Cards Hot Stove thread

All baseball and softball discussions go here.
User avatar
cardsfan
Staff 2
Staff 2
Posts: 1917
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:40 pm
Location: Shelbina, MO

Cards Hot Stove thread

Postby cardsfan » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:33 pm

Z......We haven't even disagreed about Cardinal baseball this off season yet so thought I'd throw a couple of my thoughts out for you to shoot down.

Mo has spent the off season so far talking about his opinion of Cards needs......IMPACT BAT and BACK OF BULLPEN HELP. While I'm not against either of those things by any means, I think he's missing what I think is the Cards biggest off season need......starting pitching. Maybe he's throwing up smoke screens and really intends to chase high-end starters but his public comments have been that his focus is on impact bat and bullpen and then "maybe circle back around closer to spring training and see what's out there as far as starting pitching".

I really don't think I agree with this at all. I see lots of needs on this roster, but I really don't see a bigger need than starting pitching if they are serious about contending in 2018. Right now the rotation is:
Carlos......solid guy, I'd say potential down the road to be a legit #1 but much better suited as a #2/3 starter on a good team right now.
Wacha......surprised me by being healthy enough to give them 30 starts last year so maybe his injuries are behind? He was pretty much a league average pitcher last year after being a significantly below-average pitcher in 2016. I don't see him as a top of the rotation starter at all and I think you still have some legit reasons to worry about his health going forward.
Waino........love the guy, love what he's done in his career but if you are counting on him as a full time starter next year, I think you have to be fooling yourself. He's been a substantially below average pitcher for each of the past 2 years. By August last year, he could barely throw the ball 84 MPH and was simply not a major league starter. I know every Cards fan roots for Waino to either magically regain his good stuff or figure out a way to get hitters out with the stuff he's got, but he's 36 years old, every number you can look at says he's at the end of the line. You just can't possibly be expecting to get even 20 good starts out of him in 2018 can you?
Luke Weaver.....He made 13 MLB starts last year, most of them pretty good. I think he's got a chance to be a legit #3 starter, maybe he'll be that this year, but more likely not. He's 24 and threw 137 total innings last year, so reasonably you could hope for 150-170 inning this year.
Jack Flaherty.....He's just 22 years old and projects to be at least a solid middle of the rotation pitcher eventually. He looked mostly over-matched in a cup of coffee with the Cards last year but I think he'll get a shot at the big league roster next year. He was around 140 innings, so he also should be in line for 150-170 innings maximum next year and at 22, that's certainly as far as you'd want to push him, I think. But a total crap shoot whether he's even ready to give you 10 starts next year.
Alex Reyes......Cards best pitching prospect, age 23. Coming off Tommy John surgery. He threw 110 total innings in 2016...coming off major arm injury at that age, I can't imagine they'd want him to throw more than 110 innings in 2018 and again, who knows what he'll have......I'd think he'd be slated for bullpen to start the season at least.

As far as I can see, that's the rotation candidates--a legit #2 starter, a legit #4/5 starter. And 4 legit question marks. I really don't see how they can look at that group and, with a straight face, try to convince fans that they are serious about contending next year regardless how many impact bats they add. I think they need to aggressively seek a legit top of the rotation starter and a solid veteran middle/bottom of the rotation guy. Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi (or any of dozens of MLB-average starters like him)...........add those 2 guys to this roster and I think you have a rotation you can seriously try to contend with.


Stanton is all the talk and I know the chat board fans are in love with the idea of him. Certainly, he'd be an exciting addition. I don't think it's likely we get him--he has a full no-trade and reportedly prefers being somewhere warm on the coast. Also will cost HUGE money and prospects for us to get him and that's just not been DeWitt way. We're a better team with him but if we add Stanton and do nothing with the rotation I don't think we are close to the Cubs. And if we are spending $30MM a year on Stanton, I think that makes it much less likely we address the holes in the pitching staff. So I'm just not all that excited about Stanton to be honest.

I see people pining for Hosmer....count me OUT on that one. This whole idea that Mo is floating about Matt Carpenter being some sort of super-utility player next year is utterly ridiculous, IMHO. Marp is a huge defensive liability anywhere, but by far does the least damage at first base. The thought of playing him regularly at second base is depressing to me. Frankly, if the Cards pursue a first baseman as their impact bat, I hope they trade Marp.....he needs to play first or be gone, I think. I'm not a big Hosmer fan at all. He had a good year last year but he's been very inconsistent. He was a bad hitter in 2016 and 2014. Talk is he will get $20MM on a 6 year deal....absolutely not interested in that.

