Cardinals’ Off-season Needs

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  • #144937
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    Regarding Carlos, he’s owed $11.7M next year, plus a $1M trade bonus and a $1M buyout. So call that a $13.7M salary for one year. If a team got him for 3 years his total payment would be $48.7M.

    Teams are always looking for surplus value in trades. Since we don’t have the exact formula any team uses, we have to go with the publicly available systems. His 2019 numbers as a reliever looked good, 1.2 WAR. Using a generous estimate of $9M/WAR, that means Carlos accumulated $10.8M of value in 2019. If a team wanted him and thought that was the value they might expect, he would have -$2.9M surplus value in a trade. Since they surely would not want to keep a reliever around for $36M over two more years, that’s the end of their deal. I don’t have to do much to convince you there that a team isn’t going to give up much for a negative surplus value in a trade. And that’s the better case scenario of him being healthy enough to relieve all season.

    Now, suppose a team liked him and thought he could start. His years were pretty consistent while starting, right around 3 WAR per year at Fangraphs ($27M value). If a team thought that was the guy they’re getting, they easily make the trade for one year (+$13.3M surplus value) or three years (+$32.3M surplus value). So what does that get you? Fangraphs did some work on this too (LINK) and came up with a solo player value of between a 50 grade position player and 55 grade pitching prospect for a $32.3M surplus value. Per the FG top 100, these are some guys you’ve probably heard mentioned here…Alex Kirilloff, Taylor Larnach, Nolan Jones, AJ Puk, Brendan McKay. But is it really fair to assume a team will see Carlos as peak starter value? I don’t think so.

    So what is fair? Let’s take an average of the two and say the Cards get a mix between the average of his relief value and starter value and he’s worth $14.7M surplus over three years. What’s the value on this? Well, in the earlier article you can see they parsed out the top 100+ and it roughly equates to around the 110th prospect. Which is a solo trade, and unlikely to happen. So you’d be looking more likely at 2-3 guys ranked somewhere in the low 100s to 300 range. Aka one guy you hope, but aren’t totally confident can be a big league starting player some day (think Elehuris Montero or Lane Thomas in our system) and a couple of fliers. And this is taking a pretty favorable view of Carlos’ health and results, and discounting 2020 entirely. If you throw any sort of discount at it, the trade quickly becomes a giveaway.

    Again, such is life in payroll purgatory.

    #144939
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    jj, that theoretical BABIP correction of seven more singles would improve SLG, but not ISO. Personally, I don’t discard any measure as they all can be illustrative.

    #144940
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    jj, that theoretical BABIP correction of seven more singles would improve SLG, but not ISO.

    True.

    Fwiw, I did the math and with a .300 BABIP (pretty reasonable for one of the fastest guys in the league with good to great power) and only singles from the increased hits, his line would be .245/.325/.432. Not elite, but there probably would be more patience after such a small sample size and funky year that we had.

    #144942
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    Agreed, my ISOp opinion is based on comparing all players, not just Tyler’s numbers.

    Tyler lost .089 pts of BA, and .050 of obp (w/2 additional HBP). The improved BB/K is there in his obp but due to the BA drop it’s not showing up as easily.

    #144956
    Avatarbccran
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    You can’t go to war and win the big one with guys like O’Neill, Bader, Thomas, Fowler, Carpenter, Miller, etc. cluttering your roster. Time to start filling some holes.

    #144959
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    You can’t go to war and win the big one with guys like O’Neill, Bader, Thomas, Fowler, Carpenter, Miller, etc. cluttering your roster. Time to start filling some holes

    Fowler, Carp, Miller (depending on which one), I agree. Teams with pieces that have some elite talent are the ones that win titles. You don’t have to have all superstars (see the 2013-15 Cards who had none and had some players worse than any of the above mentioned playing yet still won a pennant, were within a whisker of another and won 100 games in the third season).

    After next season is the time to be aggressive on the free agent market, not now. There are elite impact players available then. Think of it as shopping at the luxury dealership in 2021 or at the used car store this year.

    #144960
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    stlcard25
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    Pads, that’s an interesting take. I had to look up Fowler vs Pederson for right handers since 2016:

    16-Fowler .827 OPS, Pederson .918 OPS
    17-Fowler .883 OPS, Pederson .768 OPS
    18-Fowler .582 OPS, Pederson .893 OPS
    19-Fowler .775 OPS, Pederson .920 OPS
    20-Fowler .801 OPS, Pederson .677 OPS

    I don’t see those as super close, since Pederson has had three elite years vs RHP and will be 29, while Fowler has had only one and will be 35. I also think Pederson comes cheap after his bad 2020.

    To be clear, are you not a fan of Pederson specifically and would rather target someone else, or would you rather not go after any OFers at all?

