Step back from the ledge
Tremendous agitation seems to be sweeping Cardinal fandom regarding the departures of Abraham Nunez and John Mabry. From the email I receive, and from reading some of the message boards, it appears that the prevailing notion is that the Cardinals are sitting on their hands, that Walt Jocketty is fiddling while Rome burns.
Come on, folks. Really now.
Why are these developments so disastrous? Did anyone really want the Cardinals to
give Abraham Nunez two years, an option for a third and a guaranteed three-plus million? Nunez had a really nice year, and he’s a fantastic guy. But he also had a career year, and the odds are against him doing it again. From a baseball perspective I think it was wise not to leap into the bidding for a guy whose career line, even after last year, is 248/314/326. I wish Nunez well. I hope he’s a raging success in Philadelphia. But the Cards will be better off giving a shorter, cheaper deal to next year’s Abraham Nunez or Miguel Cairo or Tony Womack.
The same goes for Mabry. Terrific guy. Very useful player in the right role. But to guarantee him a deal at this point should not have been the highest priority. And his 2005 season could well be an indication that he’s slipping, rather than just a down year.
Seriously, I have no idea why people are so up in
arms about this. If you’re a fan, and you’ll miss these guys, that’s cool. I understand that. But the fact that the Cardinals have lost those two guys, and not signed anyone, doesn’t mean they’re not doing anything. And it doesn’t mean next year’s chances have been crippled.
Both Nunez and Mabry are replaceable, from the team’s perspective. I’ll miss them on a daily basis. But from all I can tell, the team is focusing on bigger things. And there will be reasonably priced, useful bench players available in January. Be patient. Don’t jump just yet.