The Front Office's place in all of this chaos.

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This topic contains 195 replies, has 26 voices, and was last updated by Avatar 14NyquisT 3 days, 19 hours ago.

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  • #75592
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    Bob Reed
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    I must be missing something.

    The Cards traded Shelby Miller for Heyward. Miller in the 4 years since has thrown a total of just 344 innings and compiled an 11-35 record with a 4.36 ERA, for 2.7 Baseball-Reference WAR (just over 4 WAR at Fangraphs). He has cost $14M.5 in salary. So that’s Miller. Nobody can seriously wish he’d been in St. Louis, accruing less than 1 WAR per year.

    On the other hand, in his one season for St. Louis, Jason Heyward had 6.6 WAR per B-Ref, or 5.6 at Fangraphs. In other words, irrefutably a great, great season. A good bat in right field, excellent baserunning, and, well, we all saw the Clemente range and Colavito arm.

    And for that truly outstanding Heyward season, the Cards paid less than 8 million bucks. So the trade was a freaking steal. (And furthermore, the Cards needed every one of those wins, as they finished just 2 games ahead of the Pirates, and 3 in front of the Cubs.)

    And then the Cards got Dakota Hudson with the draft pick! And what happened to Heyward? The despised rival Cubs threw away nearly $200M by signing him, and lost their own high draft pick in the bargain! This is the kind of thing a Cardinal fan asks Santa for.

    I submit that the Heyward trade merely in and of itself, and especially with all that came after — the draft picks gained and lost, Heyward’s collapse in Chicago — is one of the Redbird front office triumphs of the past thirty or forty years. And it’s supposed to be a source of regret?

    Did I want Heyward retained, after his exceptional 2015 season? Yup, you bet I did. And I sure HATED losing him to the Cubs. But I was wrong. Or maybe I was sorta right, and Heyward’s bat would not have collapsed had he remained in St. Louis. We’ll never know. But the actual, factual results of the trade have been spectacular in just about every possible way!

    (As much as I ridicule John Mabry, he absolutely gets credit for Jedd Gyorko’s blossoming in St. Louis, and at least partial credit for Heyward’s solid season at the plate. Heyward didn’t have a “breakout” in St. Louis, but Mabry certainly coaxed much much more out of the J-Hey Kid than the Cubs coaches have managed to do.)

    #75604
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    Cardinals2016
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    OK Robert, here is a counterpoint:

    In terms of trading for Jason Heyward, they got LUCKY it worked out so well for them, it definitely wasn’t by design. They did, allegedly offer Heyward more money than the Cubs did, after all.

    Shelby Miller had a 3.02 ERA in his one year in Atlanta, and put up 4.0 bWAR (as much as I hate that statistic). He was subsequently traded to Arizona for Ender Inciarte, Dansby Swanson and Aaron Blair.

    That was a trade by design, not necessity.

    Now, for years, the Cardinals said that when they needed a position player, they would simply trade pitching for that position player.

    But in the year they signed Dexter Fowler, they tried trading for Marcell Ozuna, who had been on the trade block both that year and the year prior. The Cardinals walked away from that deal, because the Marlins wanted Alex Reyes.

    So, we signed Fowler for 5 years, $82.5 million.

    We kept Alex Reyes, who underwent surgery in both 2017 & 2018. The Cardinals knew he had a sprain in his arm at the time they nixed the trade to Miami. Reyes has accumulated two years of service time for the Cardinals, while nary contributing to the big league squad.

    We wound up trading for Marcell Ozuna a year later, only now he was also injured, the result of diving for a ball while playing Gold Glove defense for Miami.

    So, the Cardinals made a trade for Heyward out of desperation, the Braves traded Shelby Miller for a much larger return by design.

    The Cardinals refused a trade for Marcell Ozuna because it would have meant parting with their top prospect, only to see that prospect injured two years in a row (knowing he was already injured at the time they nixed the trade) and ultimately trading for the same player a year later, only now he too was injured.

    Brilliance. Absolute brilliance.

    #75653
    Brian Walton
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    #75665
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    Bw52
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    Nice article.Kind of looks like the FO/MO are doing a bit better than the naysayers seem to think.

