Cardinals’ Off-season Needs

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    Thanks, 25. I was just assuming he had enough this year to equal his 550. I feel much better about next year, now. The only way Carpenter will be on the 2022 team is that he takes a HUGE pay cut. I hope, even then, he won’t be on the 2022 team.


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    Watching Carp, Yadi and Waino go in the next couple of years is gonna be tough. With the payroll situation the way it is, I’d almost rather just have them all go out together after next year and start fresh in 2022. It seems crappy that the fans couldn’t pay their respects to three of the Cardinal greats in person as a farewell.

    Back to the task at hand, there is offensive talent on this team, even if people don’t want to believe it. The system has the ability to start adding to it as early as next year (Gorman, possibly Montero or Herrera, Baker). Adding all the offense you could want won’t help if it turns the defense into swiss cheese though. We saw that first hand in 2016.

    shakenbake McBride


    2020 positives:
    1. One year closer to getting rid of Carpenter, Fowler and Martinez.
    2. Kim and Gomber – finally some LHSP production.
    3.. Mikolas and Hicks miss the 2020 season and not a real season.
    4. Yadi and Wainwright can still contribute and should be considered for 2021 if the $$$ is right.
    5. Lots of good young pitching.

    2020 negatives:
    1. Underwhelming outfield. ( just imagine if our outfield was Ozuna, Taveras and whoever.)
    2. Unreliable bullpen.
    3. Way too many pitching injuries.

    Brian Walton

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    I thought the bullpen was pretty good overall. Why do you think it is unreliable? What are you comparing it to?




    alot are wanting Arenado but for less $ and shorter fill in til Gorman what about Jose Ramirez? Im sure we would have some trade pieces that would work. Maybe Trevor Bauer as a FA pitcher. And maybe Wong + Oneil for Merrifield.
    p OR dh ???



    I really wish they wouldn’t keep the expanded playoff format. It just give the front office the ability to keep putting out the old saw that all you need to do is make the playoffs, as the playoffs are a crap-shoot.

    C – Yadi – Keep as long as reasonable price.
    1B – Goldy – Keep
    2B – Wong – Keep – A real head scratcher as to why so many want him gone. If right offer though???
    SS – DeJong – Package in right deal. If kept, they need to rest him more. 1st half vs 2nd half splits are astounding.
    3B – Carpenter – If ever there was an argument against “Contracts play”, he is it. Wow has he gone off a cliff. I miss the doubles hitting Carp.
    LF – Carlson – Very few players I would trade him for.
    CF – Bader – Package in right deal. 3rd highest WAR among position players. Yikes!
    RF – Fowler – 2nd on the ‘Contracts play” list. I like him and think his leadership is underrated, but never has lived up to what they signed him for. Of course they could have paid more than double and still have Jason Heyward at $65 million for next 3 years.

    Flaherty – Keep unless absolutely overwhelmed.
    Waino – Keep if he want to come back. Was our 3rd best starter most of the time.
    Kim – Keep
    Hudson – Hurt out all 21.
    Mikolas – Hurt until proven otherwise.
    Carlos – Trade if you can get a good return. So much potential, but how long can you wait.
    Reyes – Keep unless good return. Finally stayed healthy. Needs innings. Hard to believe still under control for 3 more years.
    Gomber / Ponce – Include one or the other in right package, probably not both.

    Trade-able commodities (In order by category)
    Basically untouchable: Flaherty, Carlson, Kim, Liberatore, Gorman
    For right Deal: Wong, DeJong, Gomber, Ponce, Kinzer, Montero

    Question then is what can you get for the right deal players?



    More random thoughts while taking a lunch break from work.

