While I was away…

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

I hope each of you had a blessed and peaceful Thanksgiving holiday. As many of you know, I have been away the last few weeks while getting married and traveling on my honeymoon. But it’s back to the beat today, just a week ahead of the Winter Meetings, which could be a busy time for the Cardinals. I’m catching back up on all the relevant Cardinals news coming out during my absence, and in case you need a refresher as well, here is a recap of some of the more notable items of interest:

  • Will the rise of the NL Central dictate the urgency those teams have in making moves this winter? (link)
  • The Cardinals signed catcher Eric Fryer and right-hander Juan Gonzalez to minor league deals (link)
  • Jason Heyward, John Lackey rejected their qualifying offers; both remain unsigned (link)
  • Yadier Molina captures another Platinum Glove Award (link)
  • The Cardinals revealed their Spring Training schedule for 2016 (link)
  • As they did last season, the Cardinals will play the first game of the 2016 regular season — this time against the Pirates (link)
  • The Cardinals added Aledmys Diaz, Dean Kiekhefer and Charlie Tilson to their 40-man roster to protect all three from the upcoming Rule 5 Draft (link)
  • Randal Grichuk was named to the Topps All-Rookie Team for 2015 (link)
  • MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo cites Aledmys Diaz as one of the 10 breakout prospects from this year’s Arizona Fall League competition (link)
  • With Wednesday’s tender deadline looming, the Cardinals face some decisions regarding their arbitration-eligible players (link)
  • Stephen Piscotty, Alex Reyes and Austin Gomber earn organizational minor league honors (link)
  • A look back at the impact the Cardinals made in the community throughout the calendar year (link)

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366 Comments

Congratulations and best wishes.

Congratulations!!

Congrats are in order. Hope you had a wonderful honeymoon. I enjoy your posts very much. A lot will be going on in the organization over the Winter months. Good luck keeping us all informed. I am a lifetime Cardinal fan from Audubon, Iowa.

Yes, congrats Jen! Hope your honeymoon was all you wanted it to be. Btw….maybe you could find just one photo to post? : )

Congratulations, hope you and your husband had a great time. Being in Europe the last couple of weeks must have been different…..glad the two of you stayed safe.

Congratulations. All the best to you and your new husband.

Looks like they acted to get a new backup to spell Yadi after all: See Jenifer’s tweet:

Can confirm @KMOXSports report that the #STLCards have signed C Brayan Pena to a two-year contract.

Interesting, considering he’s the same exact age (33) as Yadi.
Anyhoo…it looks like Pena drew around $2M from the Reds in 2014-2015. Can’t find any info tho’, on how much the Cards signed him for.
Aw, poor Tony. He did a damn decent job while Yadi was hurt. Boo-hoo.

Brayan Pena? Any details on this guy? AND the Adams,Wong and pitching prospect trade for Freeman was presented on Redbird Rants.

I emailed Jim Duquette whose idea that was. Told him it was a bad idea. You can’t imagine his response to me.

OK, Pena signed a 2-yr $5M contract with the Cards.
Last year with the Reds, he batted .273 as a switch-hitter & made 1 fielding error in 715 plays. I just hope he can slim down during 2016 Spring training. Stats currently have him at 5′ 9″ & 240lbs.

If his defense is half decent, he could spell Yadi for a game a series but if going well could also cover first. Perhaps this is a prelude to an Adams trade. It would seem Tony C. Will be moved or released. He is a loyal and deserving guy who never got a full chance to prove himself. But it seems it is time to move on.

I did read that Pena plays 1B. But isn’t that the case with most catchers? Hahaha. That said…I doubt that Pena playing 1B would have any bearing on Adams being traded or not. One article I read gave a few reasons why Adams may well come back better than ever. And maybe Mo’s thinking the same thing.
Besides…coming off an injury like his, would lessen Adam’s trade value, don’t cha’ think?

I like the Pena pick up. Defensively better than Cruz and stats show he hits better too. The switch hitting factor helps because when he does start you don’t have to worry about who he’ll face and works well for pinch hitting role at times. If teams aren’t desperate for a 1B, like we are, then waiting to see if Adams wants the job maybe the way to go. Losing weight and showing up IN SHAPE for spr. training would be a positive sign for the club. Hopefully his progress is being monitored and the club will know his weekly status. If its not moving forward then move him now before he shows his limitations.
So,Jen got married! She has already done two things that shows her intelligence.
1.) She married her best friend and 2.) Didn’t ask me for advice…………the latter should have been number 1 come to think of it🙂

Yup, I think I like Pena too. He has several positives.
Having an eye for pitches, isn’t usually something learned. It’s innate. So maybe Adams can get back into his previous “groove”?
Can’t wait to see what comes next. : )

Sox sign Price for 217mil for 7 years! What morons.This after over paying for a closer.
AND the Yanks will still beat’em like a drum. Grenke up next to get over paid. Wonder what idiot team will do that? Kazmir looking better to me.

As mentioned before, Price was not that impressive in post-season though great through the stretch drive. But no player is worth that much as we see with Albert, especially as age wears down performance. Yes more modest additions (or retention of Lackey etc.) would be preferable with the youngsters still on the rise.

Hopefully more good news. ESPN’s baseball guys are reporting that Mo is not big on Chris Davis. Hope its true. He strikes out way way too much and we have enough of that already. Resigning Lackey would be O.K. with me and signing Kazmir would be even better. Glad the new T.V. money isn’t burning a hole in Mo’s pocket. DeWitt likes it in his.

Yes. All along I’ve felt Lackey’s worth grabbing. Btw…I just heard the Cards came in second in the Price bidding-war. For the Cards to offer anything even close to the 7-yr $217M contract, kinda’ surprises me.

Heard it was 4 for $80. Not verified.

FYI? Just read the Cardinals’ offer was $30M short of the Red Sox offer.

Yeah, buddy. : )

Glad we finished second.

Just heard Tony Cruz traded to Royals for minor league infielder (19 years old only). A sad moment like Schumacher, Robinson and Descalso previously – good troopers who no longer had a fit with the Cardinals.

Just heard that too. I only hope the Cards got Tony’s approval on the trade. It’d only be fair to allow him to have some amount of input. The least they could do, right? I heard that KC will use him as back up and not 3rd string. So that’s good.

Bourjos claimed by the Phillies too. Both he and Tony needed a fresh start. Good luck to both. Now we’ll wait and see what Mo’s been working on. Winter meetings should be interesting, even if nothing happens ground work may be laid for a later deal.

Maybe Cruz & Bourjos will do better with their new teams if they get more playing time? Needless to say, KC will want to pick Cruz brain.
Did you read the article Jen had in her tweet? It says Cishek won’t likely get an offer by the arbitration deadline tonite. But Adams & Moss probably will….with Maneness & Rosenthal as a given.
It also said the Cards are still considering a potential offer to Heyward.

Two other heading out after non-tendered: Cishek, Stanley. No surprises there.

Understandable. Stanley (even irrespective of his suspension) wouldn’t have been a consideration anyway….considering the Pena contract.
One article I read said Cishek’s salary was probably the main reason he wasn’t tendered. Not that he couldn’t be signed later on if he’s cheap enuf’. OR not.

The talk was that MAYBE Cishek could resign for a lesser amount, but with the need for relief arms I don’t see it.I think someone else will take a flier on him. He’s not that far removed from his decnt 2014 year.

Well, the Marlins did use Cishek as a closer, granted. Doesn’t mean tho’, he couldn’t be put in as relief…right?

True.
As for David Price, one sports writer in N.Y. quipped will the Red Sox have the same problem the Yanks had the last couple of years with Sabathia, drinking not withstanding? 7 yrs. is a long time. Again I;m glad we lost out in that deal. How does Heyward fair against LH pitching anybody know?

Good point. That’s a really long-term contract. Who knows how it’ll wear on Price. The Cards were definitely lucky not to have won the bidding. That’s for sure!
According to ESPN’s batting split stats? In 2015…Heyward hit .270 vs lefties (w/2HR’s) and .300 (w/11HR’s) vs righties.
Some dufus for Forbes.com feels the Cubs will likely make Heyward a heck of an offer, since they too missed out on Price.

This writer seems to think a bat is more important than pitching to the Cardinals. Not sure I agree with that since Wacha, Martinez showed potential for fatigue problems, and Lyons or Cooney are largely untested. Unless Lackey stays.

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/158755794/the-biggest-holes-to-fill-at-winter-meetings

Heyward’s lack of power will be the reason Mo will let him walk. Power is the need, then an arm. I’m high on giving Kazmir a shot as a 3 starter, plus he’s LH and gives MM more options. The problem is teams know we’re in a bind when it comes to our offensive needs and will ask alot in return via any trade. Now more than ever Mo must show patience and let the other teams get antsy. We could start the season now the way we are then get the bat later.

You might have something there, Dave. Mo’s a pretty crafty GM. He just MAY wait….and try finding a bat later on.
And yeah, a bat is often more important that pitching. At least, this past year it was. No matter HOW well we pitched, we still couldn’t couldn’t get a “W” without scoring.
As we all know, the consensus is that Heyward’s BA will only improve with time…so I’m not sure his power, or lack thereof….would be one of Mo’s biggest concerns.
Hmmm….31 y/o Kazmir sounds pretty good. Unfortunately, we won’t be the only ones looking at him.
Still don’t understand why Mo doesn’t grab Lackey (if at all do-able) and be done with it.

Lackey and Kazmir might be too much $$$, so between the two I’d go with another LH; Kazmir. It gives the rotation more balance I think.

Ultimately, the frugal Red Birds will probably go with the cheaper of those 2, if it comes down to it. That’s my guess, anyway.

Usually they do opt to stick with internal talent with cheaper add-ins. We will see this time. Lots of speculation but few hard facts (apparently they are not serious contenders for Zobrist).

Zobrist wants to play full time, not sub all over the place.Mo’s crazy if he thinks a good utility guy is out there. Good players play.

Right. It’s kinda’ unorthodox to look for an everyday, 1st-string utility player. All players would have to want to play one position. Not only that…it gives them the chance to shoot for a Gold Glove or Bat. A chance they wouldn’t qualify for, playing multiple positions.

What role would Zobrist have on the Mets?

I didn’t think about Lester. My guess is that Lackey either wanted to stay with the Cards, OR….play along side his buddy in Chicago. And whoever made a 2-year offer….would get him.

Meanwhile here is a fun browse on off-season activities – looks like Jenifer is not the only person who got married around the team recently:

http://cardinals.mlblogs.com/2015/12/04/cardinals-social-media-rewind-92315-2/?partnerId=as_stl_20151204_56007446&adbid=672911092645924864&adbpl=tw&adbpr=52847728

Lackey is a Cub now!

Bad news as he knows us too well.

Right, Bob. KC will use Cruz’ knowledge against us, as will the the Cubs with what Lackey knows. Oh well, so it goes, eh?

Crap! Lackey only signed a $32M 2-year deal. Essentially the same money as the 1-year qualifying offer the Cards made. Mo could’ve easily matched that before now. Bummer.

And losing him to a key rival is a double loss – an instance where being cheap was a very bad idea (unless the personal connection with Lester was the main reason).

Lackey isn’t worth 16mil.for one year and definitely not 32m for two years. And what can these guys tell the new teams about us that those teams don’t already know. Its not like football with playbooks. So we change our signals. Good teams do that regularly throughout any given season. If anything WE have the advantage over Lackey, Yadi knows his tendencies.
No worries gang the sky is still intact, the sun will come up tomorrow, bears take craps in the woods, and the Cubs still won’t win a World Series!:)

Altho’ I kinda’ disagree about Lackey’s worth? Everything else you said Dave, is “on fleek”…(or on point). Hahaha.

Yes the way the reporting is on Lackey looks like MO was simply too hesistant and beaten to the punch. How could he not put a solid offer out there more quickly?

“The club extended a qualifying offer to Lackey in November, but Lackey declined the one-year, $15.8 million overture to seek what may be the final multiyear deal of his career. The Cardinals were willing to discuss a two-year deal with Lackey, 37, but they were ultimately leapfrogged by the Cubs.”

Yep. Apparently, the trade to the Dodgers isn’t a done deal yet. They’re citing a domestic disturbance at Chapman’s home back in October, that could be the reason. I guess the incident was just discovered?
Whatever the case, an MLB spokesman says they’ll investigate. Not quite sure why tho’. No arrest was made. So other than public relations issues or fan backlash…technically no harm, no foul.

