Three-point stance, or Yunel? Yes, please!

The more I looked at a potential Matt Holliday deal, the less I liked it. Ludwick straight up for Holliday? Yeah, maybe. Three years of Ludwick for one year of Holliday still didn’t thrill me, but if the team had concerns about Ludwick repeating, and wanted to sell high, I could see it.

Even then, you’re running the risk of Holliday bolting after a year. Sure, the draft picks would be worth something. But essentially, you’re giving up three years of Ryan Ludwick and about $10MM in payroll flexibility this year — ie, perhaps two LH relievers, or a legitimate upgrade at 2B — for one year of Matt Holliday and a couple of draft picks.

But when you throw in four years of Skip Schumaker AND six years of Mitchell Boggs, it becomes a bad idea. Not that that’s necessarily what they were going to do. Ken Rosenthal has been wrong before. But any deal where the Cardinals gave up an additional cost-controlled player besides Ludwick in order to get Holliday would have been a bad deal.

In baseball, when you look at a trade, you have to look at three primary factors. One is ability, obviously. You want to receive more talent than you give up. One is dollars. Every team has a budget, so if you have player X and no room in your budget, versus player Y and $10 million in payroll room, then you’re essentially talking about player X plus an additional $10MM in talent that you can add. And another is years. There’s a huge difference between getting a player who is guaranteed to be under the team’s control for three or four or five years, versus one who is under control for only one.

The years matter enormously, and that’s where the reported Holliday deal looks bad to me. Look at it all in terms of the Drew-Marquis-Wainwright deal. That’s a great, great deal, on the short list of Jocketty’s best. But it’s not simply because of the players involved, or the dollars. If the Braves had gotten three years of J.D. Drew, and given up one year each of Jason Marquis, Adam Wainwright and Ray King, it would have looked much different. What makes that deal great is that the Cardinals gave up one year of Drew (plus the draft picks)  for three years of Marquis, two years of King and six of Wainwright.

Which brings me to where I think the Cardinals should be looking — and evidently are at least poking around. The Braves. If Atlanta doesn’t give up either Kelly Johnson or Yunel Escobar to get Jake Peavy, then it’s reportedly possible/likely that they would send one of them in a deal that brought back Ludwick. How exactly such a deal would be structured is unclear. It would likely take more to get Escobar than to get Johnson, and in fact a Johnson deal might be Johnson+pitcher for Ludwick.

But these are exactly the kinds of players the Cardinals should be targeting. Johnson is a plus offensive player at a key position, and according to Fielding Bible rankings, an exactly average defensive 2B. I got an email recently referring to him as an “average hitter” or something, and that’s not fair at all. For a 2B, he’s absolutely a plus hitter. 287/349/446 this year, 276/375/457 last year. Combine that with capable defense at a premium position, and you’re talking about a very nice player. He’s first-year arb-eligible and can’t be a FA until after 2011.

And Escobar is even tastier. There is almost nothing not to like about him, so far as I can tell. 385 OBP as a rookie, 366 this year. 303/373/420 career line. Plus-plus defender (+21 this year per Fielding Bible, ranking him the second-best SS in baseball). Not even arb-eligible yet, and five years from free agency. Just turned 26. So you’re talking about a player cost-controlled and team-controlled for the entirety of his prime, who plays outstanding defense at a premium-plus position, who has the most important offensive skill (getting on base).  

What IS going to happen, I don’t know. But what SHOULD happen is that the Cardinals should be working hard on the Braves, trying to get one of these two players, who are team-controlled, cost-controlled solutions to actual problems the Cardinals have.

-M.

83 Comments

agreed! :) Good to see you again, matt! Let’s nab Escobar for SS and then go sign Orlando Hudson for 2B :) That’ll clean up the middle infield nicely.

That would be an outstanding pair of moves. I’m very, very high on the O-Dog.

I would love to get Orlando Hudson, but I’ve heard rumors that the New York Yankees want to get him to play CF and would be willing to offer him a lot of money to do so. I do not know how much credibility is behind this, though. How much do you think Orlando Hudson would be wanting? And is there anyway, that if we don’t get Orlando Hudson, that we could get both Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar? Ryan Ludwick is a very valuable player, especially after the season he had, and to me, I wouldn’t be very pleased just getting one or the other in return.

