Has 2018 already been a successful year?

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  • #71468
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    gscottar, Mother Teresa says Bw52 stole my keyboard. Or was it the other way around? 😉

    Seriously, I have been saying this since Albert left. The Cards do not have a true difference-maker and I do not see one in the system (certainly no one close enough to help the 2019 team). They have the money and the payroll room to add one. They tried last winter with Stanton (trade, not free agent, as you recall) and whiffed. They need to be successful this time.

    #71470
    AvatarNJ315
    Participant

    They won’t but if they would I rather have Harper than Machado.

    #71471
    AvatarNJ315
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    Adams cannot be with the team next year that would a horrible mistake.

    #71474
    Avatargscottar
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    I’m sure we will kick the tires on Harper or Machado but with the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, and Phillies going after them I just doubt we win that bidding war.

    If we want a young LH outfielder with some team control left I would look at trying to trade for Joc Pederson or David Peralta. Either one of them combined with O’Neill would solve RF.

    #71683
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Not to belabor the point, but so it can be referenced later, here is Bill DeWitt’s current quote.

    “Playoffs are our goal,” the chairman said. “My goal is to win enough games to make the playoffs, whatever that number happens to be. Hopefully beyond that so that it’s not a one-game wild-card appearance.”

    DeWitt explained the model he wants is a team that, over multiple years, can average 90 wins. That, he said, assures a playoff berth, and “frankly, we felt that incremental benefit (of free agents) could get us those last few wins.”

    https://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/dewitt-on-chasing-improvements-for-we-re-aggressive-and-we/article_6f15e733-c2a4-572c-8af1-a12dc21b00b8.html

    #71743
    Avatar14NyquisT
    Participant

    Do you think that the Cub’s feel their season was a success?? And they knocked us out! Expectations?

    #71745
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Is the definition of success set by expectations? Of course.

    The Cubs’ likely goal was to reach/win the World Series.
    The Cards’ target was to reach the playoffs.

    Both fell short.

    #71747
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    90 wins would not have been enough make the playoffs this year. At a bare minimum, the Cards would have had to go 45-25 (44-25 in the regular season + a one game tiebreaker win) to get to the playoffs. That’s a .643 winning percentage that only the Red Sox met or exceeded this year.

    #71749
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Good point, stlcard25. Several others noted the wider-spread tanking across MLB has devalued wins. I wonder if the Cards will readjust their 90-win target upward based on that?

    #71753
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    They may need to do that. The NL generally is on the upside of the tanking curve, while the AL still has a lot of truly awful teams. But the Marlins are still not great and I think you’ll see the Giants in a down trend for a few years as well, along with the Reds and Mets.

    95 win teams are awfully hard to put together without some 70 win clunkers in between, which makes the 85-90 win Cards something of an anomaly. Maybe they can corner a market on Mikokases for a few years and push their win total up. Ha!

    #71776
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    I missed this the other day. Rick Hummel believes if the Cards do not make the 2019 playoffs, there will be a restructure of the front office. (I am not sure how to interpret this, however, as the issue would not be the structure, but the people in it.)

    https://www.stltoday.com/sports/are-mo-and-girsch-feeling-the-heat/article_93bbac06-1192-5b41-b65b-5ca0f7700caa.html

    #71788
    Euro DandyEuro Dandy
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    Free

    After reading the article, it sounds like the use of “restructure” is just a matter of semantics or a misnomer. It seemed clear to me he was talking about potential personnel impacts in the front office.

    Along those lines, there’s only so many base coaches, bench coaches, hitting coaches, pitching coaches, managers, etc., the execs can fire before people figure out who is wearing no clothes.

    #71808
    Avatar14NyquisT
    Participant

    If DeWitt hired a baseball detective (organization outsider) there would be plenty of evidence that would point to Mozeliak as the culprit for the recent decline of the Cards. The independent investigation would be swift because its really been a no-brainer who is at fault. The list of his poor judgment and imprudent transactions is extensive and damaging.