D-Backs to sign Greinke to 6-year $206.5M contract. Crazy, eh?
Tonite’s local CBS news (St. Louis) says rumor is the Cards could be the mystery team who’ve offered 30 y/o RHP Jeff Samardzija a $90M contract (length unknown).

Kozma signed by the Yankees to add depth to their infield….as insurance against a potential repeat injury of utility player Brendan Ryan (former Cardinal). Pete will be slotted as a AAA regular, ready for call-up.
As for Samardzija…one unconfirmed source reports the RHP’s “mystery offer” as $80M, not $90M.

Good for Pete. Always like him, limited skills that he added to a great attitude and being an ultimate team player. We can use Greinke but nowhere at that money.D-Backs can have him, I want Pollock.

Samardzija? Can we at least get someone who’s name I can pronounce? His age makes him a better fit than Lackey. Wonder how many years the offer is for no matter who offered it? Being in on Price tells me the Cards want a LH pitcher and I now believe Kazmir will be on the radar. I still have no idea who the bat, we so desperately need, will be. The team doesn’t seem to think Heyward is the answer, especially at that money. Maybe the answer is Piscotty and Grichuk playing a full season. No one is going to come in and hit 40 homers, not playing half the games at Busch. Gap power that doesn’t strike out alot would be great ( like Heyward ). Just not at 20+ mil. a year.

Here’s a quote regarding trade-availability from the D-Backs’ CEO Derrick Hall: ““It’s clear that every team knows that Goldy is off limits,” Hall said, referring to first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. “It’s almost time to send a message that A.J. is off limits too.”
So OK, we may ultimately end up bidding on Kazmir.
Who knows….Samardzija could get a higher bid than the $90M that the Cards have presumably offered.

Makes you wonder why no else has kick the tires on him, maybe they’re afraid they’ll pop. We should also be afraid of another LH break down.Get someone more reliable first then MAYBE take a flier on him. Not excited yet.

It’d be a potential re-injury that might be a concern with Lee. At least he’s a LHP, which is a plus. I’ve gotta’ think that Mo’s got him on his radar already?

I can’t beleive that with all the pitching that was available, we might take a shot on someone that could breakdown playing catch. Mo is not doing it for me thus far and I’m now offically concerned. No line up help,no pitching help,but plenty of people leaving.

Well, it’s pretty darned rough out there. Considering the need for a big bat? How much would you want Mo to spend on an arm? What are your thoughts on what we should’ve already tried so far? I personally, am at a loss…

Sorry I’m an idiot. I need patience so I’ll stay away for awhile.

Oh heck no, don’t do that Daaaave. Tee-hee. Your suggestion about Kazmir was a very sensible one, you were right about Chris Davis not being a fit, etc. Your speculations all have a lot of merit to them.
So I was merely wondering if you can think of any other acquisitions that might be do-able….and how the Cards’ budget would best be spent. Do you feel we should ideally spend more on an arm or a bat, I guess I’m asking.
I keep going back ‘n forth on that one….

Steve McNeil wrote a piece on Rebird Rants that really summed up what I feel. A power bat at Busch isn’t what we need. We need a guy with the power to hit doules, keep the line up moving and not K alot. His take on Davis and some others were that their homers were mostly solo and were in none important times. Carter from the Astros and Alverez from the Pirates were other examples of homeruns that were not difference makers and they strike out way too much.I still think Heyward is too much but who else fits that role. He’s one of the best outfielders in the game and he runs the bases well. If not him then go with the kids and role the dice. Freeman from the Braves could be available, but he’s a lesser Heyward in my opinion.

Well, that kinda’ thinking honestly sounds as good as anything. Also, since the contracts have become so high? It’s beginning to look like each & every team will end up signing at least one player for mega-bucks. Namely Heyward for us, perhaps?
Mo has continued to say that he’s OK with Cooney, Lyons, Gonzales rotating as a 5th starter for now. Plus, he’s also probably thinking that Alex Reyes will be back after the first quarter of the upcoming season. That’s 40 games out of 162, in other words. (The first 10 of the 50 suspensions were served while he was in the Arizona League.)
So…it looks like that could be the game-plan. Snag Heyward and just go with that.
Besides, as for pitching? I’m still convinced that in addition to Reyes, Tuivailala has some terrific potential as well. Tuivailala only switched from SS to pitching relatively recently. Once he develops some consistent control of his 100 mph pitches…I think he’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

Well, the Giants finally signed Samardzija to a 5-year $90M contract. He chose the Giants over the Cardinals, one report said. So, with no other mention about the bidding details that I could find….I’m guessing both the Cards AND Giants may have offered the same deal.

Well not a disaster not to sign the shark. But I don;t think the commentators understand the cautious St. Louis management culture. With money coming in and a fair degree of success on the field, they will not engage in a shakeup. They do not spend big enough or long term enough for the best free agents, including Heyward. Nor do they have enough in the minors to make the kinds of splashes via trade that some commentators think, It will be tinkering as usual. I doubt we will see this prediction coming true this week:

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/158887098?partnerId=ed-9919664-856879653

Ah, today is the official start of the Winter Meetings. KMOX will do 2 interviews this morning. Mo & one of their play-by-play guys, John Rooney. Will paste the link once they’re posted online. Maybe we’ll get a hint of things to come?

Mo had nothing interesting to say today. Mostly, that he wasn’t surprised by the huge pitching contracts.
He WAS asked tho’…if Rosenthal might be an option OTHER than a closer (a starter inference, no doubt). But Mo said no. The plan as it stands, is that Rosie will remain & train as their 9th inning guy.

Here is an interesting side story about St. Louis. At least the have Ballpark Village and the Cardinals Hall of Fame to make up for this.

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/12/06/disney-world-in-st-louis-blueprints-offer-glimpse-of-cancelled-theme-park.html

Wow, I’ve lived here ever since I was 7 y/o…and I didn’t know that. Very interesting.

Hmmm. I forgot about our new, switch-hitting catcher Brayan Pena. So I looked him up….and the Cards signed him to a 2-year $5M contract. He batted .273 last year with the Reds. Not too shabby, eh?

I read that LHP Mark Buehrle may still be an option. He’s been quoted as saying he’ll either retire or sign with STL. A projected 1-year contract would likely be around $16M, give or take.
OR….there’s a minuscule off-chance he could take a pay-cut just to finish out his career with the Cards. (Grew up in St. Louis & parents here.) He’s already earned $180M over his life-time.
One of our top baseball reporters has “inferred” that Wong could possibly be used as trade-bait.(The speculation being he’s hit his peak.) I kinda’ find that surprising.
I also read that Zobrist has said he’s OK with regularly switching playing positions.
Lastly? Another local reporter claims that earlier this afternoon in Nashville, Mo told him the Heyward deal will take a coupla’ more days. Could that be for real????

Did you hear about this twist? BREAKING: @Dodgers @Reds trade for Aroldis Chapman on hold due to alleged domestic assault involving gunshots

Yeah, something that happened this past October. Guess the incident was just uncovered.
An MLB spokesman says they’ll investigate. Not sure why tho’. No arrest was made, so technically, I don’t think any type of sanction would be called for. Right?

The last day or two, our local STL sportscasters have been throwing around the name, Alex Gordon who plays LF, 1B & 3B.
USA Today is also reporting the Cards probably have the strongest interest in him.
So, if Mo can’t pull the trigger on a Heyward mega-contract? Gordon would probably be a decent option. (Throws R, bats L w/ .271 BA last year as a Royal.)
Speculation is that he’ll get around $100M for 5 years….which might strain KC’s budget if they want to re-sign him.
Gordon IS a KC native, btw.
Incidentally, it’s rumored that KC is currently pursuing LHP Scott Kazmir.

Update: Jon Jay traded to the Padres in exchange for 27 y/o Jedd Gyorko (2B, SS & 3B). Cards will have control of him thru 2019.

Sad to see Jay go given his contributions over the years. But the outfield is crowded. However, Gyorko is not too impressive and barely made the padres last year. overt three years his Batting average .236 Home runs 49 Runs batted in 171. A little pop but not up to Wong’s level really? Is he an upgrade on Greg Garcia as a backup infielder?

Not the ‘super utility’ guy they wanted,but like I said before there are no super utility guys because they are playing all the time. Gordon is 32, Heyward is 26 and they both do the same thing…..take Heyward. I still like Kazmir, but a guy like Leake is a possibility just not a lefty. I too am sad to see Jay leave. Bet Pham has a smile on his face this morning.

Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking. Garcia was batting OK last season. But his fielding left a lot to be desired. He has to improve his defense, or bye-bye Greg.
Mo likely signed Gyorko to occasionally relieve Peralta & Wong so they can get some rest. I suspect that’s all there is to it. If Jay could play 2B & SS effectively? I suspect he’d still be a Cardinal.

What are the rumors about Shelby Miller that are around?

And what about this pitcher as a potential trade target? What could we offer that Cleveland might want? http://m.mlb.com/news/article/159065574/carlos-carrasco-is-extremely-valuable-in-trade

There was a mention of Shelby back with the Cards, as a possible ironic twist. No more than that, tho’.
As for Carrasco…I’ve read a little about him being worthwhile. That’s all I know.

Jenifer Langosch ‏@LangoschMLB 44s45 seconds ago

Jon Jay: “To be able to make the run we have the last few yrs has been incredible. It’s just one of those things that now comes to an end.”

Definitely a sad moment😦

Here is the problem with DeWitt and MO’s cautious approach. Key rivals are stepping up and beating us to targets we want. Again a double whammy here: http://m.mlb.com/news/article/159006676/ben-zobrist-cubs-agree-to-4-year-deal their limited spending model might not work in the division any more.

Bob,
I too a few days ago was p=off about moves that others made as we lost out. Now, with new medication,I’m feeling that someting big is going to happen and it might not be one move but a series of them. If the meetings end and we have nothing,but Heyward hasn’t signed with anyone else then we’re in with him. That will be followed by a deal for a pitcher, maybe better than #3 or 4 guy. Of course all of this could be the medication🙂

Did you see Shelby was traded to the D-Backs? Atlanta wanted Pollock in return….but that wasn’t gonna’ happen. heheehe.
http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/14324592/shelby-miller-traded-arizona-diamondbacks-atlanta-braves

Good to hear your new medication is working better. I’ve had a similar experience. My optometrist prescribed me some new glasses…and I’m “seeing” things in a more positive light now. I have faith that Mo will do his best to keep the Red Birds in contention for the 2016 season.
My new lenses, by the way…are “rose” colored. Hee-hee.

I read that Miller was headed west, and A.J. needs to be a Cardinal. Glad your eye-sight is improving.
O’s offered 7yrs. 150mil to Davis. Hope he takes it, then we won’t pay it. Lind went with the Mariners. Looks like 1B will be Adams/Moss and Piscotty. Now all we can do is wait, hope and self medicate

Very quiet on the Heyward front. Not even rumors about others seriously making offers. Does Mo already have a deal in place with Boras,but wants to wait so as not to affect another deal he’s working on?

Merely an FYI? The Cubs came in second to the D-Backs in the Shelby Miller trade. The Cubs have also shown strong interest in Heyward. But the recently signed 4-year, $56M contract with Zobrist, might make them think twice about Heyward at this point. However, the Giants & Angels are still reportedly interested in signing Heyward.
Then there’s the possibility Mo makes an offer to Alex Gordon if he doesn’t sign Heyward (who’d be $100M cheaper). On the other hand….Mo said in an interview 2 days ago….”If we don’t sign Jason Heyward, we’ll likely go with internal options instead of other free agents.” But I suppose that could change.
Incidentally, Cueto’s agent in a recent statement, said he thinks Johnny would be a good fit for St Louis. But considering Cueto kicked our catcher (Jason LaRue) in the head a few years back (which caused him to retire)? He’s probably NOT a good fit.

Did you guys see Jen’s tweets up top? Earlier today, the Cards claimed some unprotected minor-leaguer from the Indians and put him on the Cards’ 40-man roster. This LHP, Jayson Aquino…is 23 y/o.
So as you mentioned Dave…a lefty hurler WAS a priority on Mo’s mind. : )

Yes will see what comes of that. Like Gyorko, it looks like bits and pieces on the cheap. That may be justified if Heyward stays but not sure it will be enough against Chicago’s hard charging approach.