I think their best opportunity for an impact bat is at third base. Let Gyorko be the utility guy you thought he was going to be. Leave Marp at first. Find a legit third baseman. I don't see any talk of Moustakas so I wonder if somebody that follows the Royals has thoughts on him? Frankly, he seems like a much better fit on the Cards roster than Hosmer to me?????
User avatar
zsportsguy
Staff 2
Staff 2
Posts: 2554
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:10 am

Re: Cards Hot Stove thread

Postby zsportsguy » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:53 pm

Cardsfan - i just found this thread...I'll argue with you later...I've got a meeting...but will look forward to it!
"George Steinbrenner's yacht was a beautiful thing to to observe...with all thirty oars working in unison" - Jack Buck
User avatar
zsportsguy
Staff 2
Staff 2
Posts: 2554
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:10 am

Re: Cards Hot Stove thread

Postby zsportsguy » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:15 am

Cardsfan - I want to disagree with you...but it's difficult to argue your points about the Cardinals rotation. Both Carlos and Reyes seem to have the potential to get to the true #1 and #2 guys that would circumvent your argument...but you're absolutely right that Martinez' inconsistency and Reyes health have made it difficult to know what their upside truly is, which leaves us in a difficult position. Do you spend the money and prospects to try to get a top-of-the-rotation guy? If so, do you really think Archer is the guy? I'm not sold on him at all...and I don't see many other outstanding candidates out there.

Which brings me to Giancarlo Stanton. There has been a lot of statistical analysis over the past couple of years that would support the idea that scoring lots of runs and having a 'shut down' bullpen are the keys to winning in today's MLB. Starting pitching has to be good enough, certainly...you can't have a bottom-feeder rotation and expect to stay in the playoff race. But, having a legit top-5 rotation has not been necessary to contend and win, in recent years.

I think I'm okay with trying a different approach, identify the big-time, middle-of-the-lineup bat you want and go get him. It's not like he's a 'maybe' guy...he's probably the best hitter in baseball, overall...and it would certainly have a dramatic and immediate effect on your lineup, not to mention the fact that Flaherty is the only starting pitching prospect on your list that is being talked about in these trade rumors (along with Alcantra). Get Stanton without giving up either Martinez or Reyes?...I'm not sure you can ignore that deal. I could argue that adding Stanton to the everyday lineup has a bigger effect than any single pitcher could possibly have. I could argue that...I wouldn't necessarily be right.

It's not something the Cardinals have done...really, ever...unless you count Matt Holliday...but, to me, Holliday was a different situation, since he wasn't even the best hitter on the team with Albert still in St. Louis. I've been very surprised that Mozeliak seems to be willing to go so hard after such a huge contract. It looks like it's down to St. Louis and San Francisco for Stanton. If they can get him...and rebuild the lineup around him...and then hope that the young, but talented, rotation can hold up and they can find the bullpen help they need to handle the back end, I think it's worth a shot. I think.

If they end up 'whiffing' on Stanton, then Plan B is likely exactly what you're suggesting. So we'll see. You may be right.

I agree whole-heartedly on Hosmer!! My Royals fan friends cussed him for YEARS!...until he got hot at the right time and had some big hits during their World Series run. But, overall, he was generally inconsistent, struck out way too much, and underperformed.

I also agree on Carpenter. His bat is enough to want him in the lineup, but you HAVE to minimize how much damage he can do defensively...and first base is really the only place that makes sense...so find another spot to get an impact bat.
"George Steinbrenner's yacht was a beautiful thing to to observe...with all thirty oars working in unison" - Jack Buck
User avatar
cardsfan
Staff 2
Staff 2
Posts: 1917
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:40 pm
Location: Shelbina, MO