    #75668
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    14NyquisT
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    In the past, the Cardinals have been exceptional, and I truly mean exceptional, in giving up prospects who did NOT become impact major leaguers. My firm belief is that they can make more of these kinds of trades and still be far ahead in the big picture.

    All true fans realize that every trade is a crap shoot. I feel that a team’s trading history is just that… history, and doesn’t effect the present.

    As far as prospect hoarding…. I consider myself more of a hoarder than the author. Its a selfish thing because I follow the organization and feel that I know these guys and want them to succeed…. for us.
    I know all the players that have come through the organization, and all the ones that we have acquired.
    I have referred to certain players as “one of our guys” (ex. Tommy Pham) many times. Its an allegiance I feel towards these “all Cardinal organization” players.

    But I can understand how “just St. Louis Cardinals” fans feel, because I used to be one of them.

    #75669
    Brian Walton
    Brian Walton
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    Bw52 said:

    “Kind of looks like the FO/MO are doing a bit better than the naysayers seem to think.”

    Thanks, Bw52. Your conclusion is not where I was going, though. Yes, the Cardinals have done great not trading good prospects. Perhaps too good. Given they’ve missed the playoffs the past three years, my contention is they should be making more prospect trades to improve the major league team.

    Specifically, I do not feel worry over prospects lost should be a valid reason to dismiss out of hand acquiring a player like Goldschmidt, for example – if they are serious about contending in 2019. Assume he is going to walk and cook that into the analysis.

    #75670
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    14NyquisT
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    BW… thanks for taking on this awkward subject. It is writing you won’t find elsewhere.

    I hope that this piece will attract some fans into becoming members. The participants here are always seeking new and different thoughts, ideas and commentary.

    #75671
    Brian Walton
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    14NyquisT said:

    “I feel that a team’s trading history is just that… history, and doesn’t effect the present.”

    I disagree. It is very clear the Cards have shown a long-term reluctance to trade prospects and a fear of acquiring contract year players. They are core elements of the philosophy of this organization. It has come up again this winter. The prior path needs to change, IMO, and I wanted to use data to support the point, rather than just throw out an impassioned opinion.

    #75672
    Brian Walton
    Brian Walton
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    14NyquisT said:

    “BW… thanks for taking on this awkward subject. It is writing you won’t find elsewhere.”

    You are welcome. The discussion here often gives me ideas about areas to research and present in longer form. My oldest son tells me often that I should write more commentary pieces.

    #75674
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    gscottar
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    That is the column of the year Brian. Spot on!

    “Prospects are cool but parades are cooler.” Casey Stern

    #75701
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    Cardinals2016
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    Here is my take: trades are supposed to be win-win (a philosophy Theo Epstein employs).

    You make trades to address your needs and wants, and in turn, satisfy the other teams needs and wants.

    You expect some of the players you give up to go on and have good careers. You want them to. It makes more teams willing to trade with you. If you never give up players that succeed in the big leagues, why do I want to trade with you?

    If the Cardinals say they are going to give up pitchers to obtain fielders, do it. Don’t back out of a trade and commit $82.5 million to Dexter Fowler because you don’t want to give up an asset you think will be productive.

    #75702
    stlcard25
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    So that’s Miller. Nobody can seriously wish he’d been in St. Louis, accruing less than 1 WAR per year.

    The best thing Miller could have ever done was be drafted before the Cards’ spot came up in that fateful 2009 draft.

    #75703
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    Bob Reed
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    Thanks for the response, but with all due respect C-2016, I think we are simply arguing at cross purposes.

    That’s because I am only contending that the Heyward trade worked out spectacularly well from the Cardinal point of view, and that therefore there’s absolutely no reason whatsoever for any fans here or anybody within the Redbird organization itself to regret said trade. And thus there’s no real reason to avoid a repeat in the future. I’m not arguing motives, intentions, or even front office acumen. Only arguing results.

    The Birds got a great year of production from Jason, a year they needed every single bit of, and they got it for cheap dollars, and afterwards they got a high draft pick who’s looking REAL good so far as a pro. And the Cubs lost a high draft pick, and overpaid by tens of millions for a player who has melted down from Frosty to a snowball.

    If you want to argue that the Braves did very well also, because they got an excellent season from Shelby before flipping him to Arizona, then I agree 100%, no question. The Braves did do very well. But to me that in no way undercuts how terrific the deal has turned out for St. Louis.