I’m sure that’s it, Bob. Bits ‘n pieces in hopeful anticipation of signing Heyward. There’s been a little talk now that maybe even a 10-year contract for Jason might be one of the offers? Could be just idle chatter tho’.
I heard some other talking-head comment that Price’s 7-year contract was too long. So perhaps a 10-year contract wouldn’t really be realistic for any player?
Also, CBS is reporting a mystery team other than the Cards, Angles, Cubs & Giants is involved in the Heyward bidding war.
Sports Illustrated claims a couple of other team execs they interviewed (who were anonymous) ….said Heyward’s swing is a concern. “He swings from a stance like he’s cramped up in a phone booth”. (Body tight & elbows in.) And if Heyward isn’t ultimately able to tweak his swing down the road to get more power behind his bat? He’d be a risky acquisition.
It was mentioned too, that traditionally…teams have pursued offense & pitching. But with Heyward, his defense almost seems to be the primary basis of his value. Unusual, that’s all.
Someone on KMOX this morning, said the hold up on Heyward signing any contract, is him. The inference was his camp simply can’t agree on what length & dollar-amount they should shoot for.
One reporter said it wouldn’t surprise him, if Heyward doesn’t sign with anyone until around Xmas.

More tweets from Jen. He’s back. The Cards signed Jonathan Broxton to a 2-year, $7.5M contract today. Triple-A draft picks RHP Matthew Bowman, RHP John Brebbia & LHP Michael Heesch were also snagged.
Guess Mo might be trying to save some bucks for the Heyward deal???

With this many suitors and Boras as agent it is hard to see how the Cards will come out with the best offer in years and money.

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/159327968/jason-heyward-will-choose-team-soon
By Bob on December 10, 2015 4:43 pm – Reply

Well, there’s a chance that Heyward might “prefer” to sign with the Cards. OK…I know Boras will want to get the most money. (Puts a feather in HIS cap, as a negotiator.) But considering the signing amount will be so high? Jason may give up a coupla’ bucks to come back to the team who helped him achieve his elite status.
Merely an aside? Boras is also Alex Gordon’s agent. Hmmm….

This off season is a nightmare. They have to change their mindset or they will never win the division with this aggressive Cubs approach. Another double whammy loss. Just too cheap to compete.

http://m.cardinals.mlb.com/news/article/159433100/jason-heyward-reportedly-chooses-cubs.

The Cardinals are in trouble. While the Hated Cubs are making key additions, the Cardinals are lying dorment. I’m not that upset about Heyward leaving, does not give Cards the big thumper they need in the middle of the lineup, and I don’t think he is worth that obscene amount. The Cards need Justin Upton to give them the power they are lacking in the middfle of the order. Also, i think another starting pitcher is necessary. Tho Wainwright is coming back, are we sure Wacha and Martinez are going to do the job over 162 games. Wacha faded in second half. Since Lackey had the best outing against the Cubs, another veteran starter is necessary. Lynn out for year, and tho Garcia pitches pretty well, he is brittle and a disabled list candidate every year. Anyway, those are my thoughts.

Your analysis is dead on. They are in trouble, of their own making having made substantial sums in recent years but being unwilling to commit (though amounts as you say are obscene). Much more of this and it will be less feasible for me to justify paying for MLB TV next year as chances of advancing will be lower.

They have quality pieces remaining but having lost both Lackey and Heyward directly tot he Cubs they will need to aim for the Wild card but will only get that if they get lucky with Dbacks, Giants and Dodgers likely making that the three team playoff division this year. As Wainwright, Molina and Holiday fade, there chances will diminish even further.

Miller for Heyward………now they have neither! Just great!!!

MO and MM lucked in to a good scouting and drafting system. What has MO done that stands out positively? Always looks to the bottom end of the market which with core draft picks worked for awhile but is no match for the new deployment of wealth by the Cubs. It could be a disappointing few years ahead until the ownership realizes – but perhaps if dollars roll in they will not care that much either.

And in aggressively pursuing our free agents the Cubs have very consciously weakened us to their benefit. The old school low key approach of our team is a product of a bygone era – its all cut throat now.

Just read that the Cards’s offer to Heyward was more than the Cubs offered in “total” value…whatever that means.

Oh gosh. We lost the deal with Heyward, huh? Especially surprising since the contract is 8 years @ $184M. Didn’t reach the $200M some were speculating.
One article said Heyward liked the longer contract length. Apparently longer than what the Cards were offering???
The Red Birds then, may want to reconsider Alex Gordon.

If the goal is no payment to anyone,I’m not paying Gordon,5 yrs. older that money either. Play the kids and role the dice, What other options are really out there that Mo is willing to pay for? Gordon doesn’t compare to the Cubs up grades so why do anything. Make the fans happy?……..well we’re not. Bob is right about bottom feeding.
You get what you pay for and you don’t get what you don’t pay for either.
Totally sick and tired of the cheap crap.

Seems pretty delusional to me.

http://m.cardinals.mlb.com/news/article/159460078/cardinals-have-plenty-of-time-this-offseason

What they have is untested youth which bent under high workloads in the rotation and field. Plus some strong but aging pieces which cannot be expected to have plus seasons much longer. The team has probably peaked and will settle for less than fans are used to for the foreseeable future.

Well, I don’t think having Heyward or not having Heyward would make that much difference once the 2016 season begins. It’d help a little, yeah. But I still think Piscotty prefers playing RF over 1B. And remember. Piscotty’s been an amazingly consistent .305 bat so far. We’ve seen what Pham & Wong are capable of. Older & wiser they’ll be this Spring.
Buehrle may yet get the offer he wants. Having veteran like that would be a plus to have with our young pitchers.
I’d bet that MM will tell Yadi to pick n’ chose the games he wants to play…but not every single game now that we have Pena.
We’ve got Gyorko to relieve Wong & Peralta, as needed. Things are getting set-up so as not to over-work our players, like what happened this past season.
Maybe even Adams will get his groove back.
So yes, play the kids & roll the dice. And once the season begins…let’s hope things fall into place. Who knows…it all might work out better than anyone expects. : )

I hope your optimism turns out to be true – I tend to be a realist and pessimist but then can be pleasantly surprised sometimes.

Yeah, I won’t ever forget that quote last year by the Giants’ play-by-play guy. “Where in the world did that Pham kid come from!” Stuff like that happens. ; )
We honestly have a lot of potentially good players. And a bunch of ’em are kids, meaning they’re still improving. That is to say….the best may be yet to come.
Keep in mind that Mo’s got money to burn now. So we still may get someone really good that we won’t expect.
The only problem I see…is Lyons & Marco Gonzales. I just don’t think they’re that good. Lyons has the size (the physicality) but he needs to develop his pitches some more. Hopefully, if they fizzle early on…it’ll finally be time for Alex Reyes to rejoin the team? And heck, Carlos Martinez is an old pro now. I have no doubt he’ll be out to show everyone how it’s done! Hahaha.

Gyorko, a week in Nashville and we get Gyorko! 3rd place,maybe.

Gyorko was a necessary piece of the puzzle. There’s still time to get somebody else we could use.

It’s one thing not to sign Lackey and Heyward – but to lose them to the Cubs? Inexcusable. Very poor GM performance even if there are some possibilities remaining.

Yeah, yer’ right. And a few articles are claiming the Cubs aren’t even done yet. They’re still on the look-out for a starting pitcher. : (

Actually I don’t care. Lets see what the Cards do. They accomplished 3 signings that were important to shore up catching and the IF and BP. There are still options, Alex Gordon is my favorite. Lester and Lackey were a combined 24-22. If that was Arrieta’s career year at 22-6, then the Cubs aren’t the clear favorite. Lets see. I hope we whup the Cubs to prove their strategy faulty.

A 100 win team just got worst and a 97 win team got ALOT better……..hmmmm let see, can you guess which one is favored to win the central vs.the one that may not make the play offs?

Well at the start of last year, I don’t think anybody anticipated the Cards would win 100 games…did they?

True true,but based on what we’ve lost to a division competitor and gained via signings ( even if we get Gordon ) which team has done the best job for 2016?
Also given that the division will be tough and a 100 wins seems unlikely, which team(s) in the Central look like 93-95 winners? Are the Cards one of them? Please convince me we are,but don’t use the rose coloed glasses. As it stands the Cubs are the clear favorite with Pittsburgh right behind, then the Cardinals. Things can change,but how much with what’s available? I was really expecting Mo to pull off something,but Bob is correct. Too much bottom feeding.The game is changing and I hope Mo gets that,because if he or DeWitt think diamonds in the rough are out there every year then…………………………..????

Don’t put on sack cloth and ashes yet. Cubs were 32 over .500 and Arrieta gave them 16 of those. Don’t ASSume he will repeat 22-6. Lackey should be better than our 13-10. That’s it. Pena and Gyroko will help immensely by giving IF rest will little drop off. Those rested IFs should hit better. Full seasons for Pham, Grichuk, and Piscotty can do nothing but help run production. We’re looking to replace Heyward’s 60 RBIs. Should be easy. I hate this Cardinal panic.

Didn’t ASSume anything, what ever your spelling implied. Should be easy to replace Heyward’s 60 RBI’s huh? Well its more than 60!Try 120, that’s right the 60 we lost and the 60 the Cubs gained. As far as Pena and Gyroko I wouldn’t use the term “immensly”, especially for part-time players because that’s what they are! And as far as hating Cardinal panic,fine,but the reality is.we ARE NOT better, right now, than last year, and the Cubs ARE. Also on the assuming front ,isn’t that what you’re doing assuming Pham, Grichuk and Piscotty full seasons would be full of production? Not one of them has a full season under their belt. I’m not assuming anything or panicing just pointing “the facts ma’m,just the facts”! Dragnet ref.

Mo & Dan McLaughlin (FSMW Cardinals play-by-play guy) were both interviewed this morning, regarding the aftermath of the Heyward contract. Just ASSumed you guys might wanna’ take a listen? Tee-hee.
Mo’s interview by the way, is approx 6 minutes. However McLaughlin’s is around 20 minutes.
http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/audio/sports-on-a-sunday-morning/

Dave M. Thanx. Interesting listening to Dan and Mo. I appreciate your thoutfulness.

What I referred to was the old saw about assuming.
And it is not a 120 RBI swing. You have to subtract the RBIs of the Cub Heyward replaces. Further, Grichuk and Piscotty threw up numbers that tell me they could easily produce more than 60 RBIs, not to mention 13 dingers.
Here is what we are staring at:
* Full season from Matt Holliday.
* Full season from Jaime Garcia.
* Full season from Waino.
* Full season from Yadi.
* Full Season from Randal Grichuk.
* Full season from Sephen Piscotty.
* Full season from Matt Adams or Brandon Moss at 1b.
* A bench not of Jay, Kozma, and Cruz but of Gyroko, Pena, and Pham
* A full season of Carlos Martinez.
* A full effective season of Michael Wacha.
I don’t expect all of those to happen because odds are against it. But with the bench we have, the regulars should be rested better for the long haul and see nowhere near the fall off last season’s bench presented.
And do not presume Arrieta will go 22-6.

A small positive to not having Heyward…is that there won’t be any more switching positions for Piscotty. He truly prefers playing RF. Plus Grichuk gets to start in CF with Jay gone.
And yup, we do have a better bench now.
There’s plenty o’ money still in the bank, and it sounds like Mo’s gonna’ go after a pitcher. I just wonder who.
What will hopefully be fun to watch…is Alex Reyes pitching, once he returns. The last game (#50) of his suspension is May 17th, 2016.

Jeff,
It is true that subtracting the RBI’s Heyward replaces should be noted. That said, as of this post we are not a playoff team. Even other teams like the Cubs will have guys regress.However, if you look at the situation right now both the Cubs and Pirates have rosters in a better position to win 93-95 games.If this scenario plays out another team in another division will get the other WC slot leaving us out of the playoffs. With money the Cards are suppose to have and haven’t used then it would be a shame on the organization’s commitment to the fans.

I do not agree we are not a playoff team. I point out that Pirates roster, which may be worse without Alverez and Walker, had a losing record against the Cards, Cubs, Red, and Brewers. The Cards will be healthier next year. And in the POs.

Well, it would seem most prudent to only begin speculating after any/all trades are done. Even then, who knows which team may run into unexpected injuries. A “dirty” slide into 2nd or 3rd base for example, could break a leg…and take out any number of players. Concussions running into outfield walls, another possibility. Perhaps a batter gets beaned or a 105 mph line-drive is hit right back at a pitcher? Any of those scenarios could even injure one of this year’s mega-contract guys.
After all, there are simply too many variables to say who’ll make the play-offs, and who won’t. All I know is the 2016 season will be pretty intense this year. All the more fun to watch….right?
And you BOTH make valid points. Groovy? : )

Groovy? Can only think of “neato” to top that. Maybe Mike Leake? I despise the thought of Cueto. If Jason LaRue publicly forgives him, only then will I support that signing. Villanueva and Belislecare still out there for the taking.

