Monday night update

Just got finished going through my notes from tonight’s briefing with Mozeliak. I’ll have a story up on the site a little later this evening, but in the meantime here are some tidbits:

* Most of our conversation was about Rolen, and he definitely acknowledged they’re talking about him. But insisted, repeatedly, that they don’t HAVE to move him. He also said they will not move him without getting Major League players in return.

Quote: "Right now we’re still doing our exploratory search onthis, but we’re not bound to do anything. Unless we feel like we’re really
improving our club, our intentions would be for Scott Rolen to be a part of our
club in 2008."


* Thinks the Rolen market will be much clearer once the "paralysis" surrounding "another third baseman" has been eliminated. I.e., once Cabrera is dealt, it’ll be clearer what the market is for Rolen.

* About four teams are in on Rolen.

* Don’t put much stock in the Texas reports; Mozeliak said he hasn’t talked to Rangers in "a few weeks."

* Blaise Ilsley will be the pitching coach at Memphis, it appears.

* Mulder’s expected start date is "late April or May."

Did not get to meet the new asst. GM. He’s apparently ill.

-M.

22 Comments

I could see a trade with the Marlins to get Cabrera and Willis for Rolen, Duncan, Reyes, and one other player (Anderson?)
We solve our pitching problem, get a BAT at third and the Marlins get 2 starters and probably a really good pitcher with Reyes.

I am thinking that we would actually save the Marlins some salary.

We would need to try to tie up Cabrera long term to make it a good trade for us.

Plus I think Rolen, Duncan, and Reyes would improve and probably help Fla surprise some people in the East.

I think you are being a little too optimistic. I don’t see FL parting with Willis and Cabrera in the same deal if that deal was just for 3 or 4 players. They want 3 prospects for each probably. I;d like to see Miggy on the team more than Willis right now. As against as I am to Willis, I think any healthy pitcher right now is a good fir for St. Louis.

To get Willis and Cabrera, we’d have to offer Rasmus, Anderson, Duncan, and Wainwright. The asking price for Miggy is insane, and frankly, we don’t have enough pieces to even deal for him–and if we did, it’s best to keep him.

I’m pretty down about this whole ordeal… Looks like Mo is turning our beloved team into one big firesale. The difference between this and what the A’s do from time to time is Billy Beane is incredibly crafty, and to where Mo looks like a kid in a candy store for the first time.

What’s the upside to trading Jimmy right now, anyway? Let him retire a Redbird… And if you do trade him, why now??? Let’s say he’s healthy and bats .275 with his power increased, and he puts up okay numbers against lefties by the trade deadline, mid-season, and we’re out of the race (which will undoubtably happen earlier than the deadline). You don’t think a few teams in the hunt will give up a lot more to have a guy with power numbers against righties than they would right now? C’mon, Mo, don’t fold the hand right away. You might only have a pair of 2s, but a three of a kind might be right around the corner!

What is going on with this Scott Rolen thing..the names I hear in rumors of trading for him are Chris Capuano (5-12,5.10) Bill Hall (.254,14,63),and Pedro Feliz (.253,20,72) Are you freaking kidding me??? This is all we can get for a multi gold glove and all-star thrid baseman? I know him and Tony don’t get along but that trio of players is ridiculous to think about especially if the cards are going to pick up a portion of the contract and signs point to Rolen being healthy. As far as Cabrera and Willis I think the chances are prolly better for some type of Rolen package for Willis. It sounds like the Marlins want the farm for Cabrera and Rasmus is off limits..But a lineup with Pujols and Cabrera back to back sends chills up my spine!! I hope Rasmus is the real deal!

Scott Rolen is not going to the Marlins. No way, no how. It makes zero sense.

If the Marlins were willing to pay Rolen $12MM a year for the next three years, they’d just hold on to the guys they have now, and pay them. The reason they’re looking to move guys is so they don’t have to pay them.

-M.

Seems to me that there are some pretty unrealistic expectations as to what Mo can do this off season. There is very little in the free agent market, and all of it is overpriced. Moving Rolen will be difficult because of his huge contract and health issues. You could only move him to a major market team that could absorb his contract and even then it’s unrealistic to expect anything back. The farm system does have some prospects, but they probably can’t be moved because it would cripple the team down the road. I think we need to face facts that this is a rebuildig year. One thing that I would like to see is moving Reyes combined with 1 or 2 of the outfielders or any prospect not named Rasmus or Anderson and get either a middle of the rotation starter or a legit corner outfield bat. If Mo can pull something like that off I’ll be very happy. Otherwise, I think the plan of plugging the holes with inexpensive 1 year options and wait for the kids to be ready is a winning stratedgy in this economic market. Overpaying on long term deals is what has the team in the situation it is now. EX. Rolen, and Edmonds.

As for the “fire sale” comment, no, I don’t see it at all. Rolen and TLR needs to be fixed, and it seems the way to fix it is to move him.

And seriously, if you’re evaluating guys based strictly on one year of batting average/HR/RBI, or W-L, ERA, then you better look at what Rolen did in the categories of average/HR/RBI last year.

They’re not dealing him in July of 2004, when he was healthy and an MVP candidate. He’s battled persistent health issues and he has a massive amount of money due him over the next three years.

If they ARE able to get a quality starting pitcher (and Capuano is that — his peripherals didn’t really change that much, other than his walk rate, so there’s definitely reason to believe he’s a lot better than his superficial numbers last year) for Rolen at this point, that’s a pretty decent deal. If they get more, it’s a win.

-M.

