Cardinals’ Off-season Needs

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  • #148557
    Avatarbccran
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    JJ – you aren’t serious, are you? You really aren’t going to compare a reserve infielder who hit in the cleanup spot for awhile because others weren’t hitting spit, to a proven major league power hitting outfielder. Plus Ozuna had 549 plate appearances in 2019 compared to Miller’s 171 plate appearances in 2020. Lastly Miller cooled off badly. In his last 97 appearances he hit .200 with a .299 OBP.

    #148558
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    But if anyone is happy with coming in 19th in MLB in average runs per game in 2019, and then losing both Ozuna and Arozarena, I can’t join your group. The writing was on the wall for a weak offense in 2020.

    Ozuna and his barely above average bat and wooden glove were not a loss from 2019. 19th isn’t shining, but 19th with the best defense in the league is more than enough to win the NL Central with our pitching. We’d all love to have guys who hit great and win Gold Gloves, but sometimes you only get to pick one.

    O’Neill will have an OPS+ greater than Ozuna’s 2019 next year, Carlson will hit decently, Fowler will be benched before long and Bader will benefit from a platoon role. Offensively, the OF will probably be below 15th in the league by a bit, but adding base running and fielding, they will be solidly above average. Unless you can add a real difference maker, I see no reason to mess with that.

    #148559
    Avatarbccran
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    O’Neill’s OPS+ in 2020 will be greater than Ozuna’s was in the 2019? Really? Bader will benefit from a platoon role? What, in 15% of the games? And if you’re satisfied with an offense that would be slightly below 15th in MLB again, we’re simply not in the same group. I was a pitcher, and I’ll guarantee you I wouldn’t be happy with that run support.

    #148560
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    Bc, you keep saying we are not in the same group. I’m a fan of the St Louis Cardinals and their players, so I tend to agree.

    #148561
    BlackHillsCardBlackHillsCard
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    Are you gonna have the best defense in the game with no Wong at 2B and Carp playing 3B a lot? Even if they return – granted, a win is a win – winning games with your defense and pitching is a boring product when your offense only manages 3-4 runs a game.

    #148562
    Avatarbccran
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    25 – I’ve been an avid fan of the Cardinals for a long, long time. I live in St. Louis, go to a number of games, and am fortunate to have friends who are in the Cardinals organization. But I saw them struggle when they relied too much on Grichuk, Piscotty, Diaz, Adams, etc. And now I’m frustrated that they’re relying too much on O’Neill, Bader, Thomas, Williams, etc. I was elated when they got Ozuna and Goldschmidt from the outside. And I’d like for them to do that once more to bide time until Gorman and several other young studs are ready. Long term contracts?
    No. Short term fillers, like Berkman and Beltran were.

    Also, Black Hills Card nailed it. Cardinal fans don’t want to see games go 0-0 into the 5th and 6th inning, and end up 2-1, 3-2, etc. It’s frustrating, boring baseball to many. Runs create excitement. High fives during the game. Both at home and in the stadium.

    I’m in a different group simply because I don’t want to rely so much on the players you’re high on. That doesn’t make me any less or any greater fan than you.

    #148563
    Avatarforsch31
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    As long as it’s only high 5s and not shimmys or hats that fall off?

    #148564
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    I cannot imagine how anyone thinks they can speak for all Cardinals fans. But if I had to hazard a guess, I bet the majority of fans would be just fine with 2-1 and 3-2 games – as long as their team wins two of every three. If a person needs high scoring to hold their interest, that says more about them, IMO.

    The Cardinals were built on pitching and defense, and that has been pretty good. And they shouldn’t screw that up trying to change their identity. The Cardinals don’t need a league-leading offense. They just need a BETTER one.

    #148565
    Avatarmudville
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    Amen, brother!

    #148574
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    forsch, Brantley is estimated at a 2/28mil contract, I don’t expect him to be a Cardinal, so I’m not interested.

    Once the FO paid Wong to go away, I’d rather play our youth. We will need another catcher. Hopefully it’s on a one year, and he hits righties adequately.

    #148575
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    bc-ran, yes, Miller was better in 2020 than Ozuna in 2019. That was your topic remember? Not surprisingly, you now want to talk of their careers. You should run from your replies, on that we agree.

    #148583
    Avatarbccran
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    No, jj. We’re talking about a full season vs. an abbreviated season. Plus Miller came out hot, and then turned ice cold.
    No comparison.

    #148584
    Avatarbccran
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    In 2011, the Cards won the World Championship. They ranked 5th in MLB in average runs scored per game.

    In 2013, they went back to the World Series. They ranked 3rd in MLB in average runs scored per game.

    You can squeak by during the season and perhaps make the playoffs with a weak offense. But when you go up against the big boys who have a powerful lineup in the playoffs, you’d better be able to score some runs.

    #148587
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    No comparison.

    Both are slugging DH types with a little above average bats. Neither should see field. So there’s a comparison there.

    Then again, we signed one for $2-2.5m and the other we traded two of the best young starters l in the NL for in a move that also ended up costing us Randy Arozarena. One was a pretty shrewd move, and the other an abject disaster that set the franchise back years. So I agree…there’s no comparison.

    #148589
    Avatarbccran
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    Miller a slugging bat? The last 3 seasons before coming to the Cardinals –

    1917 – 9 home runs
    1918 – 7 home runs
    1919 – 13 home runs

    Since 2015, he’s been with the –

    Mariners
    Rays
    Brewers
    Indians
    Phillies
    Cardinals

    He’s a journeyman reserve infielder.
    No comparison to Ozuna. None.

    #148592
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    No comparison to Ozuna. None.