Pirates were 21-30 vs The NL Central and still finished with nearly a hundred wins.Based on the law of averages they’ll do better.Losing Alverez and all those ‘Ks’ will help their team because their line up is now built for contact. As for walker he only seems to play well against us so good riddance. They’re farm system can replace him.
As for Leake, good choice. I prefer Kazmir but the market is hot for him now so he’ll cost more.Based on our track record thus far this winter we’ll come up short.My wish was Zimmerman way back when, more so than Price. Please don’t go near Lee or that scum Cueto.
And as always the blog therapist( ya gotta love her), Haley, smooths things over. However, one glaring fact remains, we are not a better team RIGHT NOW, than we were last year. Adding Gyorko,Pena, and Broxton does not equal the loss of Lackey and Heyward no matter how you spin it. Yes it could change and I hope it does, because I don’t want to go into the season banking on other teams getting injuries to boast our season……….too much bad Karma for me to wish that. I’d sign Villanueva in a heartbeat!!!

Idiot check:The above corrections are: Walker should be capitalized – ‘They’re’ should be Their + assorted missing punctuations marks

As for me, I spin nothing. I am optimistic, as long as SI doesn’t put the Cards on the cover. The Cubs will be, spelling doom, unless they are on twice. It breaks the jinx. The DBacks will be on, too, so count them out. We were on once last year (Heyward, no less), the Royals twice. Prima facie evidence for you Doubting Thomases.

Nothing breaks a Cubs jinx.

Right about Cueto! He’s NOT a “fit” for the Cards in any way, shape OR form.
I do wonder why Villanueva hasn’t been signed. He was our fall-back guy many times last season.
And could it be that Belisle’s rehab didn’t go as expected?
As for “neato”, Jeff? That’s a good one too. Just that I like “groovy” better. Hahaha.

I asked Derrick Goold in one of his chats about Belisle and Villanueva. (They earned $2+ and $3+ mil last year, something Cards could afford.) He said they chose to become FAs. I’m guessing they were testing the waters while the Cards were worried about what Price and/or Heyward would cost.

So, maybe they could eventually get signed?

That would be my guess. I can’t figure out who is in the BP now beside the obvious. Don’t know if Mitch Harris Sam Tui Tim Cooney Tyler Lyons Marco Gonzales are in or out. I cannot understand Villanueva…he was good in long relief. I count at least 4 gone from our last roster’s BP.

Mo’s said more than once, that he’s good (for the moment), with Cooney, Lyons and Gonzales competing for the 5th starter slot. So whoever’s left over, should be in the BP.
I’m a big fan of Tui. He was a SS initially, before switching to a pitching role (not all THAT long ago, by the way). So, considering he does have a 100-mph fastball? He just needs to develop a little more control, and then he’ll hopefully be ready.
I have doubts about Lyons. I think he needed to stay in AAA a while longer. He doesn’t have his pitches down solid yet.
Cooney’s not bad. Socolovich had a few good outings last year. Harris has been good occasionally. And hey, maybe he’ll improve since he’s only been playing for a relatively short time.
And then, as I posted before? Alex Reyes will serve his last game-suspension on May 17th…and will be good to go after that. (‘Course, that just means he can join back up with the team…not that he’d immediately be ready to pitch yet.)
As for Villanueva? Boy, I don’t understand either….

Cueto to the Giants

Hmmm, a 6-year, $130M contract for Cueto. Good.

The thing about Reyes is when he does come back he’ll work at AAA for a month or so. Join the big club,if all goes well, by the second half of the year.It’ll be like trading for a pitcher without losing anyone.
Ian Desmond anyone? It would require moving Johnny to 1B.It could make Adams and an arm part of a package deal. Down side 5 outfielders.Upside strong bench.

Well, Desmond probably wouldn’t be of any interest in Mo’s way of thinking…considering he already got Gyorko to back up Peralta & Wong on days off. I do like his size, tho’. He’s 6′ 3″ & 215 lbs.
As for Reyes? If the situation would call for it, and it may? Would it be out of the realm of possibility to have Reyes work with the pitching coaches here instead of AAA?

What I’d do is play Desmond at short full time and use Peralta and Moss at 1B.It makes the outfield situation crowded but the bench very strong. Adams and a minor league arm becomes part of a possible trade.Sign Gordon and an outfielder could be added to the package making it a bit sweeter. Just spit balling. Mo hasn’t called to ask me about it yet.🙂

The latest comments seem to suggest MO will stand pat on position players and on offense and perhaps do something re pitching.

http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/mozeliak-says-cards-no-longer-looking-for-dynamic-signing/article_0fc30cae-22ef-594a-9561-a911b7019a9e.html

Since the youth remains in many cases unproven over a full season, some veterans unlikely to complete a year uninjured and the staff and bullpen down in numbers, this approach is unlikely to be enough to keep them in contention for division or even a wildcard when one considers Dbacks, Gianrs and Dodgers plus Mets and Nationals in the other divisions. But certainly no indication Desmond or another starter or bat is a high priority.

Yep, even today Mo again repeated that his #1 priority now, will likely be a pitcher. Asked if that means a starter or reliever? He simply said it depends.
Now that Heyward’s not an option, he clarified…they’ll most probably switch to chasing an arm & no longer a position player.

I sense that Mo’s all about giving Adams a generous opportunity to prove himself before he’d consider trading him. Mo has pointed out how Moss & Adams, both being lefties…would be an advantage.

How does he figure having two lefties at first is an advantage? It removes a possibility to platoon Adams if his splits against left-handers do not improve.

Overall this article conveys how I think things may unfold without changes; and aging core and unproven young talent.

http://www.stlcardinalbaseball.com/the-real-danger-of-decline.

I guess he wants more lefties, overall. So which ever of them plays 1B, it’ll be a left-handed batter. Or maybe he was rationalizing the situation? I dunno’.
But yikes, that article is a tough read. Pretty negative….

Is no one remembering Piscotty, a rightie, plays first? And LH Moss or RH Pham are outfielders? The lineup has multiple options in the OF (MH RG TP BM SP), 2 catchers, and in the IF (MC, JP, KW, MA, BM, SP, JG). The world as we Cardinal fans know it is not coming to an end.

Not betting on Holiday playing 125 games this season so Piscotty,Moss Pham or somebody better keep their OF glove handy.

I’m not gonna’ worry about Holiday. Why just the other day? I was reminded that 35 is the NEW 25 (years-old, that is). Hehehe.

So, you’re (25;)?

Not exactly. Someone merely said that on a TV show I was watching about Hollywood types. Hee-hee.

holiday => hol–a-day. A time of celebration. aka vacation from work.

Holliday => Hol-a-day. A baseball player. Matthew Holliday who plays for the St Louis Cardinals team. Also, often misspelled provoking the response: “Do you know what the L you are talking about?”.

The extra ‘L’ is for leftfield?

Hope Jess posts soon this blog has gotten way too long.

Yeah, NO kidding! : )

My take on the Cardinals situation is this. Losing Heyward is not that tragic. He has no power to speak of, and the Cardinals need a big bat in the middle of the order. Heyward can do what he did with the Cardinals for the Cubs. The Cubs have three big bats, Schwarber, Rizzo and Bryant who will probably hit more homers than the entire Cardinal team. Grichuk, Pham and Piscotty may turn into good players. But if the Cardinals don’t get a big power guy in that lineup, their pitching better be great. Wainwright hopefully will come back as good as ever. The loss of Lackey will be felt especially with Lynn out all year. Wacha faded down the stretch and Martinez was shut down. Garcia is good when he’s healthy, but hasn’t pitched a complete season since 2012. If the Cardinals don’t add a starter and a big bat, Gordon would be a nice addition, but not a big power guy could be long season. Anyway, I guess only time will tell.

Yes relying on the aging core is looking more tenuous by the minute – Pena may have to step up big time:

Jenifer Langosch ‏@LangoschMLB 14m14 minutes ago

Yadier Molina had to have a second thumb ligament surgery yesterday. The first didn’t take. That’ll keep him out for most of ST. #stlcards

Yeah, I know. Good thing we have Pena to back up Yadi. I’m sure tho’, Cruz would’ve done a fine job.
Plus, Grichuk had a hernia surgery too, but is supposed to be 100% by the start of Spring Training. Kinda’ makes ya’ wonder what those guys have been doing lately?

We may be upset with inaction – but didn’t the White Sox over pay on this trade? http://m.mlb.com/news/article/159795544/reds-trade-todd-frazier-to-white-sox

Better to be cautious than to give away too much.

But while caution is good, complacency is not: all the solutions are not to be found in house if division and playoff success is the goal, especially with the money available.

http://m.cardinals.mlb.com/news/article/159838228/cardinals-shift-focus-after-jason-heyward

Molina to miss most of spring training because of second thumb injury. Merry Christmas!
Read an interesting article from ESPN. The 2018 free agent class could be loaded. The Cards,based on their contracts now would have only 24mil owed, and that’s when the 1 billion T.V. contract kicks in………….hmmm,bet Mo knew that.I’d be real disappointed if the plan is to tread water until then,but we’ll see what they do before spring training.
Bob………you are right!!!

You might be on to something, Dave. It could be possible with the injuries & everything else that’s transpired this past year, in addition to the mega-huge contracts recently….that we’re seeing purposeful reservation on Mo & DeWitt’s part this off-season.
Cards’ fans are kinda’ spoiled, to be honest. Who’s made the play-offs as much as the Red Birds have. Not many.
We have Waino (34), Peralta (33), Molina (33 ), and Holliday (36 in Jan) who’re in the “twilight” of their careers. Might be better to wait & watch…and search for potential pitching & position players as an on-going thing, rather than to jump into anything immediately.
Frankly, the Cubs almost had no choice other than to go “all-out” this off-season. They were so close last year, and were or ARE desperate to continue the momentum.
So, yeah…treading water may be the current plan for now.
And who knows. Maybe Pham, Grichuk & Piscotty will have break-out seasons in 2016. Adams & Moss could get their groove back. Greg Garcia might even end up improving his defensive talents, too. Aledmys Diaz (SS) is really supposed to be sumpin’, so we may see how he fits in, sometime this coming season. That’s not to mention the amount of young pitching talent that could mature & surprise us. Also, Martinez might come back better than ever. Who can say.
All in all, it should be fun to watch in hopeful anticipation.
And even if we don’t win the NL Central in 2016? So it goes. We can’t win it every single year…right?
One question for you guys, tho’? How much input do you suppose MM has regarding trades & that type of stuff?

Winning the division has its advantages as far as home field,but in recent years the WC has done very well.Although K.C. might disagree the fact remains WC teams have won..SF for example.Age, as Bob has pointed out,is a concern.Veterans are usually helpful in the playoffs,but we have to get there to have that advantage.My big concern now is our SP.Too many what ifs coupled with the fact Yadi won’t be there for awhile to guide them. Next season’s second half will be key for us.
Remember last year at this time we were pitching rich? Now we’re pitching fragile and still lack the power mangement knew we needed.Mo is rolling the dice,and I hope ‘Luck is a Lady Tonight’. MM is consulted I believe. Just don’t know if he’s a strong voice for the team needs. Hope he’s not a cheerleader type that is honest after the fact.Can’t wait for the season to start to see how the ‘dice’ lands; 7 or snake eyes?

A coupla’ articles I’ve read….said Yadi may likely not be ready by the start Spring Training but Grichuk would. So, you’re correct. Yadi won’t probably be able to work with our pitchers at first. Hadn’t thought about that.
However, knowing Yadi? I’m gonna’ bet he’ll be totally involved during Spring Training…just with his cast still on. : )
The inference about what happened with the first surgery, is that Yadi’s cast came off too early. Once removed, sounds like he used his thumb for normal, everyday tasks (nothing baseball-related)…but shouldn’t have even been doing that. This time…no doubt they’ll be overly-cautious, and insist he wear the cast far longer than before.
And I too, can’t wait to see how the cookie crumbles. C’mon Spring Training! Let the games begin!!!
Btw…mark your calendars for Spring Training games. March 17 vs Boston & March 26 vs Wash, both at 12:05p Central on ESPN. (More televised dates are expected to be scheduled. The MLB Network may even televise a few, tho’ nothing’s set yet.)