Re: Cards Hot Stove thread

Postby cardsfan » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:19 pm

Well, I guess we're not going to get into a big scrap on this one. I'm certainly not opposed to the idea of Stanton or another impact bat. My primary concern is if they invest big money and prospects in one big bat, they will convince themselves that they are done and I just don't think that's enough to legitimately address the needs of the team. Stanton would be terribly exciting and there's no question having that bat in the middle of our lineup makes the team better. A few concerns on him:
--I hear people say how nice it would be to have a guy you could count on that would hit 50+ homers a year. Yes, he hit 59 last year and maybe that'll become the new normal for him. Prior to last season, he had not hit more than 37 in a season. And in 7 years in MLB prior to last year, he had hit 27 or less 4 times. He's not been a sure bet to hit 50 HR's up to this point...you are definitely "buying high" right now.
--Part of the above is due to his inability to stay healthy. Now, I know this is random and unpredictable. He missed a big chunk of a season after getting beaned in the head. And not saying he's 'soft' or anything but it does seem like some players are more prone to injury than others. In his 8 seasons in the big leagues, Stanton has played more than 123 games just 3 times. That's a lot of money for anybody, but for a guy on the DL every year, that's really expensive.
--The money he makes isn't my biggest concern really. DeWitt has money to spend so that's his worry, not mine. And we have prospects to trade, I know. I'd be careful just how deep into the farm system I went for him though. Best case scenario for Stanton is that you get 3 MVP-caliber seasons from him....if so, that's great, but if so, it's nearly certain he'd opt out of his contract so you are trading prospects for just 3 years of a guy. The bigger downside probably is if he doesn't opt out....which likely means he's performing at well-below MVP caliber level and now you are stuck with 7 more guaranteed years--through 20127--which is certainly go through serious decline years.

I'm just not obsessed with getting that one big star as much as I am with trying to build a really solid team. I'd still rather see them spend money and prospects on shoring up the rotation and bullpen and making whatever marginal upgrades they can to the 'starting 8'.

The Mark McGwire Show was great fun. And no doubt he sold a lot of tickets. People talk about how having that one impact bat in the lineup somehow insures team success and we've seen up close that it takes more than that. McGwire hit 70 HR's in 1998 and we won 83 games and finished 3rd. (Starting pitchers with the most starts in1998--Kent Mercker, Todd Stottlemyre, Matt Morris, Donovan Osborne, Manny Aybar, Mark Petkovsek, Juan Acevedo)

He hit 65 HR's in 1999 and we won 75 games and finished 4th. (Starters in 1999--Darren Oliver, Kent Bottenfield, Jose Jimenez, Kent Mercker, Garrett Stephenson, Juan Acevedo)

In 2000, Mac hit just 32 HR's but we added Darryl Kile and Rick Ankiel (when he was good) to the rotation (as well as Jim Edmonds to the lineup) and we won 95 games and finished 1st in the division.

Chicks dig the long ball and I know watching 550 foot HR's would be great fun. But I much prefer to watch a team win and I still think you need to have significantly better starting pitching than the Cards have available right now if they are serious about contending next year.

I think DeWitt CAN afford to do both...add Stanton or another big bat and upgrade the rotation....I just have fairly low confidence that he's going to allow them to spend $30MM on Stanton and also let them invest significantly in the rotation.
User avatar
zsportsguy
Staff 2
Staff 2
Posts: 2554
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:10 am

Re: Cards Hot Stove thread

Postby zsportsguy » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:22 am

Well, Stanton wants to be a Yankee...so be it. I'm just glad he's not landing somewhere else in the NL. I have every confidence that the Yankees will figure out a way to screw it up.

Now, we find out whether all of these 'Plan B' options that have been thrown around while waiting for Mr. MVP to make up his mind will come to fruition...and we'll find out whether Cards brass is really committed to getting done what needs to be done. I still like several options that seem to be out there...and think that, without the HUGE $$$ that Stanton would've cost, there is still room to find a bat or two, a closer and some more help for the rotation. We shall see.
"George Steinbrenner's yacht was a beautiful thing to to observe...with all thirty oars working in unison" - Jack Buck
User avatar
cardsfan
Staff 2
Staff 2
Posts: 1917
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:40 pm
Location: Shelbina, MO