    I agree. Thanks to Miller, we made the playoffs in 2020 and are only around $800k worse for the wear. Thanks to Ozuna, we made the playoffs one of his two years (after adding Goldy), paid him around $20M AND we are missing the following:

    Zac Gallen
    Sandy Alcantara
    Magneuris Sierra
    Randy Arozarena

    Ouch.

    1917 – 9 home runs
    1918 – 7 home runs
    1919 – 13 home runs

    No wonder he struggled in 2020…he had a 101 year layoff!

    #148594
    Avatarbccran
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    Here are the outfields on some Cardinal teams that made it to the World Series –

    1964 – Brock, Flood, Shannon
    1967 – Brock, Flood, Maris
    1968 – Brock, Flood, Maris
    1982 – McGee, Hendricks, Lonnie Smith
    1985 – Coleman, McGee, Van Slyke
    1987 – Coleman, McGee, Ford
    2004 – Langford, Edmonds, Sanders
    2006 – Edmonds, Encarnacion, Taguchi
    2011 – Holliday, Berkman, Rasmus
    2013 – Holliday, Beltran, Jay

    Compare that to O’Neill, Bader, and Fowler.

    I never said that we need to have the best
    outfield in the league in 2021, 2022, and beyond. Just a heck of a lot more stable and proven one that we can count on each year. Not one among the worst in MLB.

    #148595
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    Just a heck of a lot more stable and proven one that we can count on each year.

    The defense and base running are among the best in the league. The offense deserves a chance to grow in a year when the team is not going anywhere. I’m on record as saying I’d love to add a difference maker to the mix. A Conforto or Kirilloff type. There are none available this off season, so with next year going nowhere, why not see if O’Neill and Carlson can be two of your OF starters? Then you’re in prime position with huge money coming off the books to add that complete player (which guys like Miller, Brantley, Pederson, Rosario and Ozuna, to kick around some names we’ve bandied about, are not, or are at least no longer) and form a strong nucleus with Goldy, Dejong, Gorman, Carlson, etc going forward.

    #148596
    Avatarbccran
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    Slugger Brad Miller’s Major League career –

    2013 – 8 HRs
    2014 – 10 HRs
    2015 – 11 HRs
    2016 – 30 HRs
    2017 – 9 HRs
    2018 – 7 HRs
    2019 – 13 HRs
    2020 – 7 HRs

    One slugger year out of 8.

    He was a true terror down the stretch in 2020. In September and October he slashed
    .200.299/.424/.722. A beast at the plate.

    #148597
    Avatarbccran
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    The Cards don’t need a big name expensive, long term contract free agent. Just a Beltran/Berkman type on a two year deal. A plug to add stability as the young guys develop. A Brantley or Eaton type this off season.

    #148598
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    If the Cards are able to sustain (for argument’s sake) a $170M payroll from 2022 forward, then at a starting point of $80-90M (as gscottar and others) have pointed out, they could add even two of the Conforto, Lindor, Seager, Arenado, Story types of players and still have room to extend some of the young players they may want to lock up while being well under their budget. Adding an Ozuna at $15-20M a year ruins that. Adding Brantley at $12-15M a year harms it too. Guys like Pederson or Rosario on one year commitments probably don’t hurt, but they will be taking money from the 2022 coffers as well.

    Bottom line, a player like Miller (think Jedd Gyorko, Todd Frazier, etc on a 1 year, $2-3M deal) just makes too much sense unless the Cards are gonna go for it. If they are, this off-season presents some opportunities, but they will be expensive ones (Arenado, Lindor). If they trade for either of those two, they’d better bring back Wong and Yadi and Waino, then look for real OF help for 2021 (meaning Fowler will be benched point blank, and O’Neill/Bader split time as your 4th OFer/CFer with your new acquisition playing RF or LF, Carlson the other corner). It will impact 2022 and 2023 though, which are the years the Cards should be prime WS contenders if they play their cards right and get any luck at all.

    #148599
    Avatarbccran
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    That makes a ton of sense, 25. I’d go for any of Pederson, Rosario, Frazier, or
    Gyorko for 2021. What I don’t think will happen is the Cards going for a big name FA in 2022-2023 and commit to huge long term dollars on a single contract. They like to get to know a player before committing to that. The Holliday and Goldy model. Not the Fowler or Leake model.

    #148600
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    There is quite a gap between Pederson/Rosario and Frazier/Gyorko. Decent chance of contributing vs. bargain bin.

    If we could fast forward to February, my bet is that many of the latter kind of free agents will be scrambling and have to settle for non-roster camp invites just to get a job for 2021.

    #148609
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    There is quite a gap between Pederson/Rosario and Frazier/Gyorko. Decent chance of contributing vs. bargain bin.

    Absolutely. Pederson and Rosario will probably get $8-10M each. Frazier and Gyorko will take what they can get.

    Still, I do wonder about payroll this year and the next few. I think there will be some fan participation next year, although probably not full. Suppose this year’s payroll was entirely a loss (-63M). Next year we get the equivalent of half fans over a full season. Perhaps that will support a payroll of $140Mish and that’s what we spend. Then in 2022 we have all the fans back. Maybe that supports a $170M payroll, but how much of that 2020 loss and 2021 stagnation will the team absorb? Is it just gonna be baked into the payroll for a couple of years so we see payrolls be more like $150M? Those are things we’ll find out.

    That’s why I cringe at the thought of adding a 2-3 WAR player on a $15M+ deal. Rather than having $60M to spend after 2021, that may cut it further and be the line between nabbing a difference maker and just another Fowler type.

    #148610
    Avatargscottar
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    I would be inclined to shop in the cheap aisle this winter and save payroll room for next winter but I don’t know which direction the Cardinals will go. They have kind of sent mixed signals.

    They let Wong walk but they have also stated they want to bring Yadi and Waino back and DeWitt has stated the budget is “fluid” or “flexible”.

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by Avatargscottar.
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