will receive. Besides, Kimbrel was very shaky in October. Could be tipping, could be health, could just be getting older.)

    The Mikolas signing was smart and timely. The rotation is fairly well set for 3-4 years into the future, with decent health. The following 6 guys are under team control through the 2022 season: Mikolas, Flaherty, Martinez, Reyes, Hudson, and Gant. And that’s a solid foundation, with Lizard King as the veteran leader of the group. It was a signing nobody should be faulting, in my opinion.

    #83236
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    NJ315
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    Lets wait to see how it works before we tell others we should not be faulting the signing. Mikolas had a great season I would have waited for season number two results. 68 million is a lot of money based on one year results. I am hoping it works out but I do reserve my right that they should have waited in my opinion.

    #83239
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    PugsleyAddams
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    Yeah, I’m leaning slightly in NJ’s direction concerning Mikolas’ contract, but you know, it’s really a tough call. I don’t see how any one can have a strong opinion either way…..which probably is a pretty fair indicator that it’s an extremely fair contract, which hopefully will be a good deal for all concerned when it’s all said and done.

    #83243
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    Robert Reed
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    I can understand why you guys would be leery of large Cardinal contracts, given recent history. I’m always a bit skeptical of lengthy or pricey pitcher contracts. But a detailed side-by-side comparison of two MLB starters should show why in this particular instance I’m real happy with the Mikolas deal for the Birds.

    Pitcher A threw 200 innings in 2018 with an ERA of 3.15, which was a ballpark-adjusted ERA+ of 137.
    Pitcher B threw 200 innings in 2018 with an ERA of 2.83, which coincidentally was also an ERA+ of 137.

    Pitcher A turned 29 last summer, and Pitcher B turned 30. Pitcher A has a solid average fastball and an elite slider. And so does Pitcher B. Pitcher A has a career ERA+ of 109, and Pitcher B has a 108.

    Pitcher A threw 189 innings in 2017, and Pitcher B threw 188. Both pitchers are sturdy and rather tall, but not too tall, at 6’3″ for A and 6’5″ for B.

    So to this point we have two starting pitchers with astonishingly similar, in fact virtually identical track records and personal profiles for all intents and purposes. But let’s see how they project, going forward.

    If we average together the four publicly available 2019 projections for the two pitchers — ZiPS, Steamer, Clay Davenport, and the Marcels forecast at Baseball-Reference — we get 181 innings with a 3.64 ERA for Pitcher A, and 175 innings and a 3.66 ERA for Pitcher B. Again, very nearly identical.

    Pitcher A just signed a 6-year and $140M in free agency. (As you’ve probably guessed, Patrick Corbin.)
    Pitcher B, well you already know about Pitcher B because he’s Miles Mikolas.

    Am I arguing that Mikolas would have gotten $140M or six years on the open market? Naaah. But he would have gotten much more than what he got from the Cards, I have zero doubt of that. All in all, it’s a good contract for the Lizard King, and a superb one for the Cards. In my opinion.

    Good baseball players are expensive, and every contract is a gamble, but according to the available information the Birds got an excellent pitcher for the price of a merely very good one. In fact, Miles Mikolas at $17M per year? At that rate I kinda wish they’d signed him for another season. Or maybe even two. The price is that nice.

    #83254
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    NJ315
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    I don’t care about the money but the timing. He has had one MLB excellent year. I would have paid more but waited for the 2019 results.

    #83259
    Brian Walton
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    If you wait for 2019 results, then you will likely have to pay full market price in money and maybe more years, too, to match or beat other offers.

    I don’t understand why some people totally write off his success in Japan. 2018 did not seem to be an accident.

    #83260
    BlackHillsCard
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    Brian, as you know, I was one of the doubters about Mikolas last year and I’ve eaten my crow. I was wrong and I’m happy to admit that. I have no problem with the contract extension to Mikolas. It allows the Cardinals to build the starting rotation around him and possibly Martinez and the Cardinals don’t have a lot of money accounted for in the later years of the contract.

    #83261
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    NJ315
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    We will see won’t we be if 2018 is accident or not. I don’t why some people choose to ignore the possibility that 2018 was indeed an accident. But what gets me the most is being told this: “It was a signing nobody should be faulting, in my opinion.” Well I beg to differ.