    #71818
    thejagerthejager
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    By that same reasoning then Mozeliak was also the “culprit” for the success of the Cardinals before this recent “slide”

    we wouldnt be even talking about sliding had we not achieved the highest highs during his tenure

    i dont think he is perfect, but he made good decisions and has done so in the past, AND has done so as recently as this year

    Show me another GM with MOz’s success and overall record and championships that doesn;t have bad investments or signings or poor trades…please show me

    #71828
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    If only the real world was so simple. The good guys could wear white hats and bad ones wear black, so we know who to shoot and who to praise… 😉

    In a serious vein, the front office power structure of the Cardinals is very small and compact. Even so, none of us know how the decisions that ended up badly were made (or the good ones, for that matter). Did Mo push for them and convince DeWitt or the other way around? I always wonder. And if you don’t think DeWitt is heavily engaged in major team decisions, you are misinformed. If you don’t think a Scott Boras prefers to work with owners than underlings, I encourage you to read up on how things really work.

    One sure way to get me to laugh is to tell me that Mo is cheap. Can you see the conversation:

    DeWitt: Should we take a run at Machado?
    Mo: No need, boss. We’ve got it under control with the guys we’ve got. Keep your money.
    DeWitt: OK, then.

    Still, when all is said and done, the lower level guy takes the fall and let’s face it, DeWitt isn’t going to fire himself!

    #71870
    AvatarBob Reed
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    Agreed, Brian. Mo is not cheap, and neither are the DeWitts in general.

    The problem is how the dough has been invested lately. This year the Cards paid over $60M to the combo of Holland, Mikolas, Ozuna, Cecil, Fowler, Norris, and Gregerson, and got a grand total of 3 WAR in return. (Per Baseball-Reference.)

    The Brewers on the other hand paid $35M to Yelich, Cain, Chacin, and Miley, and received 18 WAR of production. And that extraordinary STL/Milw discrepancy accounts for the N.L. Central standings this year.

    The one great thing is, Mo can address this, anytime he wants. Release Fowler, Gregerson, and Cecil, and you have three albatrosses (albatri?) off the roster, which allows much more flexibility during the offseason transaction phase.

    #71871
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Bob, your case presented is money-focused, but your solution is 40-man roster oriented. They do not cleanly fit together.

    By releasing the three players you mention, it clears up 40-man roster space, but that is not the primary issue. It does not change the fact the team is still on hook to pay those players their FULL remaining salary. The money is the rub, not the roster spot (at least for Fowler and Cecil).

    If the team decides to get rid of one or all of them, my preferred approach would be the same as they took with Leake. Find a home that would take the player, even if the Cardinals have to eat most of the remaining salary. That is far preferable to a straight-up release.

    To be clear, here is the salary remaining due to these players:
    Fowler – $49.5 MM
    Cecil – $14.5 MM
    Gregerson – $6 MM

    So your solution is for DeWitt to eat $70 MM to save three 40-man roster spots. He could accomplish the same thing by sending Pena, Sosa and Greene through waivers, for example.

    Your worry seems to be that if they remain on the team, the manager will be forced to use them and they will deliver poor results. Perhaps that part of the equation should be worked on. Don’t play them so much and they won’t hurt the team as much.

    In the case of Gregerson, it seems wisest to see how he is physically after the winter before throwing in the towel. Get a look at him in spring camp first before making a decision.

    #71872
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    Regarding Fowler, it seems unlikely that he’s actually a sub .200 hitter going forward. His switch hitting ability would be of *some* value at least, in a pinch hitting role if nothing else. Now, is that what a team wants for $16.5 million per year? Not at all, but unless you truly think he’s a negative value going forward (and I still don’t), or you can trade him for significant salary relief (at least half of it), then a DFA makes very little sense.

    #71873
    AvatarPugsleyAddams
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    A good Fowler is a gone Fowler…..to rip a page out of Bobby Reed’s handbook. And I really don’t care how we accomplish that feat. I would imagine he has 0 trade value on the open market. I seriously doubt that even his old buddies the cubs, would want any part of him.

    #71883
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    OPM = other peoples’ money, a.k.a. the kind that is really easy to spend.

    #71885
    bicyclemikebicyclemike
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    Along the lines of stlcard25’s comments, you have to figure Dexter will be better in ’19. That is not exactly going out on a limb, as he was really bad in ’18. The problem will be whether he can get enough playing time to actually be better. It would seem that 2019 is the perfect time to put O’Neill in on a regular basis, as you need to see if he can be a solid middle-order bat before making a decision on Ozuna next year.

    For now, Dex is the fourth outfielder as he can play any of the positions, and is a switch-hitter off the bench. A nice bench would be Fowler, JMart, Adams, Munoz and Kelley. Course that would mean a 12 man pitching staff, which probably won’t happen. Plus JMart will likely be shopped this off season.

    #71906
    AvatarBob Reed
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    Brian:

    You said that Your worry seems to be that if they remain on the team, the manager will be forced to use them and they will deliver poor results.

    Yes! That is exactly correct! But I would not call it a mere worry, per se.

    Or rather, it is a worry that they will do so again, as they already did in 2018, which cost the Cards a playoff spot.

    My fault, not clarifying my position. I agree with you 100%, Brian, that the best thing would be to get some return for Fowler (that’s a howler) and Cecil and Gregerson. But my position is that it is better to release them and get nothing in return, than to hang on to them and let them keep hurting the team. As in 2018. (Even if the manager nearly never uses them, they’d be dead space on the 25-man roster. And that dead roster space in and of itself is injurious to the team’s chances.

    STL25: The problem is, you can’t use Fowler as a bench player. Fowler has established that he will not behave professionally if demoted to a bench role. Just in the last two weeks he has publicly griped about Matheny not giving him enough chances to get out of his “slump.”

    Think about how stupid and stubborn and unprofessional Fowler has to be, after weeks to reflect on the matter, to say what he said in his recent P-D interview with Goold. It is astonishing. Did he say: “I was terrible, and the team needed to play for wins. I’ll work hard to be better next year.” Nope, nothing of the sort.

    #72055
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Referencing a discussion earlier in this thread, I noticed a mention in Goold’s chat yesterday that some think that Genesis Cabrera could become “a left-handed Carlos Martinez” – if he harnesses his control. Far too soon to pass judgement, which has been my point all along.

    #72056
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    On Fowler, Goold had a recent article in which Fowler attributed his poor 2018 to his “mental health” rather than his recurring foot injuries. I don’t know what is behind that comment, but I hope it is being taken seriously. I’ve seen some (on social media, not here) poke fun at that, which shows how insensitive some can be.

    #72057
    AvatarCardinals2016
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    It does not change the fact the team is still on hook to pay those players their FULL remaining salary. The money is the rub, not the roster spot (at least for Fowler and Cecil).

    If the team decides to get rid of one or all of them, my preferred approach would be the same as they took with Leake.

    1. The Cardinals knew they were overpaying for Fowler when they signed him. That’s their fault.
    2. Who would take Fowler at this point? Much less trade for him. Release him and hope somebody pays him the minimum and you can save the equivalent of his rookie-level replacement’s salary.

    Not at all, but unless you truly think he’s a negative value going forward (and I still don’t), or you can trade him for significant salary relief (at least half of it), then a DFA makes very little sense.

    1. He has been in the bottom five of defensive outfielders the past two years. He made himself a respectable outfielder when he was seeking a contract. His dropoff in performance seems to be his will to play.
    2. He was also brought in for leadership, yet he was last-in, first-out two years ago, and evidently is criticizing the team for only giving in 334 plate appearances even though he was injured the last two months

    OPM = other peoples’ money, a.k.a. the kind that is really easy to spend.

    Big boy clubs like the Dodgers and Red Sox pay for bad players to go away. If the Cardinals want to make the playoffs, as is their stated intention, it’s time to put on their big boy pants and it’s time for Cardinal fans to stop giving them a pass. They are a big market team in terms of revenues, a middle market team in terms of spending. Mozeliak has adopted a “make do” attitude instead of a “make the team better” attitude. Winning is top down.

    The problem will be whether he can get enough playing time to actually be better. It would seem that 2019 is the perfect time to put O’Neill in on a regular basis, as you need to see if he can be a solid middle-order bat before making a decision on Ozuna next year.

    1. He got 334 plate appearances in 4 months last year. How many games should he cost the team before enough is enough?
    2. How many 4.4 second 18 yard “sprints” to drop the ball?

    Your worry seems to be that if they remain on the team, the manager will be forced to use them and they will deliver poor results.

    Yes, that is the worry, because that is what they did last year.

    Fowler has established that he will not behave professionally if demoted to a bench role. Just in the last two weeks he has publicly griped about Matheny not giving him enough chances to get out of his “slump.”

    Wow – maybe he saw that that was the ticket out of town, and is trying to force the Cardinals hand as if his not playing defense, showing up on game day and being LIFO, and, if you believe bccran, openly defying Matheny last year wasn’t enough.

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