Cardinals’ Off-season Needs

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  • #144737
    Avatarbccran
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    I don’t think Brantley will cost 3/60 minimum. He turns 34 in May.

    Turner turning 36? Beltran was 36 when he was with the Cards. Berkman was 35.

    #144738
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    I like Justin Turner. I was in favor of going after him in 2016 when he was a free agent last. Yet it can’t be said that he’s not injury prone. He would need a handcuff at 3B and it’s tough to imagine the Cards signing a 3B beyond a year with Carp (who is younger than Turner, somehow) still making a ton of money there and Gorman on the horizon. Plus he’s never been a great power hitter and coming to a place that saps right handed power. Add in that late bloomers rarely last a long time (see Carp for an example) and I’d have to be convinced.

    #144740
    Avatarbccran
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    Cards need to somehow upgrade the offense, and the only opportunity spots for next season are probably 3B and left field. Left field can be a longer term solution, but 3B can only be a year or two to clear that position for Montero and Gorman to get a shot. Turner seems like the ideal fit, doesn’t he?

    #144752
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    Cards need to somehow upgrade the offense, and the only opportunity spots for next season are probably 3B and left field.

    Why are CF and RF not spots for improvement also? Our incumbent RF has OPS+ of 59, 100 and 92 the last three years. He’s also a bad defender out there. I also think that Carlson will hit better than Bader in CF, but how much better than a .779 OPS can we realistically expect? I think you’re also going to be disappointed over a full season in Carlson’s defense if he’s expected to be a CF. He was thought of as a slightly above average corner guy and the difference between he and Bader will be stark and reflected in the run totals of balls that will be in the gap that were once caught on the fly by Harrison. Finally, I agree that LF is a place to improve. I still think O’Neill will hit, and unfortunately it may end up being elsewhere thanks to impatient fans who want to throw away a potential 95 win team in 2022-23 to upgrade an 85 win team to 86 wins in 2021.

    Turner seems like the ideal fit, doesn’t he?

    I’m just not seeing it yet. If Carp was still hitting reasonably (~100 OPS+), I could see a useful (but expensive) platoon being an option. Turner’s age is scary and given what we now know about Carlos Beltran, I wouldn’t be surprised if his late career renaissance wasn’t assisted by something outside of his work ethic. Lance Berkman is only one of the best hitters of the last 20 years. I don’t consider Turner to be in the same league as those two.

    #144757
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    FWIW, the Berkman story was not all rosy. He was coming off the worst season of his career and had been traded by the Astros to the Yankees and was not good. He was at a low spot and many thought he was washed up. So, he signed relatively cheaply, on a one-year deal. Berkman delivered in year one, so they kept him on. It was a mistake. In year two, he was injured almost the entire season and the Cardinals burned $12 million in the process.

    The various free agent hitters being discussed here are not in a comparable low spot in their careers so I question the parallel being made.

    #144758
    Avatarbccran
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    I know you’re a Bader fan, but in checking other boards most posters just don’t see him as an answer. They comment on his 32% strike out rate, his agonizing, slow, time consuming routine between every pitch, his hat flying off on even routine plays in the outfield (and when running the bases) displaying his golden permed locks, his interviews which display ego, etc. I may seem like a negative nelly about him on TCN, but I would be just one of the crowd on other forums.

    #144760
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    I don’t get this fixation with appearance. I don’t care if Bader wears a skirt if he plays well. And if Carlos Martinez wants to have blue hair, so what? Give the team a good six innings every fifth day and I don’t care about how he looks. Yadi has neck tattoos, Jose Martinez is a goofball, blah, blah, blah…

    As far as other forums, defending a lower common denominator of discussion is not a positive thing, IMO. I am proud our topics here are intelligent and on subject. I’ve seen other forums that are little more than free-for-alls and bitch-fests among angry fans. It happens here when the same negative posters drop in periodically, but they usually just as quickly leave, rather than engage in actual dialog with others in our community. But everyone is free to post wherever they choose.

    P.S. Regarding Bader the player, I see his best fit as a fourth outfielder, playing against left-handed pitching.

    #144761
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    I know you’re a Bader fan, but in checking other boards most posters just don’t see him as an answer. They comment on his 32% strike out rate, his agonizing, slow, time consuming routine between every pitch, his hat flying off on even routine plays in the outfield (and when running the bases) displaying his golden permed locks, his interviews which display ego, etc. I may seem like a negative nelly about him on TCN, but I would be just one of the crowd on other forums.

    You listed one thing that is a red flag and the thing that probably means he can’t be a starting CF on a team that’s struggling offensively. The other things are all appearance and perception. I’m not his biggest fan by any stretch but I still think he has value. So does every low bias rating system out there. In fact, WAR/600 since 2017:

    Bader 3.68
    Ozuna 3.53
    O’Neill 2.80
    Fowler 0.80

    Looks like three useful players and one…not so.

