When the best moves are the ones you don't make

I have some longer thoughts on the Cards’ inactivity thus far, and the fan base’s agitation over them, but I wanted to get this out now:

Five years for Aaron Rowand, when he’ll turn 31 in the first year of the deal, is just nuts. He’s had two seasons in the Major Leagues when he was really an offensive asset — ’04 and ’07, both times playing in hitter-friendly ballparks. In ’02, ’05 and ’06 he was a liability with the bat, and in ’03 he was a league-average hitter.

His glove is somewhere between very good and excellent, depending on the year and who you believe, but we’re not talking about Andruw Jones in his prime here. And by the end of the deal, odds are he won’t be an asset in CF anymore, if he’s even a CF at all at that point. So he’ll HAVE to be a significant plus bat for the contract to make sense at that time — and in his prime, his late 20s, he’s been less than a 50-50 proposition to be a significant plus bat.

This is all doubly true to the extent that the Cardinals were considering him, because they have a cost-controlled player ready very soon in CF. So to add Rowand, they would have had to do one of two things: move Rasmus, which takes away much of his value, or move Rowand and bank on those odds that he’s a plus bat for a corner spot in even MORE years of the deal.

I’m sure I’ve already received 10 teeth-gnashing emails from fans about why the Cardinals are sitting on their hands while everyone else gets better. Well, I don’t think the Giants got better today. Their ’08 team may be a smidge better, but their franchise health is assuredly worse.

Deals like this are why I just don’t share the outrage of many fans that the Cards aren’t dipping into the FA market this winter. Big dollars in the short term rarely hurt you — the Andruw Jones deal is at least intriguing, if not the best of the winter (as Joe Sheehan argued, but I don’t really agree). But big dollars in the long term, for players who have already turned 30? Guh.

-M.

15 Comments

I agree. And Lord knows I’ve been frantically searching the web for trade rumors BEGGING for us to get better…but not at the expense of our farm system…not anymore.

The only player I was looking at was Tejada, but he has been heading in the wrong direction lately, and I just don’t want to be involved in a deal that is going to deplete our farm system for one player.

Rasmus in any deal is not a good deal for me…not this year. But a deal where you have to give up Rasmus, Anderson, and/or Perez all in one…like has been rumored regarding Erik Bedard…that’s just way too expensive for a pitcher recovering from injury.

Let’s sit tight, make smart, conservative moves this year…then let’s see what we can do for ’09 and beyond. We’ll have a much better idea about how our farm system will contribute then, not to mention what Mulder and Carp’s situation is.

I think the Cards OF will be fine this year. Pretty young with Ankiel, Duncan, Schumacher, Barton and then the old-timer Edmonds.
Who knows about Ludwig and Spezio and Rodriguez.

They all can’t fit on the 25 man roster.

Add Rasmus next year and the OF is young and fast and should be good defensively.

In 5 years when Rowand is on his down side the Card OFers should still be pretty productive, and maybe even cheaper.

I think the Cards have the foundation for a good outfield for many years.

Signing Rowand would not have been a good move IMHO.

Agreed. We have a plethora of OFers right now, and unless they actually can make a deal with one of them to get some starting pitching, we may be in for a quiet winter in St. Louis.

i think it is more important that we acquire a quality arm before we go shopping for a bat, although i think we certainly could use a reliable bat to back up pujols. it was so frustrating to watch him struggle as he did last year. i think there are two reasons for his problems at the plate: one, he didn’t have the support, and two, he was hitting a lot of balls to right, is anyone concerned about the fact he was hitting fewer fast balls last year?
but on the pitching side, i think it is clear we need another starter, because i don’t think that carp and mulder will be 100 percent

I am glad we were out of the sweepstakes for anyone in this free agent market. The only two deals I want to see are the following:

1) Rolen for Matt Cain and a lesser prospect. Eat half of Rolen’s salary while we are at it. Yes, that is 18 million dollars, but add Cain’s salary and we are essentially paying 9 million a year for a great pitcher. Which is well below what teams are paying this winter.

Deal 2) Rasmus, Perez, and others for Erik Bedard. Bedard is young and can help immediately. A proven commodity. He is one of a few players I would offer up Rasmus for. Bedard is a stud.

Let me know what you think. Later….