O.K. lets say Mo is done dealing,except for SP. What do you think the line up will look like?
Carp – 3B
Piscotty – RF
Peralta – SS
Holiday – LF
Grichuk – CF
Adams/Moss – 1B
Pena – C
Wong – 2B
Pitcher
Of course changes based on a RH or LH pitcher. Not as scary once I wrote it down.

Yup, that about sums up the line-up. Maybe Pham in CF & Grichuk in RF when Holliday needs a day off? Gyorko would then give Peralta & Wong a day’s rest when necessary. I personally, will kinda’ miss Mark Reynolds (who signed with the Rockies for $2.6M). He WAS Carp’s relief when he needed a day off. I guess Gyorko will back up Carp instead. So it looks like everyone’s covered, right?
Oh, and since Greg Garcia’s still on the active roster, and if his defense improves? Maybe MM will put him in for Wong occasionally. Greg’s listed as a SS too. So if Gyorko is covering for somebody else like Carp, and they’re in a pinch? Greg could also sub for Peralta as SS? At least there are options for the upcoming season.
One other thing. I’m thinking that since the Cards didn’t sign anybody to one of those huge contracts…Mo still might try to sign a high-level starting pitcher. Who knows…maybe he’s been talking to Buehrle????

Buehrle isn’t exactly high level and he may only do one year.I’d do Kazmir first 2yrs. then maybe add Buehrle. Then if he leaves you have Lynn as his replacement the following year.But who knows,everyone we’ve talked about here hasn’t been added to the roster. What do we know anyway? I’d like to have a LH, so Mo will get a RH.

Since he let Reynolds walk and prefers to platoon two lefties at first, I guess I’d agree with that. Stack the rotation with RH pitchers.

Another fairly optimistic assessment here: http://m.cardinals.mlb.com/news/article/159966180/cardinals-remain-top-flight-contender

But seeing the lineup as you outlined it, that is not division winning material and with Giants, Nats and DBacks strengthening, probably not wildcard competitive either.

As you suggested before, he might be holding out for the old crew to retire and retool then, but would be at least 2-3 disappointing seasons in between, while the owners sit on a lot of cash. Problem is do I pay the bucks for MLB TV for those seasons and watch a lot of losses?

More reports about the Cards’ interest in 28 y/o RHP Mike Leake. Supposedly, the D-Backs were ready to offer him a 5-year $70M contract, but it never happened. So, that should be around what Leake’s looking for. Dodgers reported to be interested in Leake too.
http://www.vivaelbirdos.com/2015/12/17/10450834/cardinals-rumors-mike-leake-per-ken-rosenthal

Also of interest of note form that site is this piece which has some projects based on stats, age etc.

http://www.vivaelbirdos.com/2015/12/17/10436130/the-cardinals-will-still-be-good-at-baseball-in-2016

Holliday 3rd, Grichuk 4th, Peralta, 5th in my lineup

I was simply curious about Joe Maddon’s popularity…and thought I’d share a few interesting examples of his antics that I ran across (for what it’s worth):
* Before each away-game, he has the players dress up for the flight. Once, it was the Mario Brothers….another time, the theme was nerds, etc.
* An ump once warned Joe not to say ONE more word, to which he replied, “I love you!” Ejected.
* One time he hired a DJ to entertain his players before a game.
* He has strange animals in his office sometimes.
* Maddon wore a football helmet during a post-game interview.
I guess I can understand how 20 & 30-something players would get a kick outta’ him. It could have been Maddon’s crazy yet relaxed demeanor, that was small part of what lured Heyward to the Cubs?

I still think he looks like Buddy Holly with those freakin’ glasses that he’s too old to be wearing. That said if he were in St Louis we’d probably love him,but until that time he’s a major Richard🙂

Yeah, we’d probably like him if he were OUR mgr.
But Maddon was wrong, accusing the Cards of “starting something” that the Cubs “would finish”. That was just making things up & plain ole’ tryin’ to play the tough guy.
MM never (verbally) started anything for them TO finish, in other words.

Buddy Holly sayin’, ‘nah,nah, you can’t hit me I have stupid looking glasses on’!! Oh, and by the way the Cubs could have the 1927 Yankees line up and still won’t win the World Series. Too many goats,cats and Bartman relatives around.

The Cubs should’ve had the goat (rather his descendant) attend their play-off games last season. Wonder why they didn’t….

My hope is Cubs make the cover of Sports Illustrated. That will do them in. Problem: SI usually has regional covers and count on the Cubs selected for Midwest. If they appear twice, it reverses the jinx (Royals last season as example ). 3 times…I don’t know.

A team to watch,like ours,that is probably going to start 2-3 rookies in the outfield are the Twins. If all things stay the same,the Twins are in the same boat and they always seem to get it right. Maybe we will too.
Rumor front is we’ve contacted the Rays about some of their pitching.We’ll see?
Playing the Reds this year will be like a AAA team with Votto.

Ordorizzi from the Rays is reportedly being look over by Mo.

If the dodgers don’t out bit us…

Wow, plenty of speculation remains out there aside from maybe grabbing 25 y/o, RHP Ordorizzi. (It was said that 2 LHP’s could potentially be included in an Ordorizzi trade, btw.) Somebody mentioned we might trade Tuivailala? Aw, say it ain’t so.
And then Leake, Kazmir & Buehrle could still be considerations (among others).
Heck, there’s just too much up in the air to make a good guess what direction Mo will go.
Incidentally, did you see the blurb about Holliday working out at 1B? Could that mean Mo’s interested in left-fielder Alex Gordon after all?

If Holiday plays 1B like he plays LF we’re in trouble defensively. Wong will have to learn how to play ricochets then run the ball to first.

Here’s this morning’s KMOX sports show. (Mozeliak & Dan McLaughlin interviews.) But McLaughlin doesn’t feel that Holliday’s work-outs at 1B mean anything.
http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/audio/sports-on-a-sunday-morning/

Jen’s tweet above, right…says the Cards transferred rights of AAA RHP Zach Petrick to Japan’s BayStars of the NPB League (Nippon Porfessional Baseball) for “cash considerations”.
Could that “credit” in turn be used as the fee required for the right to negotiate a contract with one of THEIR pitchers?

This is a less than encouraging ranking of one of the newest Cardinals.

http://baseball-players.pointafter.com/stories/8852/ranking-mlb-catchers-worst-best-2015?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social.paid&utm_campaign=i1.sp.fb.dt.8852#3-Brayan-Pena-Cincinnati-Reds

But then this same source suggests Molina has dropped to 10th among catchers so who knows how seriously to take this.

Naw, I wouldn’t take that too seriously. I think we’ve learned (especially THIS off-season) that opinions are like butts. Everybody HAS one….don’t cha’ know. Tee-hee.
Not to worry, Roberto! ; )

We have been all baseball business in here but there may not be too much more news for a few days. What are your holiday plans and traditions (that is if you do celebrate the Christmas season)?

Merry Xmas, Bob! Things are copestetic here, and pretty low-key. Merry-merry to Uncle Dave, too! Hehehe.

Molina is 10th uh, tell that to the dude standing on first who just got the steal sign that he’s running on the #10 catcher in baseball. Who’s rating them anyway……..
Buddy Holly from Chicago.

Exactly, Dave! ; )

What about this option from the left side? I have heard no Redbirds chatter in this direction: http://m.orioles.mlb.com/news/article/160091070/wei-yin-chen-could-be-underrated-free-agent

Bob, I heard about Chen too. The only question I have is did they offer a qualifying offer? That seems to scare off the Cards,as well as some other teams. The draft picks have become very valuable, too valuable in my opinion.A major league ready player,especially a pitcher, has more value than a ‘maybe’.The major difference is money and control. Everyone talks about how the A’s do it. What have they won in the last ten years with that business model? The Cards have to answer just one question………Do we want to compete with the Cubs and the Pirates this year or wait until 2017 or 2018? Based on the moves so far it seems waiting is the choice.AND yes there is still time to add to the club,but will it be the type of move(s) that make us competitive or a real contender??? The jury is still out!!

Mike Leake, 28 yr. old ground ball type pitcher on Cards radar. I like it🙂

Yup. Our local sports guys are saying the Cards will make offer to either 28 y/o RHP Mike Leake or 31 y/o LHP Scott Kazmir.

They have money to sign both without Heyward – but might be saving some for the outfield. Gordon still in play but not really linked to them in the coverage I have seen so far.

How ’bout it! Mike Leake’s a done deal!
It’s a 5 year, $75M contract, no clauses being reported so far…only pending on a physical.

Well that’s a Christmas present of sorta for fans. He should make up for some of the loss of Lynn this year and Wianwright’s inevitable decline after that.

Yes, this IS exciting!!! Merry Xmas to Cards’ Fans!!! Having a solid 5th starter on the roster is a huge relief.
As for Wainwright? I’m gonna’ use 37 y/o Lackey as a gauge….and predict 34 y/o Waino will be pitching at least 3 more years. That’s discounting the Achilles tendon issue, since it has or had no actual impact on his arm/shoulder.
With Gordon still on the market? His projected $100M price-tag could drop…but I doubt it. And that’s simply more than the Cards would be willing to spend.
Besides, there are other teams out there who’re interested in him.
More than likely, Mo’s hoping that Piscotty, Grichuk & Pham come thru with some .300+ BA’s in 2016. I have no doubt about Piscotty. Just that Grichuk & Pham might struggle to pull that off.
Who knows about our other players. In a recent interview, Mo said he’s heard that Adams is doing VERY well in practice. Hasn’t seen him himself, but that’s the report he’d just received.
Plus we have yet, to see how Pena & Gyorko swing a bat. Moss has the potential to improve HIS swing in 2016, too. (Both Chase Utley & Alex Gordon have had the same hip surgery,by the way.)
Ah…plenty of things to assess in Spring Training, eh?
Correction on the Leake deal. it’s a 5-year $80M contract, no trade clause, with 6th year option.

$8O million 5 yrs. no trade clause. Replaces Lackey’s numbers and innings.

Ya’ know? We were about the only high-level team who hadn’t signed a big FA contract yet. But now we have. Leake puts the Cards in a much better position to be a contender in 2016. In an interview just now, Leake said he’s happy to join what he considers a “dynasty” in baseball. Welcome to St Louis number # 8!

Is there a link to that interview?

Can’t find the interview video yet. However, here’s an article containing a few quotes from Leake today:
http://www.effinghamdailynews.com/sports/national_sports/mike-leake-agrees-to-m–year-deal-with-cardinals/article_fd23836b-b568-5661-b283-26a9f3a80dee.html

I like Leake already. Take the Cubs down? Yeah!!!

Good to see Leake enthusiastic and competitive, with an edge not unlike Lackey. That attitude will serve them well.

Not sure they should stop at this though as I think it is not accurate to compare their core to the Cubs at this point. I think they can afford to do more as Jeniffer suggested today:

“The Cardinals, even though they don’t appear to be focused on the top tier of the free-agent pool anymore, do have the financial flexibility to get involved again if they choose to pivot from their position.”

Hope they don’t let their frugality stop them from getting persons like Kazimir or an added bat – their core really only has 1-2 more seasons to grasp the moment and emerging youth is not clearly competitive with a Rizzo or Bryant yet.

Who knows. Perhaps, because we’ve been lucky, finding minor-leaguers like Martinez, Piscotty, etc? Mo may remain frugal until he sees that the youngsters we already have, aren’t gonna’ do it. Possibly at that point, he’ll try to buy/trade for another impact player. Just one theory among many.

Jen’s second tweet (up top on the right) includes a video with a portion of Leake’s first press interview, by the way.

Leake vs. Lackey;
Both were brought in to be back of the rotation guys(3-4) originally.Do to injuries Lackey stepped up. Leake traded for propects
Comparing the two,they both have similar stats with TWO major differences. Leake is much younger and his stats came from 1/2 a yr. in Cinn. hitter friendly park. Lackey had the advantage of Busch. Now Lackey has to throw in Wrigley and Leake in Busch. I’d rather be Leake if given the choice of which park I’d want to pitch in.Both pitch to contact and ground balls.When the mistake happens (ball up) it will leave Wrigley but in Busch it may not. HUGE difference/advantage,a fact that Lackey will find out about real fast. In Boston when things didn’t go well he became a pain-in -the-padded seat. If Wrigley gets into his head…….well, leopards don’t change their spots.
I think Kazmir is off the radar.St. Louis has 3 of the first 40 picks in the up coming draft.I doubt they’ll give one of those up.Any player who hasn’t had a QOff. will be considered from here on out. Those are(hopefully) the players that will keep us from being the Braves,Astros or even the Cubs that had to tank a couple of years to move forward. As a fan, I hate that.