    Possible free agent signings – Pitchers
    Corey Kluber – Shouldn’t cost much as a bounce back candidate. Heavy incentive laden contract with club option/buyout.
    James Paxton – Bounce back candidate getting out of the Bronx.
    Mike Minor – Another bounce back candidate after a bad year.
    Jose Quintana – Another lefty. All depends on health. And has been an innings eater in the past.
    Marcus Stroman – Depending on price. (Did he opt out of the season due to COVID-19?)
    Chris Archer – Talented and probably cheap, but does give up too many HR’s for me.
    Trevor Bauer – Undoubtedly too pricey for the Cards. Though I would love to have him.

    Possible free agent signings – Hitters
    Sterling Marte – If price isn’t too huge. Good hitter and fielder. (Would prefer a left handed bat.)
    George Springer – Will cost too much. Already making $21 mil. Also right-handed.
    Nelson Cruz – If DH goes through, 41, but man he still rakes. 168 then 169 OPS+ the last 2 years. 1 year with club option for 22.
    J.D. Martinez – Can’t see him opting out of that contract after an awful year.
    Andrelton Simmons – Over 26 dWAR in 9 years! Sign me up for some of that.


    How about Turner on a 2 year deal and Brantley on a 3 year deal. Trade Carlos, Wong, Bader, and Miller. Carlos and Miller to whomever will pick up the most salary.



    One of the things that is starting to intrigue me about Justin Turner is that he fits that mold of a Walker or Berkman type of signing towards the end of their career.


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    Marilyn, in her game recap, pointed out the axiom you can’t win if you don’t score. Gibby’s passing reminded me that you can’t lose if they can’t score. I say this because after the early part of game two until the end of game three our pitching got crushed and our offense did nothing. We need help everywhere.


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    I’ve posted it in other threads before, but I’d be in favor of aiming for a near major league ready, high impact bat to build for 2022 and beyond. Given the payroll situation outlined by gscottar and the knowledge that pitching and defense give you a floor that will likely get you into the expanded playoffs next year and a good shot to get into the regular playoffs anyway given the weak division and schedule, I would sit relatively pat or sign a Joc Pederson type for 2021.

    However, on the trade front I think there are some pieces who could be packaged to get an impact prospect. Guys like Alex Kirilloff (my favorite) or Taylor Larnach from the Twins, Julio Rodriguez or Jarred Kelenic from the Mariners. I’d start with Carlos Martinez as the base and offer the trading team money. Start with $4M this year and then either pay the buyout or $4M each year if they exercise the options on him. This gives the team he goes to flexibility and a hedge against him not coming back strong next year. I’d add in a pitching or hitting prospect in the Woodford-Rondon-Thomas-Sosa tier, or perhaps even Knizner, and a lotto ticket. Alternately, maybe they like Gomber or Ponce and would be willing to take both in the trade. Maybe offer next year’s comp pick if that helps get it done.

    Then you sit pat and let the young guys play next year. Your elite up the middle defense will give you a nice base and the offense should benefit from not playing 9 games every week. Dejong needs some breathing room so Edman fills in for him increasingly as the season wears on (0-1x a week pre All Star, 1-2x a week post). OF is a rotation of O’Neill and Bader in LF and CF with Fowler in RF and Carlson getting starting innings overall. Kirilloff (or the prospect) starts at Memphis and comes up for injury or if your OF guys struggle.

    After 2021 when the payroll situation loosens a lot, you assess where you’re at and see what you can afford. The payroll will be around $120M for 2022 with everyone coming back and the Carp option declined, so you will have wiggle room. Maybe you trade Dejong for pitching or OF help and sign Lindor. Lindor-Carlson-Goldy-Kirilloff-Gorman-Yadi/Herrera-O’Neill-Edman with a staff of Flaherty-Mikolas-Hudson-Oviedo/Gomber/Reyes/Libby/Thompson/Rondon sounds fine for 2022/23.


    25 – you don’t seriously want to keep Bader do you? Or maybe you do for him to be a pinch runner and late inning defensive replacement?


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    25 – you don’t seriously want to keep Bader do you? Or maybe you do for him to be a pinch runner and late inning defensive replacement?