    #144762
    Avatarforsch31
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    On Turner, I get the caution about his age and continued ability to hit. However, unless I am missing something, he doesn’t seem to be slowing down very much. If we could sign him to a 2 year contract with a team option for a third year, I think he upgrades the team the most. At that point, Carpenter should be an expensive bench player waiting for his contract to expire.

    Left field could possibly be a place for a big upgrade but O’Neill might be the one who provides that upgrade. If we can’t upgrade 3B, then we need to go outside for LF. Brantley would be my first choice. Pederson and Rosario would be fall back options to platoon.

    #144763
    Euro DandyEuro Dandy
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    There are negative impacts to keeping sunken costs on the roster, beyond their lack of production.

    Sunken costs. A BDW / Mo blind spot. It’s not uncommon. There have been a lot of studies on why otherwise smart people commit this emotional fallacy.

    #144764
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    The sunken cost topic probably hasn’t been pursued enough. The only time they stepped up to eat real money was when there were chemistry issues. Otherwise, they ride it out. Is it fiscal conservatism or fear that the player will rebound elsewhere while they are still paying his salary or what?

    #144765
    Avatarbccran
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    What’s the old adage about the definition of insanity being defined as doing the same thing all over again time after time and expecting different results? Doesn’t that apply to a certain extent to O’Neill, Thomas, Bader, and Williams?

    An interesting thing about Bader that I mentioned before (sorry to be redundant).
    When he doesn’t do his redo the gloves, tap the bat on his toes, twirl the bat, shimmy, pump his hips routine, etc. he seems like a much better hitter. When he just steps up to the plate, cocks the bat, and concentrates on the pitcher he seems more locked in. Bader did well coming through the system. Look at his numbers at Memphis in 2017. He has the potential. All he has to do is get rid of all the other stuff and play ball. I’m all for him if he does that.

    BW – I hear what you have to say about the discipline in this forum. Calling to task a poster who calls another poster a moron and troll would seem to be appropriate next time.

    #144766
    Avatarmudville
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    stlcard25 – I see the outfield situation the same way. I want to give O’Neill another chance before we send him someplace else where he will surely OPS 1.000+. That’s why, to me, it makes sense to go after an outfield prospect with a high ceiling as a backup for O’Neill in case O’Neill just can’t hit here. With his stellar defense and a .779 OPS, Bader is our centerfielder until further notice. Carlson is our left fielder for next year, and Dex is in right field. O’Neill, and probably Thomas, get their chances again to force their way into the lineup. The outfield is much improved next year because of Carlson alone.

    I want Lindor because he brings star power. This team needs some star power.

    I love Arenado. Who doesn’t? He’s just over the top expensive, and I can’t help but wonder if he’s one of these players that will be great for a year or two, and then grossly overpaid for the remainder of his contract. Turner is another guy I worry will greatly regress on his next contract. I’d take him, but for only one year at a time.

    This team’s starting pitching is going to be better in 2021, and a lot better in 2022 when Hudson is all the way back, and Gomber/Cabrera have another year of development at the major league level completed, IMO.

    #144767
    Avatarbccran
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    BW – I know you’ve had conversations with Mo. And you know he has a CFO approach. He looks at players as investments in assets. He measures success by the return on those assets. If he invests $18.5 million in a player he is going to try to get some return. A less than expected return is better than no return at all.

    #144768
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    Mudville…I agree with many of your assessments. I think Bader is what he is…a guy who could start in CF if you’ve got a very good offense but otherwise a late inning replacement/guy who will start vs lefties. O’Neill has had two parts to his career so far…the very high K/very low walk guy who slugged but didn’t do much else, and the high K/solid walk guy who didn’t hit for as much power, but also played elite defense. If he puts it together, and I think he will next year, you have an .850+ OPS LF who will provide excellent defense. That’s basically a power Starling Marte, and I’d take that.

    Apart from sitting pat, which wouldn’t anger me as a fan, I’m in favor of getting a high ceiling prospect like Kirilloff or Larnach. If they can’t go that route, I’d prefer them to look externally for a guy who can be a 1 year stopgap (Pederson, Rosario) and look for a big fish next year. If your OF looks like O’Neill-Bader-Carlson and you are happy there after 2021, fine. But there will be bats available then. Conforto may be the big fish, which is why I wouldn’t be opposed to a trade with the Mets if they’re willing to make it (and with their pitching they really need it). Brantley is a decent option but a much better one if you have a DH to stash him as he ages.

    I also like Lindor. If Mo and Girsch don’t waste money this off-season, believe it or not, the Cards would be in a good salary spot to take on a free agent OF plus Lindor or Seager after 2021. Payroll will be in the $110M range with Wong, Carp, Miller, Fowler, and possibly Cmart coming off the books. You could resign Wong, sign Conforto, sign Lindor and trade Dejong for pitching help if needed or move him to 3B if Gorman isn’t quite ready.