I don’t agree with giving up Ludwick for either of them…Main Reason the cards are constantly complaining that they need some Pop to protect Pujols. IF what we saw last year is the REAL Ryan Ludwick then we have the protection. I would much rather try to package Ankiel or Skip to try to get one of those middle infielders. Ankiel is under Boras and is due for a big payday in time and Rasmus is waiting in the wings and its time for us to see what this kid has instead of us hearing what he could be. an outfield of Ludwick, Rasmus, and Skip/Duncan/Mather is just fine with me. If we can get escobar I say we go for it..If it takes Ludwick to get him then I say we go after Johnson. I don’t think we will get Hudson because he is going to get the most money at that position and i don’t see the cards investing 10 mil+ at 2nd base, and frankly if we can’t get one of the top SS on the market why make a change just to do it when we have a top notch defensive player at a premium defensive position already. I say if we can’t get escobar for an Ankiel package then we get Johnson and resign Izturis to a small deal, that way both infield positions have above average defensive players. That way we can concentrate more of the flexibility to getting what we need most…PITCHING! We NEED a top notch reliever and another starter at least and I’m not talking about just a number 4-5. IF Carpenter comes back next year then great if not (and i’m not banking on it after last year) we need to get a 1-3 in the rotation type of guy…ala Lowe, Burnett, Dempster type. I just think giving up the best protection we currently have for Pujols for a young middle infielder with no pop but good OBP is a bad move for this offense.

Anyone opposed to getting Javier Vazquez? His ERA hasn’t been the best the last few years, but from what people are telling me, based on sabermetrics, with an average defense behind him, he can put up an ERA in the mid 3′s.

He is an innings eater, a strikeout guy but has been called out as not being able to come through with a big win. “Not sure if that is true” I wouldnt mind him if it didn’t cost us much to get him. There are definitely better options out there this year.

I don’t think we’d have to give up much to get him, one of the rumors I’m hearing as that the White Sox are wanting to trade him to get Luis Castillo from the Mets, haven’t heard any other people mentioned in the rumor.

Word on the street is that the cubs and braves are the top two teams for Peavy… now… if the braves get him, that means that we probably don’t get anything from them…

But on the other hand, if we WERE to get either of the middle infielders from Atlanta, it would mean that the Cubs are probably getting another Ace… and one that doesn’t spaz out…

So should we be hoping to NOT get an atlanta player this year?

The Cubs had the number 1 pitching rotation in baseball during 2008, improving something that’s ranked number 1 still keeps it ranked number 1. And with the number 1 pitching rotation, what did they do in the playoffs? Who cares if the Cubs improve their team, lets not worry about them, lets worry about improving our team instead. If we don’t win the division, guess what, there’s still the Wild Card, either wake you’re making the playoffs. I’m just fine with the Wild Card, I know many Cardinals fans aren’t, because they want to be on top, but isn’t it just about making the playoffs not finishing at the top in your division? A team that wins the wild card is just as capable of winning in the playoffs as a team that wins the division.

Pitching isn’t exactly at the top of the Cubs list of things they need, they’ve been saying for quite some time they need a lead off hitter, one that can actually get on base, and a left handed power bat. Wouldn’t be surprised if they’re in the running for Dunn, moving Soriano to RF, Dunn to LF and platooning Reed Johnson & Kosuke Fukudome in CF.

Pujols I’m with you, I don’t care and I think I put this in a different Blog about what the Cubs do. If the Cubs want to concentrate on improving one of their obvious places of strength with their starting rotation and give up a ton of players for Peavy then whatever. If they get Dunn and platoon Kosuke and Reed in Center I will be happy (although I don’t see that happening). That means that they still have no leadoff hitter and they just added a power bat that strikes out more then Soriano, and until Kosuke learns how to hit a curve he is a bust in the majors. While I’m anxious to see what the Cards will do to help their team, I’m really happy that MO has been able to hold back on pulling the trigger for Holliday and Peavy. Both guys are great baseball players but there is no point in giving up all of our prospects for an expensive Peavy and REALLY NO POINT in giving up a proven power hitter outside of Coors for one that is just the opposite and costs 10 times as much. Good Job so far MO, now do some positive things to Improve this team that is just a few key additions away from challenging the Cubs next year!

Ok so were not getting K-ROD and I doubt we get Fuentes…Can anyone think of a better Veteran relief man to mentor our young fireballers then signing Trevor Hoffman to a 1 year deal with an option for a 2nd??

SERIOUSLY!….. what if matt holliday was already a cardinal and we were talking about getting pujols. ( now before you all freak out, i’m not comparing them) this guy is a proven offensive machine ludwiks numbers don’t even come close, even if you double them. holliday is younger and much better, and you sign him when the opportunity knocks. if we use the reasoning that is displayed in the original comment, then our strategy is HOPE. lets hope ludwik can repeat,(however in seven years he hasn’t) lets hope that carpenter can finally put together a decent looking full season, lets hope that rasmus turns out. but that’s what we’ve done now for the last two years. the names make a list too long to write. mo spoke the words on tv, and I saw it, they were going to spend money on some notable players. well mo…. strike two.