Great points, Dave. It totally slipped my mind about Wrigley being a smaller ballpark. So that may indeed affect Lackey’s stats this coming season.
I’ve been wondering tho’. We only have one back-up catcher, Mike Ohlman . With Yadi in a cast for a while, AND if Pena would somehow injure HIMSELF? Will Ohlman be next in line???
Cody Stanley’s suspended & been released. They released Ed Easley & Tartamella too, I believe. But could they bring back one of those two guys? Would the Cards even want to? Doesn’t look like there are any good catchers available on the market. Guess MM could always step in? Hehehe.
The only other thing I can think of…is that maybe they’ll look around the farm teams, and see if there’s an up & coming catcher there. But then, lack of maturity would likely preclude that as an option. Right?

Eric Fryer is the listed AAA catcher. Cards could always trade for a C. Cody Stanley really ruined himself.

Could’ve been a mistake to get rid of Tony. All we got in return, was minor-league SS, Jose Martinez. When Yadi was out before, and Cruz was in…Tony actually started hitting better with more regular at-bats.
And yeah, Stanley really screwed up.

Tony was traded so he could get a chance to play more. What the Cards got in return was not as important as getting Tony a chance. Recognition for his contributions. People forget the Cards try to take care of thei players whose playing time will dwindle. Shane, DD, JJ, Tony. A couple years at $1 or $2 mil could make a huge difference in their lives.

Yeah, I guess you’re right. I did read an article that Cruz had “some” input in the decision to trade him. I wasn’t sure that Tony would get to play more with the Royals, but maybe he will.
I just keep remembering how Shelby & Joe Kelly were devastated hearing that they’d been traded on the TV, before anybody actually said anything to them. But then, they were newer guys. No long-term history with the Cards.

Joe Kelly heard it because of (surprise) a big mouth in Boston who couldn’t wait to leak the trade, not giving Mo time to inform him and Allen Craig.

The catcher issue could be solved in spring training by paying attention to who gets released. That’s if the Cards want to wait that long. I’ll need to look at rosters and see if anybody is carrying 3 catchers. I think resigning Charlie V. should be next up. Bet one of those 3 out of top 40 picks they have is a catcher.

My Christmas wish. That a new post is added so it’s not as long as this one.

Major ditto!!!

Merry Christmas, Jen. Lookng foward to 2016. And happy holidays to Bob, Dave, and Haley-thanx for this seemingly endless commentary.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Minor league switch: Xavier Scruggs to Marlins, with 27 y/o, 6′ 5″ 240lb 1B (and DH) Chris Jacobs signed to replace him.
http://redbirdrants.com/2015/12/26/st-louis-cardinals-sign-chris-jacobs-to-minor-league-contract/

Rumor mill has Cards in trade talks with the Rockies about one of their outfielders.
Blackman jumps out to me because of his speed. Colorado players usually have inflated power numbers, but thin air doesn’t make you faster. Blackman had 43 steals last year, and if he were with us and played, he could achieve 25-30 because we don’t run as much. Those are still good totals.Now what do we give up? Martinez, Adams or both?

Given our pitching situation I think including Martinez in any trade would be a big mistake. How do those outfielders compare age wise as Adams also might have a longer-term upside despite his weaknesses.

Mozeliak’s interview this morning. Mo said if Buehrle wants to pitch, Mark has his phone number. Hehehe.
(Begins with discussion about one of our local baseball writers passing. Actual baseball talk starts at 1:40)
http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/audio/sports-on-a-sunday-morning/

From what I’ve read…Martinez would not likely be a trade option. One article suggests we could package Adams with Carlos Gonzales. Another article said Adams together with either Cooney or Lyons might be possible. But all the articles I’ve read thus far, haven’t mentioned the potential for trading Martinez. Wouldn’t ya’ figure he’s solid as one of our starters?
By the way? I still can’t get over Leake, only being 5′ 10″.
Speaking of size. The Cards’ new minor league acquisition, Chris Jacobs….appears quite similar in stature to our ole’ buddy, Jason Heyward. I’m gonna’ bet they’re planning to bring him up to the bigs before 2016 is over.
We still need a back-up catcher, too….right?

I wouldn’t trade one pitcher for a bat. The Cards have 7 solid hitters and 8 with Piscotty at 1b and back ups Adams, Moss, Gyroko, and Pena. The Cards are -1 in the SP ranks while Grichuk and Pham are available for a full year. Piscotty too. We need all the arms we can get after losing 13-10 Lackey and 11-10 Lynn. Last full season for all 5 SP was 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,7, 8, 9, 10 => 11 seasons ago. No reason to think 2016 will be different than the last 10.

Yes, it’ll be interesting to see how Pham, Piscotty, Grichuk do, playing a full season. Hope springs eternal, eh?
And who knows. Perhaps Buehrle will ultimately decide to make that call to Mo. Couldn’t hurt to have him on the roster. Then we’d be pitcher-heavy like we supposedly were last year? Hehehe.
However, the starting rotation might be just a tad difficult to figure out.

1-800-Mos-cell Go call him, Mark.

Minor updates: Cards just signed Mets former RHP Jeremy Hefner to a minor-league contract. The 6′ 4″, 205 lb hurler had TJ surgery in August of 2013 & again Oct of 2014. Altho’ he didn’t play last year, he did play in this year’s Dominican Winter League. The article says he’ll likely attend the Cards’ Spring Training as a non-roster invitee.
Other free agents who’ve agreed to minor-league contracts with the Cardinals since November include right-handed pitcher Deck McGuire, Eric Fryer (6′ 2″, 215lb, 30 y/o former Twins catcher), right-handed pitcher Juan Gonzalez, right-handed pitcher J.C. Sulbaran and right fielder Jeremy Hazelbarker.
Not sure what to make of all that….

The Yankees bullpen just got real tough. Wonder if they’ll deal Miller for a starter now. The Cards moves, I believe, were to just fill minor league rosters at best.

Kinda’ surprising that NYY signed Chapman, considering his domestic issue is still pending. He’s really sumpin’. Who has fastballs that AVERAGE 99.5 mph? Nobody.
And yeah, the minor-league contracts aren’t probably that bigga’ deal.

Based on what we have now. We’re a second place, or a close third place club in our division. Cubs 97 wins….Cards 89 wins….Pirates 88 wins….Brewers and Reds. I don’t think we’ll even get a wild card in our division because its so tough.
I’d have us higher but I’m not convinced Molina or Martinez are going to be healthy this year,and Holiday always seems to get hurt when we need him the most. I really believe Martinez’s shoulder is worst than they know and Yadi’s thumb issue is in a place that is hard to protect,while constantly being used. Thrift will bite us in the butt big time this year.

I agree entirely with Dave. They have money to spend but have decided not to do so. Their confidence in some of the youth is overblown and some veterans (including Wainwright) are on the downside of their careers. We will see how far they slide but a new approach will be needed to compete with the Cubs in future.

Bob,
I hated writing what I did,but it’s not entirely based on Molina’s thumb and Martinez’s shoulder.They’re counting on Moss to bounce back,Holiday to recapture his youth,Adams to regain his stroke,Piscotty to have a big year and the starting staff to stay healthy all year. Which of the above or all do you think will happen? Piscotty is a decent bet,but that seems to be about it. I think they’re holding on to the cash for next year’s signings. Who will be available I don’t know yet,but resigning Holiday shouldn’t be one of those options.I just don’t see their plan for down the road yet………?

Aw, I dunno’. Perhaps expectations for the young guys is somewhat over-blown. But maybe not. The Cards could just wanna’ figure out what pieces of the puzzle they already have, first…before diving into any more mega-contracts.
For example? Aledmys Diaz could prove himself as a valuable IF. Outfielder Charlie Tilson’s best season in the minors ended with a .333 BA. The pitching altogether, could turn out to be stellar too.
It’s even possible that a search for a good, young catcher has now become one of the top priorities.
Spring Training will determine a whole lot.

Geez, Dave, lift your head off the floor. Your pessimism is over blown. Holliday was batting .303 when he went down. Waino and Leake offset both replace Lynn and Lackey, whose records were 24-20, are so hard to top. You’ve got Piscotty for a full year, Pena, and Gyroko. At least wait until play begins and your Nostradamus work unfolds.

Thank you Jeff for making my point about Holiday,’when he went down’again.Garcia and Martinez you didn’t mention..injuries!!! Molina’s thumb????,no mention.Piscotty for a full year=we don’t know yet,but I think he’ll be fine.If Pena and Gyroko were so good why aren’t (weren’t) they starters?Pessimism to some is reality, and the reality is the Cubs are poised to be a 95 plus win team. Are we? Nostradamus is working on that quatrain right now.

Of course Yadi is an unknown. Few doubt his recuperative powers. I might suggest you look at Adams 2 healthy season hitting .280. As far as Holliday is concerned, you say no I say yes. There is no reason to doubt Piscotty cannot perform as advertised, ditto for Matt Carpenter. Please. Let us see how Waino, CMart, Wacha, Leake, Garcia do before we condemn their season. I’m confident in Grichuk, Wong, Peralta and Pham. The Cubs were 97-65. Of those +32 games Arrieta was +16 @ 22-6. If that was his career year, the Cubs are nowhere near as good. As I’ve said, let the season play out before declaring the Cards are a 3rd place team.

So you think they’re fine as they are?

Short answer yes. Let the string play out up to the trade deadline. Add as needed.

Well, I think the Cards as is, could still be in the race. Last nite, a local, well-respected Cardinals’ reporter (Rick Hummel), said he feels our current pitching status is really good, and now with back-up for the infielders & the potential we’ve seen from our younger, newer players? HE seems to think the team is in a pretty decent position to be legit contenders in 2016.
He sees no reason yet, to worry about past injuries….considering the advances in medicine these days.
Plus, there’s probably little doubt that Holliday has been training hard to improve his flexibility. Perhaps, a focus he didn’t have before?

I think the Pena and Gyroko will have a significant impact. Rest for Wong, Peralta, Carpenter can only help into Aug. and Sept. Both are improvements over Kozma and Cruz. We have 3 for 1b and 5 for OF with Moss and Piscotty overlapping. I like the options.

O.K. We’ll see. I hope Jeff and Haley are right and I eat a double helping of crow.
Which I’d gladly do🙂

How would you like it cooked? Deep-fried, baked or pan-seared??? Tee-hee.

I wouldn’t fire up the stove just yet, but away other than tar-tar.

Jen’s latest provides some balanced background on the way things are positioned for 2016: http://m.cardinals.mlb.com/news/article/160090058/cardinals-hope-to-hold-off-cubs-in-2016

I noticed this quote re the prevailing attitude: “Mozeliak has cautioned that the organization will likely shy away from adding an impact bat, but he is also ready to act *should asking prices drop* or a new opportunity present itself.”

Perhaps there is reason for optimism but the sense that they are holding cash and waiting for bargains is what bothers me. That was a viable strategy in the Central when all others were doing it, but not with the big spending Cubs now in the mix.

Irrespective…Spring Training will ultimately tell us what we have & what we’re lacking. Can’t wait for the games to begin.
I can only suppose that Mo’s waiting to see who might become available as 2016 progresses. I wonder if it’s even possible that Beuhrle could be signed later in mid-Spring?
Speaking of ST? I can’t find any more info on which Spring Training games will be televised. A while back I read there’ll be a few on The MLB Network, a few on ESPN….and several on Fox Sports Midwest (local).

I appears that LHP Scott Kazmir signed with the Dodgers, to a three-year deal for $48 million (to be paid over six years)….but can leave after the 2016 season. Not that the Cards would be interested after acquiring Leake. Just sayin’…

That was a doable price and length of contract, which could have shored up their pitching and limited the gains of a rival. As you say we will see how they come out of spring training and if tweaks occur during the season.

Read the article. Sounds like Mo is hoping for the post Christmas sales. You know the kind, you find the perfect item,but never in your size.

My take on Mo, and the FO. They never show their hand. In business and sports, alerting your competition to your intentions is plain stupid.

Jeff,
Very true and in the past that worked extremely well for us.The issue this year is everyone knows are intention because of the lack of power/run producer we didn’t have last year. Whomever our potential trade partner might be knows this and the price tag will be higher than Mo wants to pay,thus based on his quotes, chances are he won’t do the deal so we are what we are going into 2016.You and Haley just feel better about it than I do is all. Me, I’d be happy with Blackman from Colorado at the top of our line up if the bigger bat doesn’t come around.