    I ran the numbers for those 5 years and you are right, Pederson is much more prolific against RH pitching with an .870 OPS vs. Fowler’s .782. Not that you can do this, but if you take out Fowler’s wretched 2018 campaign, he has an .824 OPS.

    I don’t see the big addition being a platoon player personally. If it’s Pederson, I don’t think we will make the postseason next year.

    #144961
    Avatarbccran
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    I don’t think elite is the total answer. Just a lineup of players at each position that are solid both offensively and defensively Everyday guys who grind it out and persevere. Keep coming at you for all 9 innings. Dylan Carlson could turn into exactly that type of player. David Eckstein was that type. Carp was that type for a number of years. DeJong can be that type.

    #144962
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    I don’t see the big addition being a platoon player personally. If it’s Pederson, I don’t think we will make the postseason next year.

    Fair enough. With the likely expansion of the playoffs and pitching/defense I think this team makes the playoffs either way. (I also think the NL Central might be bad, with no team except maybe the Pirates being better on paper next year)

    Another thing I’ll ask…how much of a factor do you think the schedule was in the Cards’ offensive performance this year? I felt like it made a big difference.

    #144963
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    gscottar
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    The idea for Pederson is to get him as a platoon partner for Bader.

    For me, Pederson would be a platoon player with O’Neill.

    Am I missing something? Why would O’Neill get playing time over Bader? Bader is notoriously good vs. LH pitching (killing lefties in the minors) I have O’Neill penciled in for the bench or even AAA in 2021. His OPS was just .621 in 2020. That is over 150 points below what Bader put up (.779).

    I guess you could give Carlson the keys to LF and have a Pederson/Fowler OF against RH starters and a Bader/O’Neill OF against LH starters. But that doesn’t really make sense for O’Neill. He is better against RH pitching (small sample size warning) than he is versus LH pitching. In the minors, it was back and forth for him as well split-wise.

    #144964
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    I’ll bet a wooden nickel that Shildt’s LF today is Tommy Edman. Mo knows if he gives Shildt a better option in LF, Shildt will have Edman playing 3B, RF and 2B; all positions where Mo has invested at least 10mil AAV (assuming he brings Wong back). I’m not getting my hopes up for an impact bat addition, not this offseason.

    What Mo could do is include Edman in a impact bat trade and take Shildt’s shiny swiss army knife away from him. Edman was second in GS and PA’s last season, he starts for uncle Mike 🙂

    #144965
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    This is why an easy solution to all this is to add an above-average hitter like Brantley. Then we aren’t relying on a bunch of question marks (incl. Carlson) in the outfield and mixing and matching a bunch of players – something they’ve never been great at.

    #144966
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    I don’t think elite is the total answer. Just a lineup of players at each position that are solid both offensively and defensively Everyday guys who grind it out and persevere. Keep coming at you for all 9 innings. Dylan Carlson could turn into exactly that type of player. David Eckstein was that type. Carp was that type for a number of years. DeJong can be that type.

    I just don’t agree that aiming for solid veteran types with high probability of regression is the way to win in this age. Maybe it was in the performance enhancing era of the 60s to late 00s, but not anymore. People gloss over the Pujols era like he wasn’t the reason that they were able to have guys like Eckstein on the roster. This team can’t afford to take on potential albatross deals for 2021 and beyond.

    #144967
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    This is why an easy solution to all this is to add an above-average hitter like Brantley. Then we aren’t relying on a bunch of question marks (incl. Carlson) in the outfield and mixing and matching a bunch of players – something they’ve never been great at.

    The best roster solution would be to cut or trade Fowler for any possible salary relief and sign Brantley. Savvy teams would do it, but the Cards have rarely been bold enough to do stuff like that. Brantley in LF, Bader in CF and Carlson in RF with O’Neill filling in for all three.

    #144969
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    To discount his success as a closer in 2019 is silly. What do closers get paid nowadays in today’s MLB world?

    You did acknowledge that we would have to eat half of Miller’s salary to move him. Who would you rather have pitching in the 8th and 9th inning right now, Miller or CMart? Not 2018 but right now? I think the answer is Miller so if you have to eat half of his salary you would have to do the same for CMart. His current value is nowhere close as to what you think.

    We all know you are desperately trying to find payroll space to get a big bat this winter but the reality is that we are going to have to shop at Old Navy instead of Neiman Marcus. 2022 is when we will have the money.

    #144970
    Avatargscottar
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    Am I missing something? Why would O’Neill get playing time over Bader? Bader is notoriously good vs. LH pitching (killing lefties in the minors) I have O’Neill penciled in for the bench or even AAA in 2021.

    Pads,

    st25 phrased it this way the other day and I thought it was well stated. He said that while Bader has a higher floor than O’Neill, O’Neill has the higher ceiling. I would like to take one more stab at finding out what the ceiling is over a 162 game season just to make sure we don’t trade him and have Luke Voit 2.0 on our hands.

    #144971
    Avatargscottar
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    bcran,

    Here is an idea. If you really really really want a big bat THIS OFFSEASON then you would have to consider trading away a player we have with very high value. That isn’t CMart or Miller or even Wong. It would be Jack Flaherty. Jack didn’t have the best year in 2020 but I still think he is highly regarded around the league.

    Who could we get for him? I don’t know but let me throw out some names:

    Yankees: Gleybar Torres and Deivi Garcia
    Dodgers: Cody Bellinger
    Braves: Ronald Acuna
    Angels: Jo Adell and others
    Mets: Pete Alonso and Edwin Diaz
    White Sox: Luis Robert
    A’s: Matt Chapman and Frankie Montas
    Astros: Alex Bregman or Yordan Alvarez

    Would you give up FLaherty to get one or more of those players? I am not sure Flaherty would even fetch those players but even if would we would have our big bat but our rotation would be a shambles next year.

    #144972
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    Pads, don’t discount O’Neill for Marco Gonzales. Bader has the orgs draft and develop footprint, O’Neill for Gonzales has Mo’s thumbprint.

    I could see why Mo would trade Bader to secure more playing time for O’Neill in a platoon with Pederson, especially considering Shildt’s postseason usage of Bader vs O’Neill.

    #144977
    Avatarbccran
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    I’m still one who wants to build from within with players like Wong, DeJong, Carlson, Flaherty, Hudson, etc. They don’t have to all be all stars. Just solid, good, all around players. But when you see a problem as far as a donut at a certain position, add a short term experienced bat to plug the hole until your lower level players at that position develop. We have tried that to a certain extent with guys like Beltran, Berkman, Peralta, Heyward, Fowler, Ozuna, etc. Time to do it again.
    At 3B and in the OF.

    #144981
    Avatarbccran
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    In the rotation, we’ve augmented with Mikolas and Kim.

    #144999
    Avatarmudville
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    A point of comparison –

    Kevin Kiermaier WAR 1.6 AB 138 BA .217 OPS .683 OPS+ 91
    Harrison Bader WAR 0.8 AB 106 BA .226 OPS .779 OPS+ 111

    There are at least two baseball managers that value center field defense over offense.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Avatarmudville.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Avatarmudville.
    #145004
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    Gscottar, I saw this in a chat regarding Flaherty. I’m not sure the Yankees would really say no, but it’s an interesting thought:

    Jack Flaherty for Jasson Dominguez and Deivi Garcia (NYY). Who says no?

    Mark Polishuk
    The Yankees. They see Garcia as developing into something of a Flaherty-lite type of pitcher at minimum, and Dominguez is drawing rave reviews.

    #145006
    Avatargscottar
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    That is interesting. Dominguez and Garcia would be big gets but Dominguez is too far away. If I am the Cardinal GM pulling the trigger on that deal I need more tangible results sooner which is why I would ask for Torres. I could be fired before Dominguez ever makes it the bigs.

    #145007
    Avatarbccran
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    I’m not necessarily lobbying for a “big” bat, gscottar. Just a consistent bat that you can count on everyday. Like Brantley. In 2019 he had 22 home runs and 90 RBI in 637 plate appearances. This season he had 5 home runs and 22 RBI in 187 plate appearances. That’s probably not a “big” bat. But his combination of high contact rate with a little pop sure would be refreshing.

    #145011
    bicyclemikebicyclemike
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    I would like to take one more stab at finding out what the ceiling is over a 162 game season just to make sure we don’t trade him and have Luke Voit 2.0 on our hands.

    I am with you there. The problem with talking about getting a Brantley or Pederson, is the assumption is that they will perform the same as they have the last couple of years, and someone like O’Neill will stay at the 2020 level.

    But as we know, guy’s production can be quite different year to year. O’Neill, with his age and athleticism is a good candidate to be much better in ’21. I think we have to give him a lot of playing time and see what is there.

    Thinking of O’Neill for Gonzalez, we traded a lefty pitcher for an outfielder, and then later we were outfield heavy and traded an outfielder (Arozarena) for a left handed pitcher. Sitting here in offseason ’20-21, we are losing in both deals. That could change as the seasons roll on, and I would think Liberatore will turn out to be better than Marco, but it makes you wonder what management is thinking sometimes. I do not recall exactly what our situation was when we traded Marco, but seems like we were already heavy in outfield prospects at that time and some of us were wondering why we added another one to the mix.

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