April 15, 2019 at 9:43 am #87455UConn CardModeratorPaid - Annual
Since the alternative to a missed defensive opportunity remains subjective, it’s difficult to project what might have happened.
That said Ozuna’s defense this season has been brutal. Just brutal – catchable balls not caught and forget about either diving for a ball or robbing someone at the wall.
He defends as if he’s afraid of getting hurt.
I get the same sensation watching him in the field that I used to get watching Lonnie Smith. Whenever a ball went to left, I just held my breath and hoped for the best. At least Smith had the excuse of being pigeon-toed.April 15, 2019 at 11:15 am #87471
Lonnie was given the nickname “Skates” due to his fielding misadventures. I wonder what Marcell’s should be. How about “Blunder and Lightning”? It captures the bad and good.April 15, 2019 at 11:21 am #87473UConn CardModeratorPaid - Annual
I like it, Brian!April 15, 2019 at 2:51 pm #87487April 16, 2019 at 2:37 pm #87688April 16, 2019 at 2:56 pm #87693stlcard25ParticipantPaid - Annual
It’s worth noting that Ozuna is on pace for a 5+ WAR season right now.
Of course, Yelich is on pace for 14 WAR. Of note, if you take away games against the Cards, Yelich has a .286/.345/.408 line, which is a 93 wRC+. So, Babe Ruth against St Louis and very average against the rest of the league so far.April 16, 2019 at 3:07 pm #87694NJ315Participant
Yelich was the MVP last year…Ozuna not even close.April 16, 2019 at 4:43 pm #87715
It may be a misconception that the Cardinals had their choice of either when they traded for Ozuna, but it is not a misconception that they got out-maneuvered by a division rival simply due to impatience.April 16, 2019 at 5:55 pm #87719858booyahParticipantFree
I don’t know if you can blame them for being impatient. They needed a power bat and honestly Yelich hadn’t shown as much power than Ozuna. I would say that he had the more rounded offensive game overall. I don’t think that is a stretch at all. What you can blame them for is buying damaged goods.April 16, 2019 at 6:07 pm #87721
Yelich and Ozuna came up together in 2013. Yelich was consistently a better player than Ozuna, and a superior hitter (I’m not sure why people think a team needs “power” more than they need a better all-around hitter) every year except 2017 – which was a total outlier for Ozuna.
The Cardinals didn’t just buy damaged goods, they bought one outlier season with four seasons of barely above average hitting (about a 102 OPS+ for his four seasons before 2017). They had enough young depth to not have to just jump on the first buy-high deal that came their way. But that is exactly what they did.
I wouldn’t even bring any of this up (it really isn’t a huge deal) if it weren’t for so many people buying the front office’s odd straw man about Yelich.April 16, 2019 at 7:13 pm #87730
Interesting the different views that hindsight allows. The front office is impatient when they make a mid-December trade or blasted for sitting on their hands when they don’t make a move. The latter was especially the risk after Stanton had turned them down. Pick your poison. My conclusion is that there is no way to beat accurate second-guessing.April 16, 2019 at 7:23 pm #87733
atripleshy, what can you share with us to support your implication that Yelich was really available when the Cards asked and the explanation provided is untrue?
Also, please explain why it took six weeks after the Ozuna trade for Yelich to be moved. Could it be because he actually was not available in December?
I wish they had gotten Stanton. I wish they had gotten Yelich rather than Ozuna, but I also believe the situation did not unfold in a way to enable the latter to happen.April 16, 2019 at 8:28 pm #87743Euro DandyParticipantFree
Who knows what was possible regarding Yelich? But the whole notion that the Cards asked, were told no, and moved on — in those simplistic steps over a short time frame — is not a good defense. At best, it illustrates the Cards have a weak negotiator leading their strategic development who lacks vision. Those guys make huge salaries to be savvy negotiators in a tough business, so that response sounds wimpy, if you want to believe it. I’m sure if Mo and Goold said it, it’s true. For what reason would they have to mislead the fans?April 16, 2019 at 9:00 pm #87758
Cardinals team leader in:
Home runs – Ozuna (7 – tied with Goldschmidt)
RBI – Ozuna (15)
SLG – Ozuna (.707)
OPS – Ozuna (1.035)
Tell me again how O’Neill and Martinez would be putting up as good of numbers if they were playing daily. That just does not compute.April 16, 2019 at 11:33 pm #87775
Brian, I never implied anything of the sort that you claim I did. I never said Yelich was available when they traded for Ozuna. I said they got outmaneuvered by a division rival because they impatiently traded for a guy who had four years of mediocrity and one year of excellent hitting. They had far more outfield depth than they want to admit now, and they did not need to make a move in December just because fans would call them names. You keep falling back on that straw man spin that has nothing to do with reality. They didn’t have to make a move in December. That’s the point. They could have been patient. If someone had beaten us to Ozuna, we would have been fine.