If the Cardinals trade Rolen, because TLR is a jerk and can’t get along with him, I will not go near Busch Stadium until Tony and Mo are both gone!!! This is ridiculous!! I CANNOT STAND Tony LaRussa!!He couldn’t get along with Ozzie, either, and basically ran him off from the Cardinals organization. I don’t care what the “real” story is. The bottom line is LaRussa’s ego is too big for that clubhouse. Why the **** did we resign him? God I hope he’s gone after this year. Please, guys, trade LaRussa not Rolen. I’d much rather have Jose Oquendo manage and have Scott Rolen stay!

If, by some miracle/mistake, we do unload Rolen, is there any chance Pujols goes to third? He’s still got a good arm, and it might open up a spot at 1B for Anderson in the future. I’d hate to lose Albert’s ability to pick bad throws out of the dirt, but…

As to Capauno, in light of the huge losses and the rising walk totals, are you sure he still has the mental fortitude to be a pitcher?

Pujols’ elbow remains enough of a concern that it’s very hard for me to imagine him moving off first base.

And I can’t and won’t speculate about any player’s “mental fortitude.” All I can look at is baseball ability, and in a lot of areas, Capuano’s baseball ability looked the same as always last year. His strikeout rate, which is the single best indicator of future success, was actually the highest full-season rate of his career last year. His home run rate remained the same as always. And his walk rate was up from last year, but lower than any of the previous two seasons and just about in line with his career numbers. He even had the best groundball rate since he threw 33 innings as a rookie. The indicators are good. He got unlucky and played in front of a terrible defense. This is absolutely a guy I would advocate picking up.

-M.

Has anybody posed the question of who might replace Rolen if he is in fact traded. The Brewers don’t have any third base prospects to give up except for Ryan Braun in return for Rolen and he isn’t going anywhere. The free ageant market ***** right now for third baseman, except for Cabrera who is eating himself into a future as a first baseman, and we already have one of those. Is Brendan Ryan considered a possible fit to play third next year so we can keep him in the lineup? Or what about Travis Hanson? Last I heard he was the Cards top third base prospect, but he had a rough year. I just can’t see this whole Rolen thing working out the way the market is right now.

I don’t know if the numbers bear this out, but from listening to enough Cubs broadcasts, it appears that Capuano gives them fits. That thought warms my heart on an otherwise blistering cold Iowa day!

Also, I’m not the hugest TLR supporter, but it does need to be pointed out that Rolen had similar problems with his last manager in Philadelphia. It could be possible that some of the blame lies with Rolen. That being said, I do think TLR needs work on his communication skills with the star players (i.e. Pujols in last year’s All Star Game).

Well, let’s not forget who the manager in Philly was — Larry Bowa, who has had his share of personality conflicts over the years.

-M.

I also don’t think that you can blame TLR as much as Rolen. TLR is trying to do what is best for the team, and putting a struggling Scott Rolen on the field wasn’t it. Rolen should have been upfront with the injury. He should have said “Tony, my shoulder hurts, but I want to be out there.”

Also, lets remember that Rolen is happiest when he is healthiest.

I agree that Larry Bowa was a huge part of the problem with Rolen in Philly. I guess what I was trying to point out is that other teams GM’s would likely have three issues with a Rolen trade… (1) dollars owed to him, (2) injuries, and (3) two heavily reported fallouts with his managers.

I like Rolen. I want to keep Rolen in STL. I just don’t know how it will work in the clubhouse.

Looks like the Rolen for Cap rumor has cooled off. Now I’m hearing things from the Giants and Dodgers camps. Looks like the Rangers are not interested in Rolen-plus for Blalock. Not sold on Blalock’s health, so that’s fine by me, too.

I can’t believe two grown men of TLR and Rolen’s caliber (talent and experience) cannot settle their differences and instead, work so hard TOGETHER to create such a situation that demands one or the other leave St. Louis.

This entire situation is sad and embarrassing.

Heymatto,
I just disagree with you on that.I think TLR held Rolen out late in that one game,when he should have been brought in for defense,to prove a point.I DON’T think he was doing what’s best for the team.I think he was doing what would show Rolen who the boss is.

Now that it is apparent that the Tigers are getting Cabrera (and Willis), does this make the market clearer for what we can get for Rolen?

Also, when you are concerned about an IFers shoulder, I don’t think you play them very often and give them a lot of rest, especially someone that’s had a bad history of shoulder trouble like Rolen has.

If in fact the Cabrera to Detroit trade does work out, maybe we can swing a deal to get Brandon Inge from the Tigers and trade Rolen for Capuano and maybe another prospect. I wonder what we might have to give up to get Inge though. Detroit is pretty much set except for some bull pen help, which is actually one of our strengths. Maybe a Chris Perez and another prospect to Detroit might be enough to get us a new third baseman and finish the whole deal.

Looks like Detroit had my idea. I want to keep Rolen unless we can get a deal as good as I described with the Marlins. Same for Reyes. If Rolen is healthy (apparently so) and Reyes “finds” himself and a little better luck, our best trade may be no trade. It would be much better than to “DUMP”. I have full confidence in the professional attitude of Scott and TLR to work together on the field. If an opportunity like Cabrera/Willis would come along, then act. Otherwise, punt and hold tight until we see what Mulder and Carpenter can do when they return. Then we will know what really needs to be done. If that allows the Cubs to finally win something, so be it. And who knows…this team, as is, if functioning on all cylinders, can do some damage. I am more concerned about finding a leadoff hitter. How can we get Schumaker in the lineup? He’s our best bet. Trading Duncan to someone who needs a first baseman for a “good pitcher”, maybe in a package deal, would open that up.

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