Winter Meetings

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  • #116345
    AvatarBob Reed
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    On the MLB Network Monday, John Mozeliak was interviewed at length from the Winter Meetings. Not surprisingly, he didn’t give away many state secrets. But he did say two things of interest, I thought. (All quotes are his.)

    1) There’s a “logjam of outfielders” and he feels that some “young players” should get a chance to see how good they are. In other words, if we take Mo at face value no big Ozuna contract will be forthcoming. So, big hurray for that.

    2) Yadi Molina can still play “a few more years.” I love Yadi, like we all love Yadi. Oh, oh, oh what a guy. But he isn’t the pitch framer or pitch blocker that he was just a few years ago, and this is reflected in the fact that — unlike the first dozen-plus campaigns of his career — the team ERA has actually been worse with Yadi behind the dish over the past two seasons. Whatever pitcher whisperer skills he once had, Yadi appears to no longer possess them to the same degree, if at all. Moreover, he’s only gunned runners at a very-slightly-better-than-average rate over the past four seasons. And finally, the bat just ain’t the same either.

    From 2007-2016, according to the Fangraphs calculations Yadi was the most valuable player in the Senior Circuit, just a whisker ahead of Chase Utley and Joey Votto. During that decade Molina was worth 46.7 WAR per Fangraphs, with a .348 OBP. And in 2016 the on-base was even better than that, at a sturdy .360. But since then, and despite pretty good health, he’s averaged exactly 2.0 WAR and posted shaky OBP’s between .312 and .314 each year. Not a pleasant trend.

    If the Birds pay Yadi $20M per year to stick around beyond 2020, then five old players will combine to make $100M in 2021. Matt Carpenter, Miles Mikolas, Dexter Fowler, Paul Goldschmidt, and Yadi will average 35 years of age in 2021, and average ~$20M in salary. That’s a little scary, folks.

    Scary not because the team will be up against the luxury tax, not that at all. But scary because when respected players make that much dough and are not good, they nevertheless are routinely permitted to block better younger “unproven” talent. This is a real organizational danger going forward — in my opinion probably the greatest impediment to StL success over the next two to three years.

    #116350
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    I don’t necessarily see the Cards as extending Yadi this year, but maybe. I do think that there’s a sense around the club that they don’t want to “disrespect” Yadi by publicly saying that they’re not going to pay him $20M a year to decline to a replacement player. I do think he has a role on the club if he wants it the next two, maybe even three years but would he accept being the starter (120ish games max) this year, an even time share in 2021 and the clear backup to Knizner or Herrera in 2022? I somehow doubt that.

    #116351
    AvatarCardsFanInChiTown
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    I believe that Carlos Martinez had his physical, or check up at the end of last week to see how his shoulder was reacting to the treatment he got at the end of the year. Has anyone heard a single thing about it?

    That seemed to be very important as far as how they were going to go about things at the winter meetings.

    #116352
    Avatar1964cards
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    Also saw the interview and these were my takeaways:

    Overall Mo’s comments were very consistent with those made in the press conference announcing Front Office contract extensions. This tells me the club has a defined plan to build the 2020 Team.

    1. The strength of the 2019 Team was pitching and defense … the Front Office is looking to augment these strengths as the team heads into 2020.
    2. Open outfield spot(s) to be filled with internal candidates
    3. The club does not intend to look external to make improvements to the offense. Mo stated something to the effect that they believe they have the players within the system to make the needed improvements.
    4. Edmund provides the club with energy and flexibility. He sees Shildt using Edmund as Zobrist was used in Tampa and Chicago. I took this to mean we should expect to see Tommy in the line up almost every day, just not at the same position.
    5. Mo agreed with hosts that Yadi has been productive to this point and continues to contribute. My walk away was they will see where things stand as they go and then make a decision. He did state that you have to make the evaluation as to what is best for the player and the team. We will see.
    6. They are looking for pitching, but does not know if they will be making a signing or a deal by the end of the winter meetings. I took this to mean the Front Office is looking for value and I would be surprised if the Redbirds make a big splash in the free agent market.
    7. Carlos Martinez continues his conditioning program as planned. He will be evaluated in January to see where he is and then make a decision as to where he is and how he will be used in 2020. Mo said they want to protect Carlos. This leads me to believe they may not be confident he will be in the rotation at the end of Spring Training.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Avatar1964cards.
    #116354
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    I believe that Carlos Martinez had his physical, or check up at the end of last week to see how his shoulder was reacting to the treatment he got at the end of the year. Has anyone heard a single thing about it?