When a SS was needed…and everyone was aware…Mo moved swiftly on Jhonny P. Now, if he wants someone for 1b or RF, he can wait because of incumbents. Matt Adams put up numbers exceeding Heyward in 2014 in his only full season. I think too many soured on him because of his injury marred 2015 season. Mo may not have.

Blackman

Wait & see, is all we can do. As I mentioned before? Hopefully Holliday is working on improving his flexibility so he’s not as prone to repeating that last injury.
Plus Mo DID say in a recent interview, that all reports on Adams (having not seen him work out personally yet) are VERY positive.
I still suspect that Piscotty “prefers” playing OF to 1B, so maybe MO’s taking that into consideration in any future deals?
Btw, my water heater went out last nite. Nice, eh? Pilot light won’t stay lit. Time for a new thermocouple? : )

Too bad about the water heater. That’s not a great way to start a new year – hope you got to celebrate a bit too and have a good year ahead (as hopefully will the Cardinals).

MLB Hot Stove show on KMOX in 20 minutes. Interview: Gyroko. Link in real-time, below:
http://player.radio.com/listen/station/newsradio-1120-kmox

Oops, forgetta’ bout that. The Hot Stove Show was on the other nite. Sorry.

Podcast Link for Hot Stove Show, specifically anything dated 12/30.
http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/audio/sports-open-line/

Thx, Bob. But luckily, the guy at 1-800-whirlpool suggested a little wire trick…and I now have hot water. Woo-hoo!

Looks like an era when money will do the talking –

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/160809604/kenta-maeda-agrees-to-terms-with-dodgers

Let’s just hope Cardinals stay competitive enough until they can find enough bargains to supplement their youth and rise to the top again.

Mo saved the $$$ to buy those new video boards, now I get it🙂

The GM worried about facilities? $8 million? Surely you jest.

MLB TV’s previously offered a $129.99 package per season, to view ALL baseball games.
However, they’re now working on a team-specific package.
MLB TV hasn’t announced the cost yet. But it’d only seem fair to keep it under $40-bucks or less…wouldn’t cha’ think?
Not a lot….and something I’d be willing to pay if I didn’t already have the Fox Sports Midwest channel. Tee-hee. That’s certainly cheaper than going to one game in person.
http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/25430538/mlb-to-offer-single-team-mlbtv-packages-in-2016

This package if it materializes will work well for me, as I only tune in to the Cardinals and all the Jays are televised locally. But if the NBA model is used, they will only cut the price slightly (I think they charge $90-100 for a one team package).

I saw an add for this off-season. Didn’t look close, but I think MLB TV will give you the 2015 archived games right now, plus “select” 2016 Spring Training games (live) for $24.95.

Aw, Dave’s just joking. Owner DeWitt has another guy who deals with the facilities. That’s NOT in Mo’s job-description. Hahaha.

Nice to read someone gets it. Figured the smile face was a clue.

Yup, trying to build with bits ‘n pieces. Like you said….it might work. Even if it doesn’t? I’m sure the price was right.

How soon Pat Neshek is forgotten.

Yeah, I know. Not sure why they didn’t re-sign him.

I thought the same. The first word I heard was Pat wanted to close. Then I heard from Goold that the Cards thought he had a career year. Looking at what he did for Houston, it was a good call. It has also been said Lackey had a career year with us. Hope they’re right again. Haren walkd too, in a fashion.

Lackey will find out Wrigley ain’t Busch when those fly balls of his end up in the road.

It’s freakin’ 15 degrees here!

Wow almost as cold as here in the great white north! Hard to envision spring training yet when its like this outside.

Save that temperature, then send it to Wrigley for Lackey’s first start. Further, lets hope Lackey’s turn in the rotation puts him on the mound in Coors Field. He got hammered there last year. #Imnotbitter

FYI?….this post I’m typing is # 280! Jen, help! How ’bout starting a new thread, por favor?

Listening to the President’s speech about his new gun laws. One of the parents from Sandy Hook introduced him and VP Biden.

Jenifer Langosch ‏@LangoschMLB 3m3 minutes ago

With just six weeks remaining until Spring Training, it’s time for the first #STLCards Inbox of 2016. Got questions? Tweet them my way.

We should ask if she thinks we have done enough to be competitive. And maybe she can start a new blog post around some of the questions she gets inher mailbag.

Amen. Tis my last post.

Good for Gordon resigning with the Royals. That’s where he belongs. Seeing him in another uniform, even a Cardinal one, would have looked odd.

3 people didn’t vote for Griffey for the HOF. Must have been the Wit bros. Half, Dim and Nit.

True but even past superstars like Aaron, Mays, Ryan, Cobb, etc had a few such nitwits in the voting pool.

I read that too. I can’t believe more true HOF didn’t get a unanimous selections. Goes to show you that some people don’t deserve the right to vote in the process.

I was reading the inbox Q & A with Jenifer. I not trying to be negative, which means I will be, but read the answers. Holiday = huge question mark, Molina = huge question mark, leadoff hitter = ??? rookies = ???. SP = ??. All this adds up to is the season must go perfectly to be in contention. AND it could, but does it ever go that way? I loved to be surprised, but my head and eyes tell me different for now. I’m even starting to doubt Wong.His swing is way too big and Ks too much.His funks at the plate carry over to the field, too often for me to be comfortable. The game is changing over to contact, speed and defense. We aren’t there yet.

Gerardo Parra seems to be on the radar according to Red Bird Rants. Plays all the outfield positions,moderate power,hits LH, good defensively and would come cheaper than an Upton while not costing us a draft pick. Interesting, I like the versatility and the cost.

One of the Fox/KMOX sports guys (Dan McLaughlin) has liked Parra all along. For weeks now, Dan’s been saying Parra would be a great addition to da’ Red Birds roster. In fact, McLaughlin’s due up on KMOX in a few. : )

Parra could hit lead off some times. Now that he wouldn’t cost a pick I’m off the Blackman wagon from Colorado. As far as Oh is concerned it looks like a good ‘bet’ that it will happen. No charge for the pun🙂

Other than Parra, I think I heard McLaughlin say that Chris Davis could possibly be open to a 1-year deal right now, in hopes of a better, long-term offer next off-season? Perhaps, like what happened to Heyward? Davis IS 3 years older, tho’.
Btw, Korean pitcher Hwan, “The Stone Buddha” is a true free-agent. No posting fee to pay the Korean League first, in order to cut a deal with him.
Hwan incidentally, has a $6000 fine yet to pay the Korean gov’t for a gambling infraction . Interestingly, Korean citizens aren’t supposed to gamble while out of the country? How the heck do you enforce that? Or, maybe I read it wrong.
http://www.vivaelbirdos.com/2016/1/10/10744688/cardinals-rumors-korean-free-agent-oh-seung-hwan

The hacking case has progressed and Correa seems to accept responsibility – but if proprietary information as taken (and he says he did find some) does this means someone at the Astros could be liable for a criminal charge as well?

http://m.cardinals.mlb.com/news/article/161363154/chris-correa-pleads-guilty-to-hacking-astros

That was gonna’ be the tricky part all along….determining if the Astros ALSO used or borrowed some of the Card’s “proprietary info”. It’s easily conceivable that Correa’s not the only guilty party. But who’d want to get into that. It’d have to be way too much aggravation & not worth investigating further.
Therefore, if the judge can be convinced the Astros had the motive & opportunity to borrow some of the Card’s statistical programs, etc, as Correa contends? It’d only seem fair that the judge sentence Correa to the minimum.
FYI…the Cards just announced a noon press-conference. Any bets it’s to formally introduce 33 y/o Seung Hwan Oh as our newest Red Bird RHP? : )

Correa is guilty period. His finding stuff probably can’t be used in court because it was gotten illegally.

Yes he admitted to this. I was just curious as to whether there would be any follow up on Astros officials conduct or if team penalties would be mitigated by the damage done by the theft of Cardinals info by the Astros.

At least the bullpen is looking better now.

Well, sure.There’s no doubt that Correa is guilty. But I’d think the possibility, however small, that the Astros “may” have used some Cardinal’s info…..would at least, have to be a consideration in the judge’s sentencing. Whether there’s proof or not.

Perhaps Manfred is conducting an investigation of the Astros for the so called stolen proprietary information. That would be something hush hush. If, indeed, Luhnow took what he shouldn’t; Astro management would prefer to keep this on the QT. I wonder if Manfred is going to interview Correa.

That’s probably right. IF….there’s an iota of suspicion that the Astros could be guilty of an infringement, as well? Any further investigation in that direction, would surely have to be on the down-low.
But as I said before? The investigative process might potentially, be too difficult & complicated to warrant pursuing.
Besides, if somebody DID stash some of the Card’s info BEFORE moving to Texas (which I suspect is Correa’s contention & what HE was looking for)….how could that be proved with any certainty? The “borrowed” info would likely be tweaked enuf’, so it wasn’t identical for the Astros’ use.
Aw, who knows….

I say pound their butt in the World Series and call it a day.

Looks like the Cardinals lost out on Parra – would be ridiculous to trade for someone when they could have signed him outright. They will probably stand pat and make adjustments when (not if) some of the veterans go down or drop off and the rookies under perform:

http://m.cardinals.mlb.com/news/article/161717418/cardinals-remain-unlikely-to-add-big-bat

Yup, sounds like Mo wants to stand pat for now, after reading all the articles/interviews I’ve seen. It’s OK. We just need Spring Training to begin to see what we already have first. Then Mo will know if he needs to add to the roster…or not.
PS? One article I read, the writer (NOT a local guy) feels that this will be Grichuk’s break-out year. Like 25-30 HR’s? Boy, we can only hope, right? : )
And that new Korean pitcher should be a terrific set-up man for Rosie. What a great one-two punch to finish off a game, eh? Maness & Seigrist were way over-used last year…which hopefully, shouldn’t happen again.

Once again a chance to improve,especially offensively a little, and we fail. Haley if you’re right and if Mo is waiting for spring training to evaluate, then he’s the worst GM in the league. The day last season ended, and probably before, everyone knew what this team needed and for whatever reason he/org. hasn’t delivered.Game ending one-two punches only work if you have the lead. Nothing has yet to change my mind……..3rd place.

Well, I wasn’t going to respond but Dave’s comment motivates me to. In 556 AB (= season) Grichuk and Piscotty combined for 38 2B, 24 HR, 86 RBI, and .288 BA. We could see 30-30 from Grichuk and 30-15 from Piscotty. Those are bats that firmly exceeds Heyward’s production. Further, Holliday and Molina are back for a full year. Gyorko and Pena are huge upgrades over Kozma and Cruz. No doubt in my mind that Waino and Leake can top Lynn and Lackey records of 24-20. Last, not least, Tommy Pham could approach J Hey numbers if he played a
l year, which he won’t and he is an excellent defender. I like this team. Adams and Moss will surprise their detractors.

We’ll see.

Well, Mo has occasionally thrown in an addendum into his interviews. “…that said, we’re not closed to adding another player if the right situation presents itself”.
So for now, Mo’s standing pat, yeah…but nothing’s set in stone. And we all know how secretive he can be.
Look at Pena, Gyorko and most recently, Oh. Nobody really had a clue prior to the Cards signing all 3 of them. So let’s not jump the gun quite yet. It’s still a wait & watch game at this point.

YOU SAID IT!!

Why couldn’t it have been Sadahru Oh?

Maybe….’cause he’s 75? ; )

At least he’s healthy.

KMOX’s Hot Stove Show just finished airing and was posted only a minute ago. Pretty interesting conversations.
When you have time, take a listen to segments 1-7…but skip # 4. (It’s only about ticket sales, as you’ll note in the description.)
Here’s the link: http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/audio/sports-open-line/

PS? If ya’ hadn’t noticed….Jen tweeted that all 28 Spring Training games are gonna’ be aired. I already have Fox Sports Midwest on my TV, but the AtBat streaming service isn’t expensive.
I’m not so PC savvy. But I’ll assume you could use the AtBat phone app on a desktop? It said it was only like $2.99/mo. I dunno’ about that stuff. Sorry.
Oh, plus she also tweeted that Villanueva got picked up by Padres. (A 1-year, $1.5M contract.) He did really well for us last year. Guess the Cards must feel their pitching roster is loaded? Hmmmm….