    #83262
    Brian Walton
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    I was initially curious about how good he could be, too, but I did not need more than one year in MLB to be convinced. The scouts did their homework and fortunately, the Cards had the inside edge that the Mikolas family already lived in Jupiter.

    #83287
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    gscottar
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    The Allen Craig trade was a great trade for the Cardinals but it was still a bad extension. We should make that distinction. Sometimes you get away with your mistakes and sometimes you don’t as we are finding out with Fowler.

    The attempt to give Heyward a huge contract was a bad attempt. He didn’t want our money. Again, sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.

    As for Ben Cherington he did win a World Series in 2013 unfortunately so his tenure in Boston wasn’t all bad for them.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by Avatar gscottar.
    #83299
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    forsch31
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    Why was the Craig extension a bad extension?

    #83324
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    gscottar
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    Why was the Craig extension a bad extension?

    How was it not a bad extension? He has barely played at the MLB level since receiving it.

    #83348
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    forsch31
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    So you are looking at the fact he hurt his foot and it changed his career as a reason to call it a bad extension. Does that mean that anytime a pitcher has a career ending (or effecting) arm injury before a contract is up that they were a bad contract?

    If you look at his numbers before his injury, he was definitely worth the extension. I read someone comparing his swing prior to the injury to his swing after the injury. It changed after he hurt his foot and he never had the same season. A team can’t be faulted for injuries that happen after that contract is signed.

    #83356
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    Robert Reed
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    “I don’t why some people choose to ignore the possibility that 2018 was indeed an accident. But what gets me the most is being told this: ‘It was a signing nobody should be faulting, in my opinion.’ Well I beg to differ.”

    That was my quote about the Mikolas signing, of course. And that’s why I try and add tiny softening caveats to my strongest baseball opinions, NJ. Things like “in my opinion” or “for me.” Feels less like intellectual internet bullying that way.

    I mean, I don’t ever want anyone to dread exchanging ideas with me online for fear that I’ll ridicule their views. I would hate that. Instead, I want my ridicule to always be a horrible and emotionally crippling surprise.

    “The Allen Craig trade was a great trade for the Cardinals but it was still a bad extension. We should make that distinction.”

    I still need persuading, on that last point. Based on what the Cardinal brass knew at the time Allen received the extension, it was a good extension as I recall. (Did anyone publicly criticize it at the time? It felt a lot like the one that Carp got a few years back. Some risk, but potential reward.) And the final outcome for the Cards and Allen Craig, his being traded to Boston for John Lackey, was also a good outcome for St. Louis. (More like a great outcome, as it wound up. We got a lot from Lackey, then got a high draft pick as well, I think, when he left. Although I could be mistaken about the latter.)

    Or I should probably put it this way: For me, the mere fact that the Red Sox were willing to take Allen and his contract — and give something of real value in return — is the strongest possible evidence that Allen’s was not an onerous contract at all. In this case perception = reality. If the BoSox perceived Craig’s contract as okay, then be definition it was okay.

    “The attempt to give Heyward a huge contract was a bad attempt. He didn’t want our money. Again, sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.”

    Lucky is better, I agree. But bear in mind that the Cards could always have come over the top in their bidding for Heyward — like the Red Sox did against the Redbirds, when the Cards wanted to pay David Price nearly $200M for 7 years, or like the Cards themselves did with Dexter Fowler (blechh). But the Cards showed enough discipline to back away from Heyward, just as they did with Price. And Pujols for that matter. I’m disinclined to criticize a team very much for a contract never signed. Maybe a bit, but not much.

    “As for Ben Cherington he did win a World Series in 2013 unfortunately so his tenure in Boston wasn’t all bad for them.”

    Nope, not all bad. He was terrible, though. The conspicuous success the Carmines enjoyed in the years immediately before his arrival, and immediately after his departure, tells us all we need to know. To me there’s a healthy chunk of luck involved in a playoff run. But there’s no randomness involved when finishing last 3 of 4 years after inheriting a bloated budget and all-star roster. Just a bad GM, and he brought in two bad managers, and made bad signings. Good thing for him the club didn’t release David Ortiz before he returned to the illegal PED’s. That age 34-40 Ted Williams/Stan Musial impersonation really came in handy.

    Not that I’m bitter.