    That seemed to be very important as far as how they were going to go about things at the winter meetings.

    There was a general article on pitching that included a bit on Carlos:

    https://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/as-winter-meetings-arrive-cardinals-warm-to-pitching-market/article_04dd4a23-3e24-598d-90a2-8d7ecebe30f3.html

    Essentially he’s throwing now (which assumes his physical went ok) but they won’t know for sure if he can start til spring training. The team “hopes” he can start. So…

    #116355
    AvatarCardsFanInChiTown
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    Thanks ST25, that doesn’t sound encouraging. Either signing Keuchel and/or trading for a SP from the OF surplus just makes to much sense than having so many uncertainties.

    #116356
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    Thanks ST25, that doesn’t sound encouraging. Either signing Keuchel and/or trading for a SP from the OF surplus just makes to much sense than having so many uncertainties.

    I would agree. A cheap one or two year stop gap until we know what we have in guys like Hudson, Reyes, and Cmart would make sense. Wade Miley is another guy I could see targeted.

    #116357
    AvatarOnyxgem
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    Ehh nothing new from the best Sit on his hands and go Nothing guy in the game…

    #116360
    Avatargscottar
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    Mo also acknowledged that the lineup needs another LH bat, most likely for the OF. Goold reports that the Cards have spoken to the Rangers, who have a surplus of LH OF’s. That could include Shin Soo-Choo, Nomar Mazara, or Willie Calhoun. Choo is expensive so Mazara or Calhoun would be preferable unless we are doing bad contract for bad contract (Choo for Carp).

    As for Yadi my fear is that we extend him this spring. That would be a mistake, mistake, mistake! I can’t stress that enough. If we want to keep him beyond 2020 it should be year to year like we are doing with Waino, with the deal consummated in November so we don’t have to worry about the rule on minimum salary reductions.

    #116363
    AvatarHoustonlarry24
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    1964,

    #3 is just stunning in ignorance to me considering the way this team cannot hit but then that is MO for you. Wake me when the season starts as the inaction of this front office is just astounding.

    #116370
    AvatarCardsFanInChiTown
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    Out of the Rangers LH OF types, Joey Gallo would definitely be of the most interest in my opinion, however, he’s likely the one they are unwilling to trade. His BA isn’t great, but trended up last year and he’s still only going into his 26 y/o season with 3 years of control remaining. His .986 OPS in 2019 would have easily been the best on the Cards and his OBP (.389) was well above average also.

    The Cardinals already have a cheaper and better defensive, but RH version of Gallo in Tyler O’neill.

    #116372
    Avatargscottar
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    Good for Rendon. Finally someone standing up to the deferrals…

    #116373
    Avatargscottar
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    #116374
    Avatargscottar
    Participant

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    #116375
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

    Gamblers’ posted over/under on Cole’s contract:

    AAV $36 MM
    Total value $315 MM

    #116388
    Avatargscottar
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    #116389
    Avatarmudville
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    If the Cardinals sign another right-handed reliever, then it must be because they don’t know what else to do with themselves.

    #116398
    Avatar1964cards
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    If the Cards are looking for another LH Hitter … does this mean the Cards are not projecting Carlson to be in the opening day roster or starting line up? Seems like he could provide the LH bat in the outfield. Or, are they looking for a LH bat off the bench?

    #116399
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    mud, since the plan is for Martinez to start, the Cards may want a veteran to be the interim closer ala Bud Norris. If the terms are reasonable, I wouldn’t have a problem with that.

    Stammen hasn’t been a closer before, but his numbers have been consistently good in recent years.

    #116400
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

    Bowden is puffing away on some mind altering substance…

    #116402
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

    1964, I do not believe Carlson is expected to make the team out of spring training. Personally, I question if he will get enough at-bats with so many other outfielders they need to get spring looks at. It isn’t impossible for him, but he would have to hit up a storm in March, IMO.

    I already put this on another thread, but my guess is that they plan to add a decent outfielder to hold down the fort but not so good he couldn’t become a no. 4 when Carlson is ready.

    #116406
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

    Morosi did not mention the Cardinals.

    #116407
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

    Angels clearing payroll for Cole?

    #116408
    AvatarCardinals27
    Participant

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    Wow what a shocker that a Scott Boras client has mystery teams involved.

    #116410
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

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