Ryan

And he got a hurt arm towards the end of the past season. He is NOT what we need. I also don’t see him doing as well as he did last year.

As far as AP goes, how do you struggle when you hit .327 with 32 HRs and 103 RBI? The fact was that he was hurt for a good deal of last year. Hopefully he is healthy in 2008.

Hitting to the right side is a good thing. If he does that, he can get more hits because he’ll be tougher to defense.

I am also fine with the inactivity of the Cardinals so far. The fact that they haven’t picked up a “big name” position player just indicates that they may actually give the young guys a shot this year. I am patiently waiting for them to trade for or sign a pitcher. That still has to be the priority.

On a related note, does anybody else get a completely childish laugh out of purposely mispronouncing the new Cubs outfielder’s name? Maybe I need help, but that’s just funny…

Trade Rasmus, probable Cards Cf of the future, and Perez, 2008 starting SS and others for Beddard?
Who plays SS in 2008? So then Mo has to acquire ****.

Cards then have Cain, Beddard, Looper, Wainwright,

Pinero to start season, Mulder comes back in May, Carp in July or August.

In my mind I think Cards only need one pitcher. But then I am putting a lot of stock on a healthy Carp and Mulder.

Frankly I’d prefer to send Edmonds to a West Coast team for pitching and throw in Reyes.

I don’t see what the big deal is with Bedard. I would rather wait and see if he is going to be a flash in the pan or a bonafide strong arm. I would rather stick with Rasmus, whom we have a pretty good read on.

Oh, BTW Matt, today is non-tender deadline. Did we have anyone up for it or do we have no one?

Stick around, I’ll know for certain shortly.
-M.

We had Ankiel, Wellmeyer, Miles and Molina…Only Miles was not tendered a contract…Prior was not tendered by the Cubs…Possible Gamble??

I’ll try this in this blog, maybe it will get responded too….
WHERE ARE THE CARDINALS???? Our opponents in the Central are doing big things where are they..First the Cubs get the Japanese star and now the Astros get Tejada for Luke Scott, Albers and other players you have never heard of (now i don’t want Tejada but the point is they are trying) Now I hear the Cubs thinking of dealing Hill and Marmol to the Orioles for Bedard and Roberts. I ask again WHERE ARE THE CARDINALS??? So far this year we have upgraded our defense and downgraded our offense with Izturis and Larue..and for all of you that say “But we got Barton” I ask you…where and when is he going to play on this team with (Duncan,Edmonds,Ankiel,Shumacher, and whenever we eventually see Rasmus) Your telling me a trade of something like-Duncan,Reyes, Kennedy, and maybe Tyler Johnson wouldn’t trump the Cubs offer?? Even if it wouldn’t its worth a freakin try! Any trade that doesn’t include Pujols, Carpenter, Wainright and I guess you have to put in the great Colby Rasmus is worth looking into! The cards NEED to do something to compete in this division..if the last 2 years have taught us anything it’s Rolen and Edmonds can no longer be counted on to stay healthy, and if last year taught us anything its a ragtag pitching staff will get us NOWHERE! I completely don’t want the Cards to spend the money “THAT THEY DO HAVE!!!” on ridculous contracts like Silva or Lohse, or broke down or old guys like Benson, Colon, or Livan Hernandez..unless its just a one year try…but even if they get that..that CANNOT be there major move if we want to compete. It’s time for MO to wake up and look around and see the Brewers, Cubs, Astros, and REDS all making moves while we sit back and watch. With this team we will finish ahead of the Lowly Pirates and thats about it. It’s time for MO to make a move and make it now and stay competitive with the rest of the division instead of just HOPING that Edmonds, Rolen and Mulder will be healthy and return to All-Star form!!

I love the idea of aquiring Matt Cain, but I would offer Chris Duncan instead along with a pitching prospect. I would urge the Cards to iron out any problems with Scott Rolen and keep him here. He grew-up a Cards fan he is the best third baseman we could ask for, I, like the rest of you, just want to win and this is a great formula for winning.

At the current rate, I see the Cardinals finishing dead last. The new regime looks like the 90’s era of the Busch’s doing nothing. The Cubs and Astros get better and the Cardinals get worse. Looks like 2009 will be the year to watch when Carp and Mulder are 100 percent. Three cheers for a losing season.

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