But the argument that Ozuna was the best they could do at the moment just ignores the reality that they didn’t have to do anything. I am not in the camp that we should be anything but patient with Ozuna. He’s ours. I hope he stays hot. I hope he earns a qualifying offer this offseason.
But let’s stop countering one myth with another.April 17, 2019 at 9:05 am #87801
Sorry that I misunderstood you, atripleshy. Many others feel as I represented.
Let’s focus on your take, that they should have waited. In doing so, you gloss over the very significant risk in such an approach. They clearly needed a hitter and got one. With clear hindsight, we now know that Yelich would eventually be traded, but only after Ozuna. That crucial point was unknown in December. Further, if the Cards had waited to see if Yelich eventually was made available, how do we know the Cards might not have been outbid?
Who else was out there to get in trade if not Ozuna or Yelich? I don’t recall any other top outfielders being moved that late in that off-season.
Bottom line, you are comparing a sure thing with a huge maybe and unfairly suggesting either could both have been done with a similar likelihood of success. This is where I strongly disagree. Had the Cards waited, I believe they felt there was a real chance they could have ended up with neither, and maybe no one at all, or at least a lesser outfielder.
Stepping back, Ozuna had a very good but not great first season, including leading the team in RBI. So far in 2019, he is the most productive hitter on the team. Further, none of the players they gave up would yet be difference makers on the Cardinals. Sierra looks like a bust. Alcantara has the best chance, but comes from the position of strength for Cards recent prospects, starting pitching. Gallen may still make it, but this is his third partial year at Triple-A and he still can’t break into Miami’s rotation.
I suggest we move on to other more pressing topics.April 17, 2019 at 9:16 am #87802
There is no doubt that Yelich is a far superior player to Ozuna but I can’t really fault the FO on how that whole thing went down. Several credible sources have made it clear that Yelich was not available in the early offseason. If he was available then why didn’t the Yankees or Giants try to get him? Instead they were after Stanton just like the Cardinals were. Then when Stanton went to New York that left Ozuna and Yelich. I suppose the Cardinals could have waited and waited but there would have been a huge risk of them going 0 for 3 on the Marlin OF’s, which would have caused a huge backlash, so they decided to make the move for Ozuna instead of coming up completely empty.
Also, and this part is glossed over a lot, the package for Yelich would have been much higher. We would have had to give up much more than Alcantara, Gallen, and Sierra. I am sure we would have lost FLaherty and much more.
In hindsight we should have waited and made the trade but there is no guarantee we could have pulled it off and no one thought he would suddenly be a MVP type player.
We need to move on and get over this. I’m still not an Ozuna fan but let’s worry about fixing the rotation.April 17, 2019 at 10:38 am #87823
I suppose the Cardinals could have waited and waited but there would have been a huge risk of them going 0 for 3 on the Marlin OF’s, which would have caused a huge backlash, so they decided to make the move for Ozuna instead of coming up completely empty.
Do people really think that the front office makes moves to appease the fans? I sure hope they don’t.
To be clear, I don’t have a problem with Ozuna or the trade for him. I have no reason to doubt the narrative that Yelich was untouchable when we did the deal for Ozuna.
What I have a problem with is the front office and their parrots using a straw man to counter the people who say we should have gone for Yelich instead of Ozuna. We did not have to make a trade for an OF in December. In fact, we didn’t have to make a trade for an OF at all. So the counter about Yelich not being available in December is nothing more than a distraction. Also, it took no one by surprise that Yelich became available later.
It should be enough to say that we liked the value we got in the trade for Ozuna. That’s fine. But acting like anyone who says Yelich was the better target at the time (he was) is an idiot for making that statement just comes off snarky.