    Bader has had two above average seasons with the bat and one below average. Deployed properly, he’s a weapon with his lefty hitting, speed and defense. He’s not a full time starting CFer and that’s fine. So yes, I’d like to keep him unless moving him gives us a clear upgrade.


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    stlcard25 targeted Eddie Rosario last week and I’ve kicked it around a bit, who for who. Rosario is a FA-to-be next season and probably draws 11mil in his final arb season. He’s been very good vs RHP’s the last four seasons, .906, 838, .813, .898 (2020) and the Twins have enviable OF depth in Kirilloff and Larnach.

    Rosarios salary would require the Twins to take on A. Miller, and besides their closer, he would give them another LH reliever in the same role we use him. A cleanup bat for a medium usage reliever is lopsided so stl adds OF Thomas. If you like Thomas long term, I’ve lost ya. If you like the short term gain with LHB’r Rosario at cleanup a ballpark offer would be…

    Rosario / Smeltzer
    Miller / Thomas

    Smeltzer had a decent debut and after the league adjusted he has work to do. Does throw strikes and has two options. Doesn’t have Thomas value, but Miller doesn’t equal a cleanup bat Rosario either.


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    I would go for that trade, jj. It seems that Twins fans have soured on Rosario much like our fans have soured on Wong, although in the opposite way, I think. I’ll explain. Rosario has solid pure numbers, with a good K rate and what appears to be solid defense. Yet the saber guys don’t like him, as he never walks and his defense is not well liked by the metrics. Hence he’s not been worth a lot by WAR in several years. Specifically he was worth 1.2 wins last year, and with a little bounce back was worth 0.9 this year. His wRC+ numbers have never really been elite.

    Wong has looked better to the advanced metrics, for the most part. His defense has rated highly for the most part and his bat has been around average, give or take. Yet the raw numbers aren’t wonderful, so people are frustrated and like the idea of giving him up (Bader has a similar thing going).

    The reality is that Wong has been worth 15.3 fWAR in a touch over 3000 PAs and Rosario 11.4 in 2800ish PAs. In the last three years, Wong has been worth 7.8 fWAR and Rosario 5.6. So while Rosario has been the “cleanup” bat, his advanced value is about 75% of Kolten Wong’s. So in terms of what it should take to trade for him, think “what would we get if we traded Wong?” and go with 75-80% of that value. I think your trade would be a fair valuation. I’d still prefer to trade more value and try to get Kirilloff or Larnach, but for a one year stopgap, Rosario and Pederson are similar type players.



    The Cardinals claim to set their payroll based on fan attendance, and there were no fans this year. So, if anything, I expect them to make salary cuts this year.

    That means Brad Miller will not return, plus we have the contracts of Brett Cecil and Mike Leake coming off the books, with a salary decrease coming for Yadi. Those will be partially offset by salary increases for DeJong and Wong, plus arbitration increases for arb eligible players.

    In other words, the only thing I expect the Cardinals to do is maybe add a pitcher from overseas.

    As for Bader, he had the 4th highest OBP on the team.


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    Thank you to all of the posters who have included detailed names and dollar amounts in your proposals. That is useful information. It is easy for someone to say “well we need a big bat at 3B and a big bat in the OF so go get it done Mo”. Ok, but how is he going to get it done with our payroll situation? That is what real GM’s and PBO’s have to think about.

    My guess is that the winter meetings in December are going to be quiet because of all of the uncertainty. When will teams know when fans will be allowed back or how many? I watched a lot of college football yesterday and most of the stadiums were allowing between 15k and 20k fans. If MLB allowed 15k fans per game then Busch would be about 1/3 full so that would be a big hit in revenue. That would probably mean that DeWitt instructs Mo to cut payroll instead of increase it right? When will we get a vaccine and when will it get distributed and when will citizens take it? A lot of unanswered questions.

    As for the specific proposals, I like a lot of the ideas. Modest OF upgrades like Joc Pederson or Kevin Pillar make sense to me. JD Martinez could be primed for a bounce back at DH but he is expensive. I really like the Justin Turner idea because he could be had on a two year deal and that wouldn’t block Gorman. I like Andrelton Simmons but he really isn’t much of an offensive upgrade. He is a great defender though.

    Arenado seems like a pipe dream to me. He is way too expensive, still has an opt out, and would block Gorman. No thanks.

    Lindor could be a possibility but as stl25 points out it might make more sense to wait until this time next year and go after him as a FA.

    I also like 25’s idea of trying to pull off another Liberatore type trade. We could move a couple of MLB players like CMart, O’Neill, Bader, A. Miller, or Wong in exchange for a top 100 prospect who is a year or two away. That makes sense.


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    For an infield candidate, we could maybe target someone like Eduardo Escobar from the Dbacks. He’s due $7M next year and will be a free agent. He’s a switch hitter and has played some 2nd but primarily plays 3rd, where he’s roughly average. Why go after an infielder with all the players we have there, you ask? Well, I love Kolten Wong and he’s gotten better against lefties in his career, but he’s still not as good against them as Tommy Edman, who has always been far better from the right side of the plate (.929 OPS in his brief career).

    Against lefties you could run out a lineup of Edman at 2nd, Carlson in RF, Goldy at 1B, Dejong at SS, O’Neill in LF, Yadi at C, Escobar at 3B and Bader in CF. Then you could DH Fowler or Ravelo or Dean or whomever.

    Escobar had a bad 2020, but so did a ton of players. He was roughly average with the bat last year but had a 122 wRC+ against lefties and is at 102 for his career there. Still beats both Wong and Carp at this juncture. His poor 2020 and decent salary means we probably could get him for 40 man extras, like Thomas or Ravelo…or perhaps move a salary that we might want to get rid of (Escobar for Miller and a lotto ticket?).

    This isn’t a long term solution but it could make the lineup better against LHP, while still leaving space for a lefty mashing addition if they so wanted.


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    Some great commentary here. Without going in to specifics, I think the best approach at this juncture is for the Cardinals to do the opposite of what they are tempted to do. Instead package several players for a couple of top 100 minor leaguers.

    Ideally I would like to see Carlos Martinez and Matt Carpenter sent out for a good prospect, but that is not likely to happen as I do not see why anyone would think they are the pieces to get them over the top.

    My proposal a month or so ago was Gomber, Edman, Oviedo and Bader for Arenado, if you got Arenado committed past next season. I would still do that, but not sure it is financially realistic for our club. Thus it might be best to make another Arozarena-Libertore type of deal, if possible, and roll the dice that a couple of players from the current roster have career years in ’21 (DeJong would be the prime candidate).


    IMHO Brantley is the perfect signing. Turns 34 in May. Left handed hitter with some pop who’s hit at least .300 over the last 3 years. Berkman type short term solution. Average OPS over the last 3 seasons .850, striking out only 10% of the time.


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    How much are you willing to pay Brantley, bc? 34 and Houston Astros are both big red flags for me.


    I’d try and sign Brantley for 2 years at $12 million per year with a club opinion
    for a third year at $12 million.


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    Carlos should have been dealt two years ago when he had real value. The truly efficient GM’s have a decent knack of recognizing the signs of players with high probabilities of imminent decline. Not trashing Mo here, as he obviously has been doing something right, but some of his trades, signings and hanging on to players too long, leaves one scratching their head. We know Mo has had some marvelous drafts. He seems to know how to cultivate talent…….but then appears to struggle in what to do with it.


    The Cardinals have always developed talent and traded to fill holes from outside as needed….ala trades for Holliday, Heyward, Ozuna, Goldschmidt, etc.


    We know right now it’s Yadi, Goldy, Wong, DeJong, Carp, Edman, Carlson, and Fowler. So the only thing up for grabs is left field if Edman moves to 3B.

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