    The Cubs are the dumb front office in all of this Heyward talk. Just as the Cards are the dumb one when it comes to Dexter Fowler. (Also by the way, I think you’re going to like Dakota Hudson for a long time. Usual health provisos apply.)

    At any rate, even if the Cards can get Goldschmidt for a reasonable cost in prospects, I would not love the deal — because I don’t want Carp moving back to third base. But I do think it would probably upgrade the club by a couple of wins, for a year. And if you make the trade, then you should let Goldy go next winter, and take the high draft pick. Because you’ll pay through the nose for past production if you keep him into his late 30’s.

    The question is, exactly whom would you trade, for Goldy?

    #75706
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    Cardinals2016
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    Yes, Robert, I think we are in agreement. The Heyward deal worked out, the Fowler deal (which was a free agency signing caused by their unwillingness to trade) did not.

    The only way I would trade for Goldschmidt would be a Greinke + Goldshcmidt for Fowler + Adolis Garcia + pitcher (Hudson or Weaver) + Wacha. Maybe throw in another mid-tier prospect as a cost of unloading Fowler.

    Wacha only has one year left, but the Diamondbacks need at least 2 starters, thus Weaver or Hudson as well. One year left on Wacha equals one year left on Goldschmidt. Fowler gets sent back to make the marginal cost of Greinke about $18 million per year. If you count on Greinke to be your 5th starter for 3 years at $18 million per year, that’s not too bad. Adolis Garcia is not core to our plans, so I’m okay letting him go, and I hope he does well.

    I’d then go to work trying to get Kluber from Cleveland…

    Oh…and signing some LH relievers…

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Avatar Cardinals2016.
    #75819
    Brian Walton
    Brian Walton
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    From Goold’s chat. A different view of Hummel’s point on salaries.

    Q: I read a report that the cardinals were reluctant to pay Donaldson more than Yadi and that this is one reason they did not outbid the Braves. Is there any truth to this? If so, does that suggest the cards had no intention of paying Stanton or Harper or anyone more than Yadi’s 20m/per? What gives?

    A: There is no truth to this. I might have been used as a roadmap for explaining the offer — but the Cardinals are not using Molina’s salary as some kind of soft cap for their spending. That would be counterproductive and silly.

    https://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/birdland/baseball-writer-derrick-goold-fields-cardinals-questions-in-his-weekly/article_51210080-d3c6-5604-b4ae-d3e25d8c720c.html

    #75891
    Brian Walton
    Brian Walton
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    Back to the overvaluing prospects discussion, this is a thought-provoking perspective.

    #75896
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    CariocaCardinal
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    Interesting idea. Is this guy just speculating or does he have a source that has inside info on this strategy?

    #75983
    Brian Walton
    Brian Walton
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    #77751
    Brian Walton
    Brian Walton
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    Bumping this thread back to the first page.

    I will have to look for the quote again, but I recall reading earlier this fall that one of the P-D writers suggested there would be changes in the front office after 2019 unless something happens. I don’t remember if it was showing improvement or making the playoffs or winning the division or what. Maybe it was in a Hummel chat?

    #77756
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    Cardinals2016
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    Well, playing Fowler if he struggles won’t help them keep their jobs

    #77759
    Brian Walton
    Brian Walton
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    14NyquisT, I asked you move your front office discussion here. I am curious what is behind your belief that the front office is “dysfunctional”. I get they have kept a player you do not like in Fowler, but dysfunction has a much broader connotation. What are you thinking about, please?

    #77762
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    Cardinals27
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    I never realized Cecil has a no trade clause also. Ugh, November 2016 was not a good month, and worse was yet to come.

    #77764
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    Cardinals2016
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    I never realized Cecil has a no trade clause also.

    Yes, Cecil & Fowler are the only two Cardinals with full NTC’s. Maybe that should serve as a warning sign to this front office to just walk away.

    #77767
    Brian Walton
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    NTCs are not great, but in these cases, don’t you think they would like to get away if they could?

    #77770
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    Cardinals2016
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    don’t you think they would like to get away if they could?

    Then Dexter should be asking for the Cardinals to facilitate a trade rather than asking for positive affirmation and for them to keep running him out there while he is costing the team runs.

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