I personally think that DeWitt & Mo honestly had no idea what Correa was doing, that he never told them anything. Frankly, that article sorta’ blows things out of proportion in my opinion.
Plain ‘n simple, nobody (except maybe a Correa assistant) realized Correa was the sneak he turned out to be.
Here’s an MLB article from May 2015, about Correa’s promotion to scouting director & how extremely gung-ho he was from the very get go. I feel Correa could have secretively accessed the hacking stuff to further impress management, to prove how really good he was…besides having a suspicion all along (like others probably did), that the Cards’ info had been taken to Houston.
So following that logic, Correa would NOT want anyone to know what he was up to…and thus, no real blame can be put on top management….right? That could easily have been the scenario….and something the league should/would keep in consideration.
http://m.mlb.com/news/article/127187978/cardinals-director-of-scouting-chris-correa-impressing-gm-staff-alike

If MLB does punish the org., if it even has the power to do so, I’ll bet it will be in the form of a Draft pick or two. Firing Correa may not be enough to satisfy the other teams. Plus, MLB will not want this to happen again so sending a message may be a goal.

Well, yeah. Other than Correa going to jail, maybe just one draft pick & a $50K fine for the Cards? That wouldn’t hurt too bad.

Naw, that’s not anything really new. Initially, the docs said Yadi would need lots of time for the thumb to heal, and would not probably be ready to play by opening day. We’ve known that ever since Yadi had that 2nd surgery.
No doubt in my mind that Mo & MM have had their focus on a back-up catcher (to Pena) all along.
But the problem with finding the right catcher, as the article points out? Is who could they get that’d be OK with only playing off & on.
We should’ve kept Tony Cruz, as I’ve often said. Heck, playing back-up to KC’s Salvador Perez, will be worse than being behind Yadi. Last year, the 2015 season…..Perez caught 142 games for the Royals.
Arbitration was avoided yesterday when Tony finalized a 1-year $975K contract w Kansas City….which is about what the Cards were paying him anyway, at least while he was here.

Will see how Kelly pans out as a potential future solution at catcher. Meanwhile the pitching uncertainties still are a concern, especially if these expectation for Garcia prove unfounded as has often been the case with this injury prone player…

http://m.cardinals.mlb.com/news/article/162124978/cardinals-expect-a-lot-of-jaime-garcia-in-2016

I believe the Cards want both Kelly and Ohlman to play regularly so they can develop. Both need seasoning and that is why Mo is looking for that catcher who can be 3rd string so to speak. Or maybe he just brings up Easley [think he is still at Memphis].

When I looked at the Cards K rate it was right at the league average. But Matt is right about situational hitting. I remember a Cardinal announcer sounding exasperated that Peralta continually pulling the ball with runner on 2nd or 3rd. No doubt, situational hitting could have improved. In the end, run differential is the only stat that counts.

ESPN announced they’re airing the opening day game, the Pirates hosting the Cards in PNC Park @ 1:05pm Eastern Time on Sunday, April 3. Mark your calendars!

We can only hope that Jaime’s contract was conditional on performance. He needs that type of motivation, me thinks.
And you’d think Spring Training would have enuf’ pitchers throwing for Easley, Kelly & Ohlman to all work on their catching skills.

Jeff,
The K rate was average overall, BUT way above for Aug. + Sept. a time you need to put it in play. Age/ tired what have you the last 1/3 of the season that can’t be the case. We ain’t getting younger!

The “Cardinal’s Winter Warm-Up” is downtown today. KMOX just aired an interview with one of the higher-up farm-team managers. He said for a while now, MM has shown a specific interest in a very young minor-leaguer by the name of Carson Kelly….and has chosen to work with the kid personally, on occasion.
Kelly’s position? You got it….catcher.
Here’s a Sept 30 article about Carson’s development from a 2012 draft-pick, to an infielder at 3B, then ultimately to C:
http://www.minorleagueball.com/2015/9/30/9422481/on-the-radar-for-2016-the-cardinals-carson-kelly

We could use a catcher, correct? Maybe this would work with Pena as back-up (or splitting duties)
http://m.brewers.mlb.com/news/article/162325972/jonathan-lucroy-prefers-trade-to-winning-club

Lucroy as a backup? No way would he accept that deal. Now I don’t think he could nix the trade but why would the Cards give up a load of talent to create a log jam at catcher, not to mention barring minor league catchers from advancing down the road? Haley, I think this idea has no merit.

I just thought it was interesting that Lucroy was hinting to be traded. Right tho’. Not an option to be considered.

Mo and the Card org. are done adding players, unless something real crazy happens. So, time to look at the line up against RH or LH pitching and ride it until the trade deadline in July/early Aug.( I think its later this year? ) Wong says he could lead off, but not with his numbers. It would be great,but I think MM will try it and settle back with Carp there. Piscotty in the 2 slot then…………………? Who’s healthy?

Agree. Probably no more moves…at least for now. As for Wong? In his interview, he said he truly felt he could be the lead-off batter, and that MM agreed to give him an opportunity during Spring Training. But I suspect as you do…that MM will ultimately stick with Carp in the end. Only fair for MM to give him the chance tho’, right?
We first need to see how Gyorko & Pena do in the batting dept, before any batting order can be decided on. Need to see if Peralta’s back to his old self, too.
Moss is really anxious to show what he can do during Spring Training, according to an interview I just saw. He said both he & Adams are ready to get out there & strutt their stuff.
Holliday was in town last weekend for a charity event. I did a double-take, when I saw him on TV. He looked like Jason Motte’s twin…bald, with a big ole’ bushy beard. Hahaha.

14″ of snow.

Hope you are doing OK. Higher totals in the city. NYC 28 inches?

Our record here in great white north was 36 inches in 2004. Shut down the city for days. This one just dusted us lightly.

Oops, not so good up there in CT, huh? Just be glad you’re not in NY. Snow total was 30″ at JFK airport & Staten Island.

My siblings, all Cardinal fans, are in Greenwich, Fairfield, and Easton…and 1 in MA. In OH, -0-. [:•)

Greenwich and Fairfield got hammered. Now the temp is in the 40’s, but it’s the refreeze that gets ya!

Sunday’s interviews: Click on link below, then click on Mozeliak & McLaughlin interviews. (More to come.)
http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/audio/sports-on-a-sunday-morning/

Here’s an interview regarding the 2016 season. Click on link below, then scroll down to “Dan McLaughlin” at the bottom, and take a listen. The rest of the segments are only about past games & some fan meet ‘n greets, so ignore them.
http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/audio/sports-open-line/

Based on Jen’s article about our three lefties, Gonzales, Cooney,and Lyons, I’d give Lyon’s the longest look because he’s out of options. Gonzales or Cooney would have to be far and away better. Losing Lyons to the wavier wire would help someone else without benefiting us in any way. Just a thought.

I’m kinda’ conflicted about those three. Cooney (25 y/o, 6′ 3″) IMHO, is probably the best of the bunch. I’m not sure that Gonzales (23 y/o, 6′ 1″) & Lyons (27 y/o, 6′ 4″) have their pitches worked out yet…(if the potential’s even there). Regarding pure physicality…I supposed that Lyons would be the guy.
Lyons at his age tho’, should be at his peak…but isn’t. Gonzales has had health issues. Besides…I’m afraid Marco may not be the major-league material they’d hoped for, after all.
I have a sneaking suspicion that MM has a particular fondness for Lyons. Just a feeling….

If you looked at Tyler, Tim, and Marco MLB records, you would find Lyons by far has a better track record than Marco and Tim. These two neeed to prove themselves. Lyons ERA has declined 3 straight years. Fondness to me implies ignoring facts in order to select one over another…which is not true in this case.

Aw, I didn’t quite mean it THAT way. Hahaha. It’s just seemed (to me, anyway) that ever since the first day/time Lyons was called up? I sorta’ sensed MM was especially fond of Tyler. Simply the way MM talked about him in interviews, watching him WITH Tyler, etc. Subtle, personal things I “thought” I noticed. That’s all. : )
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan….and feel that Tyler clearly has spurts of being really good. Merely that he needs to work on consistency along with his nerves (which comes with experience). Maybe Tyler could add another pitch to his repertoire? (A comment I heard incidentally, made by a couple of the Fox Sports Mid-West guys.)

Lyons could be one of those personalities and confidence needs bolstering. Different players have to be handled differently.

Yup, pretty much what I’ve been thinking. MM likely sensed that Tyler needed a little extra emotional support, and therefore stepped into the big-brother role. Whatever it takes, right? ; )

Haley,
I think MM ‘trusts’ Lyons more, because, as Jeff pointed out, his stats are improving.

…and, as Jenifer noted, Lyons cannot be optioned to Memphis without first be listed on the waiver wire upon which someone would snatch him. Tyler certainly must have a sense of urgency if he wants to remain a Cardinal. Who knows what goes through a player’s mind in his situation. Does he want a greater opportunity with a team at the bottom of the standings?

Tough decision, yeah. Lyons (.427) Gonzales (.667) and Cooney (.316) are all lefties. Whether to put one or two of ’em in the bullpen…is predicated on Waldon’s health.
Frankly, I’m not very knowledgeable about how it all works. Wouldn’t it be most likely that they’ll go ahead with Lyons, since the other two wouldn’t be at risk on waivers?

Yes, they’ll keep Lyons unless something happens or the Cards know something we don’t. I think it is after three options then you cannot be optioned without first passing waivers. Cooney and Gonzales will start in Memphis unless someone goes on the DL to give them regular work. Makes sense to me.

Oh OK, thanks. It’d seem like an easy decision to make then. Gotta’ keep Lyons…at least for one more year. They don’t wanna’ make the same mistake, and lose a young pitcher who simply hadn’t hit his stride yet….i.e; the Shelby deal.
Good point you made tho’. They can always know something we don’t.
Whatever….let’s just play ball already!!!!! Hahaha.

Just a reminder: The last day of pitcher Alex Reyes’ suspension is May 18th, I think? Kinda’ wonder what they’ll do with him after he’s officially cleared to pitch. Guess he’ll be a good back-up starter if Jaime gets a hang-nail? Hehehe.

Lefties become a needed item for teams with playoff aspirations later in the season.
Cooney or Gonzales could become valuable to some team willing to give up too much for one of them.

If they bring up Lyons….Cooney & Gonzales would still be protected, but kept in AAA for the time being, right? So are you saying those two could potentially be trade bait this year?

correct

Gotcha’, thanks.

KMOX Radio began their “Hot Stove League Shows” last Wednesday. Here are excerpts (with descriptions) from tonite’s show:
http://radio.com/audio/sports-open-line/

This thread has taken on a life of its own. As we sprint to ST, thanx for the link, Haley. Very interesting to listen to the KMOX broadcasts. Ah, the hometown. I do miss it.

Well, Jen should hopefully post a new thread soon.
Anyway, here’s an interesting article written by Brayan Pena (our new catcher)….about his escape from Cuba. http://www.theplayerstribune.com/brayan-pena-cuba-catcher/

2″ of snow an hour. New England really can suck at times. This is one of those times.

I miss my family there but never I95 or the Merritt and Wilbur Cross traffic. Snow brings NE to a standstill.

I have have friends that call I95 …….Die95.For me personally its the Merritt hands down. Especially those entrance ramps where you start onto the highway from a dead stop. Emphasis on dead.

Think what those highways would be if they still had toll booths! Listened to Goold and Hochman at Kirkwood High School in their podcast. Interesting if you haven’t listened to it.

Huge bus accident on 95 during the snow storm Sunday. 8 people killed while heading to the casino. Toll booths under consideration again on the borders of Mass. N.Y. and R.I. Like Ct. doesn’t tax people enough.

I was reading about the teams that are rebuilding/tanking this season.In the NL the Reds,Brewers,Rockies,Braves, and the Phillies all seem to be in that mode. Win totals may increase for the more competetive clubs,but it will put a HUGE premium on the games the good teams play against each other. Especially in our division. So the big three ( Cards,Bucs and Cubs ) games will have significant concequences towards making to playoffs. It may come down to who does not play well against the weaker teams.August and September will be exciting in the NL Central this year!!
Vegas has the Cards at 88-89 wins this year, with the Cubs plus 90 and winning the division. I figured 88 wins for us,unless something happens at the trade deadline this year. Mo maybe laying that ground work now with those weaker teams.

The Pirates won 34 and lost 42 against NLC teams in ’15. Doubt that will repeat.

New Cardinals chatter on KMOX this morning. Click on link below, then click on the John Mozeliak & Dan McLaughlin segments:
http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/audio/sports-on-a-sunday-morning/

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