You realize its’ barely into the offseason and you’re already complaining? Seriously, you’re complaining because we didn’t trade 3 years of Ludwick, 4 years of Schumacker, and 6 years of Mitchell Boggs for 1 year of Matt Holliday. You’re complaing because the Cardinals didn’t trade away Ryan Ludwick who just put up 30 + HR’s, 100 + RBI’s in a full year this year, 14 HR’s, 52 RBI’s in half a season last year, Skip Schumacker, our only decent leadoff hitter this year, and Mitchell Boggs who’s one of our top pitching prospects for Matt Holliday whose splits are very noticeable between Coors & the road, whose SLG drops by over .100 points. You’re complaining because the Cardinals did give up 3-4 million dollars worth of players next year for someone who’ll make 13.5 million dollars next year, when we have 25 million dollars to spend this off season, trading for him would take up a huge amount of that payroll we have to spend this offseason, a huge amount that we could use to improve our left handed relief, our middle infield, and possibly a starter, which are needs, Matt Holliday is a power bat, something that is a top priority this off season. We still have a lot more offseason to go, so let things play out before you start complaining. Whose to say we won’t spend money on noticeable players on the free agency list. Wait things out before you start whining about them man, it’s annoying.

*You’re complaing because the Cardinals DIDN’T give up 3-4 million

Typo’s are quite annoying.

I have seen a lot of comments about Cards possibly bringing back Renteria as a one year fix at SS yet little if any talk about Cabrerra of the WhiteSox. He is a year older
but put up better defensive numbers than Edgar in 2008. Better fielding pct, RF and ZR. And he was durable, playing 161 games. His on base % was also higher tho Edgar had more HRs and almost as many RBIs, 55 to 57, in only 138 ganes. Cabrera also stole 19 bases, Edgar only stole 6.
Just food for thought. I guess it would also depend on shortstops available in trades, such as Escobar, if he doesn’t go to the Padres.
Cabrerra-161 games
8 HRs
57 RBIs
.281 BA
.334 OBP
.978 field %
4.62 RF
.831 ZR
Edgar-138 games
10 HRs
55 RBI
.270 avg
.317 OBP
.972 field %
4.31 RF
.810 ZR

Overall pretty close.

splits? ludwik- 320 at home/ 280 away, 316 vs right/ 266 left, 315 at night/ 270 day. does this mean that ludwik should only play home games at night vs right handed pitching? lifetime numbers have importance, as they show you over time what a player will accomplish. ave. 319/ 273, slg. 552/512, sb. 66/12, bb. 1466/ 116, rbi. 483/ 209, so on, and so on. matt is an offensive run scoring machine. if you put albert and matt in the same lineup it’s very likely your pitching will have a little breathing room. my deal? lud/ schu/ and motte for holliday. resign matt at whatever market value may be, because you’re already paying for those high salaries at the gate anyway. trade carp (if that’s possible). management keeps telling us they are building from within, but if we have to wait for these young guys to pan out, albert (our franchise) is going to be either to old or gone to a team that will show some respect. and or a quarter of a billion dolors. oh… complaining was spelled wrong.

Matt Holliday career stats.

359 Games at Coors: .357 AVG, .423 OBP, .645 SLG, 84 HR’s, 307 RBI’s, in 1353 at bats.

359 Games away from Coors: .280 AVG, .348 OBP, .455 SLG, 44 HR’s, 176 RBI’s, in 1303 at bats.

In 50 less at bats away from Coors his average went down .077, his OBP went down .075, his SLG went down .190.

Looks like he’s not as great as you’re making him out to be while away from Coor’s.

Ludwick has shown he can hit while here in Saint Louis, both on and away from home, with the stats you just brought up yourself, and it looks like Holliday can only hit while in Coor’s. Hmm, very interesting.

Just so you know, as I stated, our budget this off season is 25 million dollars, by signing Holliday, which would improve our offense, as you say, something we don’t need to improve on, seeing as it was our strength this year, especially in the OF, you give us a significantly smaller amount of money to spend on the things that we actually need to improve on, which as I have stated is our middle infield and our left handed relief pitching, and possibly our starting pitching.

You sort of give me the impression that you’re one of those people who’s going to complain about management, regardless of what they do. We have a very long off season on which to improve the team, and you’re complaining about just a few weeks after the season has come to an end.

Mozeliak has no strikes against him until the off season is over, for all you know he could make a big move, and you’re already acting as if nothing’s going to be done.