    #83400
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    gscottar
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    So you are looking at the fact he hurt his foot and it changed his career as a reason to call it a bad extension. Does that mean that anytime a pitcher has a career ending (or effecting) arm injury before a contract is up that they were a bad contract?

    If I’m not mistaken Craig has some injury problems before the extension contract in 2013. He fractured a kneecap in 2011 and was on the DL again in 2012 recovering from knee surgery.

    But bear in mind that the Cards could always have come over the top in their bidding for Heyward — like the Red Sox did against the Redbirds, when the Cards wanted to pay David Price nearly $200M for 7 years, or like the Cards themselves did with Dexter Fowler (blechh). But the Cards showed enough discipline to back away from Heyward, just as they did with Price

    By Carrie Muskat MLB.com @CarrieMuskat
    Dec. 11th, 2015

    CHICAGO — One of the lures for free agents signing with the Cubs has been the desire to be on the team that wins the World Series and ends the century-plus drought. Apparently, Jason Heyward wants to be on that team.

    The free-agent outfielder — who reportedly turned down more money from the Cardinals and Nationals — has agreed to join the Cubs on an eight-year contract worth $184 million with two opt-outs, the first being after the 2018 season, according to multiple reports Friday. Heyward can reportedly opt out of his deal after the third year or the fourth year if he exceeds certain plate appearance threshholds. The club would not comment on or confirm the reports.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by Avatar gscottar.
    #83405
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    forsch31
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    You are missing the fact that he changed his swing after the foot injury. He hit really good until the injury. The Cardinals were justified in the extension at the time they made it.

    #83455
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    gscottar
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    forsch31

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    You are missing the fact that he changed his swing after the foot injury. He hit really good until the injury. The Cardinals were justified in the extension at the time they made it.

    Forsch, I agree with you that Craig’s ankle injury probably caused his career decline. I say probably because we don’t know 100% for sure it was all because of that. But my main point is that he had a bit of an injury history before the extension that should have given pause to dishing out the extension in the first place. I admit this isn’t really a black/white example of a bad decision. There is some gray area.

    There are many other better examples of bad deals by our front office such as Fowler, Leake, Cecil, Gregerson, Holland, Ty Pennington, Brayan Pena, etc….

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by Avatar gscottar.
    #83462
    Brian Walton
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    #83466
    stlcard25
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    LOL!! I was going to post something similar. Nice one, Brian.

    #83467
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    forsch31
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    I agree Fowler and Cecil are bad contracts. Fowler for the years and Cecil for the amount of money. I don’t find the Holland contract bad. It was only 1 year and he had been a good reliever with the exception of being hurt for a period of 2017. I don’t really find Leake’s contract to be a bad contract based on his history and it was only for $16 million/year for 5 years.

    #83471
    Brian Walton
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    I felt I had to find one with a bullhorn. I cannot imagine Ty without it, though his voice is loud enough, he hardly needed it. I wonder which of the two Tys had a bigger contract at their peak? Both are on the downhill side of fame now. I did see Pennington in a commercial for a mortgage loan company on TV not too long ago.

    #83480
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    gscottar
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    Well Ty Pennington was probably a better hitter than Ty Wigginton. That was a waste of $5M.

    Forsch, if Leake’s contract wasn’t bad we wouldn’t have ended up paying him $17.5M to play for Seattle.

    #83559
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    forsch31
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    We are paying him because he didn’t fit with the team. He has earned the contract that he signed.

    #83562
    stlcard25
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    Leake was paid to be an average starter who picked up innings in an uncertain rotation. IMO, he did that. He was trade bait when it became clear that the Cards had younger, better options to fill that role. He was probably slightly overpaid, but I’d hardly say it was a mistake to sign him.

    #83581
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    14NyquisT
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    I said from the very beginning that Leake was a poor fit for the team. Plus the contract $$ was steep. For me his signing was highly questionable with better Ps available at the time.

    The FO got rid of him rather suddenly, hoping to avoid the fact that he never belonged here. So give them credit for excepting some blame for originally showing poor judgment.

    Now if they took that stand with a couple of others, they would be showing some contriteness and some smarts for dumping ridiculous contracts for players that just don’t fit in here and play some others that do.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by Avatar 14NyquisT.
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