    #144769
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    To expand on my Bader comment above, how about if the Cards find an OF who rakes against RHP, but struggles against LHP. Might come cheaper as a result.

    Then set up a virtual platoon with Bader. If newguy is a corner OF, no problem. Play Carlson in CF for Bader and move him to left with Bader plays.

    #144770
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    bccran said:

    BW – I hear what you have to say about the discipline in this forum. Calling to task a poster who calls another poster a moron and troll would seem to be appropriate next time.

    You bring up the same things over and over, yet you complain when it is recognized as such. Every time you bring this particular example up, I encourage you to contact me offline – and every time you don’t. I have to assume it is because you want to make being a perceived victim a public matter.

    Most other posters don’t care about this. They come here to talk Cardinals baseball. But if anyone is curious, moderator bikemike dealt with the aforementioned problem at the time in a manner that I thought was appropriate. Sometimes moderators have to work publicly and other times, they work behind the scenes.

    Now, get back to baseball, please.

    #144771
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    BW – I know you’ve had conversations with Mo. And you know he has a CFO approach. He looks at players as investments in assets. He measures success by the return on those assets. If he invests $18.5 million in a player he is going to try to get some return. A less than expected return is better than no return at all.

    What do you think Mo’s view on the return for Fowler is? On the field, he’s had one solid year, a total disaster and two mediocre seasons (at best). His presence has forced the Cards to trade away Grichuk, Piscotty, Pham and Arozarena (not 100% his fault but there would be lots more at bats for some of these guys if Fowler wasn’t doing his average best with them). Lane Thomas and Tyler O’Neill are still unknowns thanks to him being there.

    Oh, and Fowler has been paid $66M and counting for it. How much more “return” does Mo expect to get that he will be losing on the other end by trading away O’Neill or Thomas and watching them provide another team value for minimum salary?

    #144772
    Avatarbccran
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    Good idea, Brian. Are you thinking of Pederson?

    On a separate topic, what’s become of Sosa? And isn’t he a player who could be talked about in 2021 discussions? He had a solid year at Memphis in 2019 –
    .291/.335/.466/.801 – 70 runs, 62 RBI, 17 HRs, 5 Triples, 18 doubles in only 118 games. He’s a solid 6 ft., 210 pounder.
    Did he not get a look in 2020 because he was infected? I watched him in 3 games at ST in March and he was impressive.

    #144773
    Avatarbccran
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    25 – it’s the play him if we’re paying him syndrome. I talked to a dad of a Cardinal minor leaguer one time and he was talking about how guys got promoted. A pitcher was promoted over others from Peoria to Palm Beach who had some of the worst stats on the Chief’s staff. When asked about it, the manager said “the Cards paid him a fairly sizable bonus when they signed him, so we have more of an investment in him than some of the other players.

    #144774
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    Good idea, Brian. Are you thinking of Pederson?

    Pederson is the guy I originally looked at on a one year deal. He plays LF primarily with Carlson in CF and Fowler in RF. If Fowler is hurt or ineffective you move Carlson to RF and O’Neill/Bader take CF turns. Against LHP, your OF is O’Neill-Bader-Carlson. (Tyler actually has reverse splits and always has with the exception of one year in the minors IIRC, but that’s the way all managers view splitting time so that’s how Shildt will do it).

    #144775
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    “…who want to throw away a potential 95 win team in 2022-23 to upgrade an 85 win team to 86 wins in 2021.”

    If I could post, paste, copy whatever it’s called; I’d repeat this comment about 5 times in a row, for effect.

    #144776
    Avatarbccran
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    25 – I agree with you on Fowler.
    He was signed as a center fielder and leadoff man. He’s neither of those now and his offensive numbers (and defense) as a right fielder produce less than acceptable ROI on his cost.

    #144779
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    25 – I agree with you on Fowler.
    He was signed as a center fielder and leadoff man. He’s neither of those now and his offensive numbers (and defense) as a right fielder produce less than acceptable ROI on his cost

    Yep. That’s why I’m not necessarily willing to pencil him into RF for next year. TBH, if you ignore the $16.5M I would say there’s a 90% chance that you have a better team by plugging in Tyler O’Neill as your starting RF next year while Fowler is your bench bat. That is accounting for all value (hitting, defense, base running). But Fowler will be the starting RF barring a very big change of heart by Mo.

    #144781
    Avatarforsch31
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    If O’Neill shows in training camp that things are coming together, I would hope that the Cardinals would go with an OF of Carlson, Bader and O’Neill. That’s if they don’t acquire another outfielder to play every day. If Fowler complains 1 time about sitting, cut him.

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