Ozuna is playing great, and we should all hope that continues. It is too bad that Yelich ended up with the Brewers, and it sucks that he’s absolutely killed us. Life is unfair. I can live with that.April 17, 2019 at 1:01 pm #87835
“In fact, we didn’t have to make a trade for an OF at all.”
The Cardinals needed offensive help, which they confirmed to the world when they had tried to acquire Stanton and very publicly failed. How could not continuing to try to improve the offense after that be viewed as a good option?
You could certainly argue that they should have tried to acquire someone other than Ozuna, but as I asked before, who would that have been? So far, it appears to be just second-guessing over Yelich becoming available later.April 17, 2019 at 1:28 pm #87838
How could not continuing to try to improve the offense after that be viewed as a good option?
This is the sort of disheveled thinking that leads to contracts like Fowler’s.
As I’ve said many times, I’m fine with the Ozuna deal. I’m not fine with people like you talking down to others by saying nonsensical things along the lines of “we must do something!”.
Justify the Ozuna deal on its own merits. Don’t resort to bad groupthink that leads to bad deals – we’ve seen enough of those to last a long time. Doing nothing is always an option.April 17, 2019 at 1:43 pm #87840
You are clearly entitled to express your opinion, even though we disagree. I am sorry if you feel you are being talked down to, as that is not my intention, but honestly, it is a greater challenge to have a good discussion with terms like “puppet”, “strawman”, “groupthink”. “disheveled” and “nonsensical” being put forward.April 17, 2019 at 2:15 pm #87847
I’m just an outside observer to the broader discussion, and I see what I see. I’m not hurt by anything.
I just think that there are many fans who see that the Cardinals got out-maneuvered by the Brewers last offseason, and it can’t hurt to just let them vent instead of pretending that the Cardinals were just the unfortunate bystanders of bad luck. The Brewers played by the same rules as the Cardinals and just did better. No need for spin. We aren’t going to win them all.April 17, 2019 at 2:34 pm #87855
“Pretending” and “spin” are more of your labels, scolding those who do not see it your way.
If the topic of discussion has shifted to whether the Brewers had a better off-season last year, there should be no debate. They did. Of course, it was fortunate for them that Cain did not sign elsewhere and was still on the market in late January and that Yelich was made available late, as well. Neither of those were under the Brewers’ control.
Though this could not have been their original plan, they should be lauded for going for it when the opportunities presented themselves. (Both deals were announced on the same day, January 25, 2018.)
However, that has no connection to the Cardinals’ acquisition of Ozuna, which happened six weeks prior. I thought Ozuna was the topic here. In fact, you asked that the Ozuna deal be viewed on its own merit.April 17, 2019 at 3:05 pm #87864
Doing nothing is always an option.
Yes that is an option but is it a good option for a team that at the time of the Ozuna deal had missed the playoffs two years in a row (now three)? Heading into the offseason after the 2017 season we were looking at a starting OF of Grichuk, Pham, and Fowler. How many people thought that OF would get us back to the postseason? Not many and I guess the FO didn’t believe so either so they went after an upgrade. Miami was the logical place to look since they had 3 very good OF’s and were headed to a rebuild under new ownership.
Why would we just stand pat and watch the Cubs and Brewers beat up on us again? Yes those teams beat us anyway in 2018 but at least we tried something. I would rather see the team at least try to win instead of just throwing their hands up and saying we quit.April 17, 2019 at 4:02 pm #87879
Yes that is an option but is it a good option for a team that at the time of the Ozuna deal had missed the playoffs two years in a row (now three)?
I believe that Milwaukee had missed the playoffs six years in a row, and they chose to do nothing when we traded for Ozuna, and that worked out fine for them. They chose not to bid against themselves in a panic move for Dexter Fowler, and that worked out for them, too.
Sometimes patience can be a good play, especially when you are talking about guys with track records of being decent preceding one outlier year of being really good.
The idea that the Cardinals could not have been more patient, or that it would have been a bad idea is not supported by facts.
Defend the Ozuna trade on its own merits (and it holds up), but don’t make up a fictional scenario where the Cardinals had to be impatient. That is the exact sort of things that lead to Fowler deals (and I fear Miller deals).
My apologies for using trigger words in the past. I haven’t posted here much, and I didn’t realize it would cause me to be viewed as an aggressor.
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