Re: Cards Hot Stove thread

Postby cardsfan » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:51 am

Winter meetings this week so maybe that will get the market started. Been slow so far other than the "big" deals with Stanton and Ohtani from Japan. I don't hear many rumors for the Cards that really excite me much.
Yellich is a really nice player and I'd love to have him........but he really doesn't fit the "impact bat" that Mo seems to think he wants.
Ozuna might be more of that.....37 HR's last year. If you think that's what he's going to be, he could be a nice addition. He's got 2 years arbitration before he'd hit free agency. I haven't seen enough of him to really have an opinion....if you just look at his stats, I think there's room to wonder if 2017 represents a young player with potential finally "figuring it out" or if it was just a guy having a career year. MLB guys said they thought the Marlins wanted to package the terrible Martin Prado contract with Ozuna.....he'll make something like $13.5MM the next 2 seasons and he's not even a legit starting player. Prado adds nothing but payroll, but I guess if that's the cost of making a trade, DeWitt may have to do it. If you are taking that Prado contract, I'd assume you shouldn't have to trade too many top prospects.
I keep hearing Evan Longoria's name and while I think third base makes a lot of sense for the Cards to add their "impact bat", I'm not the least bit excited with Longoria. He was a legit superstar through age 27 but he's put up very mediocre numbers 3 of the last 4 seasons. He's getting paid a ton and is 32 years old. Honestly, not sure he's any better hitter than Gyorko at this point, so I don't care for this at all.....I think his name comes up as potentially being a contract the Rays want to dump on a team trying to get their closer...Colome I think? If we could get Chris Archer in the deal, I'd like it much better, but as far as Longoria as a legit impact bat, I just think those days are behind him.

Gregerson as a piece for the middle of the bullpen is ok, I guess. He has had a nice career after we sacrificed him in the bad Khalil Green trade several years ago. He's around 32 now too, I think, and coming off a pretty bad season last year. HR rate was way up.....moving out of Houston to STL might help that. Again, as a depth piece for the bullpne, ok.....if they think he's THE ANSWER as closer, not so much.

Jeez, they surely will make some moves.....they have tons of money to spend and they really need to thin out that glut of outfielders I think.
User avatar
zsportsguy
Staff 2
Staff 2
Posts: 2554
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:10 am

Re: Cards Hot Stove thread

Postby zsportsguy » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:53 am

Well, at least for the moment, it appears momentum is building for an Ozuna deal. Cardsfan - like you, I really wasn't very familiar with the guy, other than the fact that a lot of baseball people are 'gushing' about his bat. After reading more about him and looking at a few scouting reports, with some statistical analysis...I'm getting more and more excited.

Yes, 2017 seemingly was a 'breakout year' for him, and you always wonder if he can do that again, so to speak...but take a better look at his previous years, and you get at least a little bit of evidence that 2017 was just the natural progression that he's shown as a good hitter. His HR numbers have really been pretty consistent - 23 in 2014...only 10 in 2015, but that was a year in which he missed 40 games with an injury and played hurt for at least 40 more...2016 - 148 games, 550 at-bats, 23 HR's, 76 RBI's...and then last year - 159 games, over 600 at-bats, 37 HR's, 124 RBI's. I like those power numbers. BA was pretty consistently around .260 to .270 until he had 191 hits and batted over .300 last year. Virtually all of the scouting analysis I've found projects him at around .280 with 30-35 home runs and 100-120 RBI's. Add in a gold glove in left field last year, and the fact that he was widely considered a gold-glover the year before, and you've got a pretty good player there.

If the bat he is likely to replace in the lineup is Piscotty's (who might very well be traded if Ozuna becomes a Cardinal...with Dexter Fowler going to RF and Pham settling in at CF)...I'd consider that a potentially good upgrade.

I also have read more on the talks with Tampa Bay...and it sounds like taking on Evan Longoria's contract might be the key to getting a deal for either Colome or Archer. Tampa Bay REALLY wants to dump the contract, and it's not a team-friendly deal...but as Ben Fredrickson said in the P-D this morning, if you have to take on Longoria's contract to get the guy you really want, why not? Cards have the cash...he did have a 'down year' last year (altho he hit 20 HR's and drove in 80 runs), but he's not far removed from still being awfully productive...36 HR's and 98 RBI's in 2016...he's AVERAGED 160 games, 620 at-bats, 25 HR's and 88 RBI's over the last five seasons. If he doesn't hit, Gjorko can step in. If he does hit, Gjorko can move around and still get some at-bats. Meanwhile, you either get the closer you need, or one of the more coveted starting pitchers on this year's trade market. I kinda like it.

All of this sounds great to me!!!...but...none of it has actually happened. Sounds like there's progress...but no announcements. As you said, Cardsfan, 'surely they will make some moves!!!'
"George Steinbrenner's yacht was a beautiful thing to to observe...with all thirty oars working in unison" - Jack Buck

Return to “Baseball/Softball”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests