Cardinals’ Off-season Needs

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  • #145013
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    For those who are members, you can read my assessment of the Marco-O’Neill trade fully. Dated 7/21/17.

    Here is part:

    As already noted today, the Cardinals already have four left-handed relievers on the MLB roster and Luke Weaver (now) and Alex Reyes (next year) are clearly ahead of Gonzales on the starting pitching pecking order. Coming up fast behind are Jack Flaherty, Zac Gallen and others.

    In terms of prospect age, the Cards improved by three years with O’Neill just 22 years of age, compared to Gonzales at 25. I have seen some early speculation, however, that Gonzales will slip into Seattle’s rotation. An MLB spot for O’Neill is not immediately planned.

    O’Neill’s power potential is interesting, and his #29 ranking on MLB Pipeline’s national top 100 is three spots ahead of Carson Kelly. That puts him behind only Alex Reyes among Cardinals prospects. In our rankings here at The Cardinal Nation, if those relative rankings hold, O’Neill would slot in at five, just ahead of Harrison Bader.

    Gonzales was no longer nationally ranked after two years slowed by injuries. He was 14th on TCN’s July top 50 but on the rise after pitching well this season following a lost 2015 and 2016. Let’s not forget he was the system’s no. 1 prospect just two years ago.

    I don’t want to get too excited about O’Neill, as his 19 homers are the same as Memphis’ Bader and two less than the team leader, third baseman Patrick Wisdom. Plus the two Redbirds did it in 28 and 36 fewer plate appearances, respectively. But, O’Neill has come on lately, with 13 of those long balls coming in the last 24 games.

    My friend Eno Sarris from Fangraphs knows O’Neill well. He not only likes the new Cardinal, but has an explanation for him possibly being a late bloomer.

    O’Neill played in the Futures Game in 2015 and in the 2016 Arizona Fall League, where he appeared in the Fall Stars Game. I saw him for the first time in the latter setting and thought his stature (5-foot-11, 210 pounds), right-handed hitting, plus his high home run and strikeout and low walk profile is somewhat like Randal Grichuk.

    It appears O’Neill’s 2017 spring training with Seattle was disrupted by his WBC stint, during which he went 1-for-11 (.091) with one walk and five strikeouts as a teammate of Rowan Wick on Team Canada.

    To crack St. Louis’ roster as an outfielder, O’Neill will be competing with prospects Bader, Magneuris Sierra, Adolis Garcia, Randy Arozarena and Oscar Mercado. However, O’Neill could displace Jose Martinez as the fourth outfielder easily enough. In the short term, it would appear that he would join Adolis and Bader in the Memphis outfield, with the other three at Springfield.

    Of course, other moves to further change the dynamics of the St. Louis roster may be forthcoming.

    As an important aside, O’Neill was not on Seattle’s 40-man roster, so a byproduct of this trade is to free up a 40-man spot from Gonzales that can be used later on for another player, either already inside the organization or coming from outside.

    Cards Send Gonzales to Seattle for Prospect OF O’Neill

    #145016
    Avatarbccran
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    Say all you want about the depth of outfielders we’ve had. But look at Mo’s track record. He brought in Beltran. He brought in Grichuk. He brought in Heyward. He brought in Fowler. He brought in Ozuna. He brought in O’Neill.

    Let’s look at the drafts over the past 15 years to see why we have an outfield problem. Here are the outfielders drafted in the 1st 5 rounds each season –

    2006 – Jay (2) Robinson (5)
    2007 – Russell (4) – didn’t sign
    2008 – Peterson (2)
    2009 – none
    2010 – Longmire (5)
    2011 – Tilson (2), McElroy (3)
    2012 – Ramsey (1), Piscotty (1S)
    2013 – none
    2014 – none
    2015 – Bader (3)
    2016 – Carlson (1), Robbins (5)
    2017 – Hurst (3)
    2018 – none
    2019 – Fletcher (2)
    2020 – Burleson (2)

    During that period of time, we’ve drafted 95 players in those first 5 rounds. So for those 15 years, we have Jay, Carlson and maybe Bader to show for it so far.
    We haven’t put an emphasis on drafting outfielders. Most of them have come from the outside. As they probably will in the near future.

    #145018
    Avatarforsch31
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    And all that has nothing to do with what this team should do this offseason. That’s what they did in the past.

    #145019
    Avatarforsch31
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    After all this discussion, here are my moves:

    1) Pick up Wong’s extension.
    2) Sign Molina to a 2 year contract. $8 million base each year with easy to reach incentives, if healthy and performing.
    3) Sign Waino to another 1 year contract similar to his 2020 contract.
    4) Let Wieters and Brad Miller walk.
    5) Try to sign Turner to play 3B for 2 years with a mutual option for a third.
    6) Try to sign Brantley for 3 years for LF. Springer would be the backup option.
    7) Trade CMart and Wong and Andrew Miller to free up salary for free agents.
    8) Try to acquire someone like Kirilloff, Kelenic to fill an OF spot in a year or 2.
    9) Backup plan of signing Andrelton Simmons and either moving DeJong to 3B or see if the Cardinals could get a good “sell high” deal on him.

    The chances of signing 2 free agents and stay within the Cardinals financial constraints is almost impossible. I would only trade Wong and Miller if the Cardinals did sign a free agent. I am hoping that we could really find out just how much value CMart has and he helps acquire that top 50+ prospect.

    #145022
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    your last sentence: Carlson and Gorman are 55’s, Liberatore is a 50, by fangraphs.

    Lets say CMart is with the Orioles, under the same contract, and BAL inquires about any of these three young players above availability, and offers CMart in any possible trade. How do you feel about CMART’s value now as his acquiring team?

    #145024
    Avatarbccran
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    So sorry to give you background information on why we need to move forward much the way you depicted, Forsch. But history does really matter. In baseball and many other areas.

    #145027
    AvatarTexasCard
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    Cranny you forgot Nick Plummer, OF, 1st round, in 2015. I still remember the night of the draft I was very critical of the pick after I saw the short clip of him hitting. I have been a coach for a long time and I was highly skeptical of that pick and thought he was grossly overrated. I didn’t see him as a top pick at all and regardless of his injury history I didn’t think he’d become much of a player. I would think after 5 years now that has proven out. He has produced nothing. This pick was a bad scouting mistake. As for O’Neil he is another one that they are wasting their time on. He’s a modern day way less talented Pete Incaviglia. Both are muscle bound LF that have some power but strike out too much. They need to start internal with their scouting department and player evaluation system. It is stale and not working.

    #145029
    Avatarbccran
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    Texas – sorry to miss him. Thanks very much for your input.

    #145030
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    TexasCard…the Plummer pick looks even worse when you consider that the Dodgers got Walker Buehler with the next pick. Luckily, the Cards did well with the rest of that draft.

    As for O’Neill, I respect your view but I’m not there yet. Incaviglia never seemed like much of a fielder or base runner. Of course, one thing I find odd about Tyler is his lack of steals for such a fast runner. I don’t think he gets past 2021 with the Cards unless he marries the better approach of (particularly early) 2020 with the power he had in 2018-19. Might be too much to ask.

    #145072
    Avatarforsch31
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    bccran, so you are saying we need to get rid of Mo and the scouting department?

    #145075
    Avatarforsch31
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    That 2015 draft was the only one with Chris Correa in charge. He wiffed on Plummer and Denton but did draft Woodford, Bader, Hicks, DeJong and Helsley.

    #145077
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Excellent point on the 2015 draft, which overall is one of the team’s best drafts in years. Five major leaguers from one draft class is an exceptional take. But every team has many misses. Every single one. Expecting otherwise is being totally unrealistic. Reminds me of the old line about focusing on Cindy Crawford’s mole.

    #145083
    Avatarbccran
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    The 2015 drat was indeed exceptional. Sticks out like a sore thumb compared to most Cardinal drafts. Drafted players only have a 10% chance of making it to the majors. Higher in the 1st 5 rounds though. That’s why it sticks out so much also that the Cards haven’t drafted many outfielders over the past 15 years in those rounds.

    #145086
    AvatarTexasCard
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    Absolutely teams have misses in the draft and they have later round hits. But Plummer was a bad miss that shouldn’t have happened. First round misses happen no doubt but this one could have been avoided and left a hole just like 2017 when they didn’t have a early pick. By the way 2015 and 2017 are related because of the individual who ran that 2015 draft.

    #145087
    Avatarbccran
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    Regarding Arozarena. There were some on here who did indeed rank Arozarena high. Higher than O’Neill, Bader, Thomas, and Williams. But as BW pointed out in his article, most TCN posters didn’t.

    #145089
    Avatarforsch31
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    bccran, if they did draft more OFs in the first 5 rounds, maybe there would have been more Plummer’s and Denton’s and no Carlson’s. Consider that.

    #145093
    Avatarbccran
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    Actually, I’m one of those who likes the high floor guys who generally come out of college. I actually liked the Bader and DeJong picks in 2015. Didn’t care for the pure spec picks like Plummer, Denton, McElroy, Tilson, Bean, Peoples-Walls, etc.

    Look at that 2015 highly successful draft

    Plummer
    Woodford
    Denton
    Bader
    Hicks
    DeJong
    Helsley

    Where were more of the DeJongs and Baders over the past 15 drafts?

    #145098
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Cue up the bccran rant on why high school players are bad and all draftees should be from college…

    #145099
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    TexasCard said:

    Absolutely teams have misses in the draft and they have later round hits. But Plummer was a bad miss that shouldn’t have happened. First round misses happen no doubt but this one could have been avoided and left a hole just like 2017 when they didn’t have a early pick. By the way 2015 and 2017 are related because of the individual who ran that 2015 draft.

    Every first round miss could have been avoided – with 20-20 hindsight. By definition, teams at the back end have to take more risks than the teams that pick first. Unless you can show me data that the Cardinals have had less success with their first rounders than other teams that typically pick at the back end of the draft, I have no way to make such definitive statements that I cannot back up.

    P.S. I am NOT a Chris Correa supporter, but his lone draft was pretty good. That he cheated doing his job and was caught is a different discussion…

    Also, it is good to see you back around here, TexasCard…

    #145102
    Avatarbccran
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    Brian – jumping on a poster like that is really unbecoming. And unkind. You’re better than that. There’s nothing wrong with a poster preferring some college position players in the first 5 rounds of the draft. In prior posts, I’ve listed summaries of college draftees vs. high school draftees as far as the odds of making it to the major leagues. I simply prefer the less riskier route as well as the route that brings help to the big club sooner. Personal choice.

    #145106
    AvatarCardsFanInChiTown
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    I just got a chance to read through the last few pages of this, and I’d love some correction if I’m wrong on my thoughts….

    1) If Dewitt is able to “shave” some payroll, it’s not going back into the 2021 team, after the financial loss in 2020, 2021 still a big unknown, that payroll number is going down, not up. Getting rid of the Carp, Fowler and Miller contracts after 2021 and hopefully a more stable forecast for the 2022 season should allow them to actually spend a little in the 21-22 offseason.

    2) Adding a piece or two on the FA market is possible, but those pieces are more than likely Yadi and Waino. I’d personally love a reunion with Brad Miller also.

    3) The only upgrades I see them being willing to make are via the trade market. To “shave” payroll and actually have a return back, Mikolas should be mentioned a lot more. Since last offseason, I keep thinking the Angels are a perfect fit for the Cards pitching and the fact they have a full outfield, would a Brandon Marsh for Mikolas and Gant be enough for them?

    4) Wong will have his option picked up, he can either lead off and play GG defense at 2nd for the 2021 team, or be traded for a decent piece to a big money team than can afford him, not picking it up would be dumber than voting for xxxxx.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Brian WaltonBrian Walton.
    #145107
    Avatargscottar
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    I have no desire to bring Miller back. His skill set is redundant with what we have.

    Wong should be brought back. Not doing so would be as dumb as making a political comment on a sports related board.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Avatargscottar.
    #145109
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    I have neutered the last line of your post, CFICT. You know the rules here about politics, so why you chose to not follow them is beyond me.

    #145111
    Avatarforsch31
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    Bccran, if you want to talk about drafting, bring it up in a drafting thread. This is about getting ready for 2021.

    #145113
    Avatarbccran
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    Forsch – on this thread, TexasCard
    and 25 have also been talking about drafting. Would you like to address your complaint to them too?

    Actually, getting ready for 2021 may include Cardinal players who have been drafted. Where they are in the system now, if there’s a position donut due to a certain type of drafting philosophy, and if so what kinds of needs should be addressed with off season moves.
    All part of the hot stove league.

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