And if you think the Cardinals would of been able to resign Matt Holliday after this season, you’re crazy, he’s a Scott Boras agent, he’s going to be pursuing similar deals that Soriano and Carlos Lee got, 16.6-17 million per year.

Manor……Not trading for Matt Holliday was GOOD MOVE!! Why on Earth would we trade a guy that has PROVEN he can hit away from Coors for a guy that has done just the opposite? I don’t care how many years Lud has done it for the key is he did it! If he doesn’t pan out next year or is a one year wonder then we can look for a trade at the deadline but for now there is no way I’m trading 3 cost controlled guys one of which put up better numbers then the 13.5 million dollar superstar right now. I’m not contending if Holliday can play, any fool can see that he can, but numbers don’t lie and last year Lud was better protection for Pujols then Holliday would of been..Period- MO made the RIGHT move! It’s fans like this that want to trade for him and then complain when MO doesn’t go and get guys that are our REAL needs, because Holliday would of took up about 40% of our available resources..not too mention that Boras will be trying to get 15-20 mil on a multiyear deal after this year, and there isn’t a guy that I want to see the cards give a boatload of money too more then Pujols whose contract is coming to an end and has Earned a HUGE Payday! Will Lud put up the same numbers this year as he did last??? I don’t know and no one does until we see him play, But has he proven he can hit outside of Coors? YOU BETCHA! His power numbers were far and away better then Holliday and he plays at Coors can you imagine if LUD played in that luxury? As far as trading Carp?? Why on Earth would you do that and honestly what do you really think you could get for him right now? You want to trade a guy that IF healthy is a STUD for a prospect or what?? If we trade an outfielder I can see it being Ankiel, Why? because Ankiel is a Boras client who is probably due a pretty big payday and we have the unproven yet highly touted Rasmus waiting in the wings and something has to give. As of right now MO has a thumbs up from me, for not listening to the Fans screaming that he spends 40% of his flexibility on a player we don’t need or trading away his farm system for a very expensive, injury risk pitcher. I have no doubt that MO will stick to his word and make this team better, so far everything he has said he has done..such as not give up his youth last year and make any hasty trades and see what he had. He did and he knows, now he must and will move on that knowledge. IF he does nothing more then sign izturis and Lopez then yell and scream all you want but until he does, don’t complain about when he makes the right choices!

would like to see an everyday second baseman picked up – OF COURSE a closer on the market- If the same Cardinals lineup hits the field next season – I’m not spending any money on it. get this GM going guys – Its not about HIM – its about the fans !!!

Get the GM going? Mo already resigned two potential free agents, including Loshe who is a client of Scott Boras.
How many other GMs have resigned any free agents?
And it’s too early to sign a free agent from another team. The date for that I believe is November 15th.
Right now most teams are feeling each other out. Expect move moves at the December GM meetings. A little patience.

radtoad, a GM’s job isn’t about the fans; it’s about assembling the best possible team. A GM who makes deals that aren’t good for the team to please fans (or the press) isn’t doing his job, and there are plenty of those GMs out there.

Kudos to Mo so far for avoiding the temptation to make splashy but harmful deals. He’s certainly had enough opportunities, not to mention provocation.

Wrong, wrong, wrong!! You’re all wrong!!! None of you can get past these stupid stats that only tell an AVERAGE of what a player does over a LONG PERIOD OF TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!! You know what? I don’t care that much about what a guy did last year, cause it doesn’t mean they’ll do it again. Even with Albert Pujols, there are no guarentees. So you need to use stats for a minor reference point, not as a deal maker or breaker!!!! Losing out on Holliday is a BAD MOVE. It’s stupid to not get a good player that you know you could use. We could’ve involved a third team (Oakland), and could possibly have come away with a closer as well. Ludwick and Skip to Oakland, Houston Street and Matt Holliday to the Cards, then Jason Motte, Greg Smith, and Carlos Gonzalez to Colorado.
I’m not scared to trade young talent, for one, because talent is not proven or guarenteed to come to fuition. But also because we have a lot of it AND good scouts to attract more!!!!

And just to put my two cents in about the GM…I think the GM does have a duty to please the fans. Not by making a deal the fans want, but by making deals that keep the fans interested and coming to games. SO, my personal opinion is that Mo sits on his hands too much and seems to care more about profit than anything else. Having said that, he still has plenty of time to prove me wrong. Let’s hope he does.

Frankly I think Mo’s job is like a balancing act. He has to try to put a competitive team on the field. Otherwise attendance will suffer. If attendence drops, so does revenue. And if he does not put a competitive team on the field he could also lose his job. If he puts a competitive team on the field, attendance and concession sales rise and the team has a better chance to play in the post season and make additional money. Being a winner also makes some players more likely to want to stay in or come to St. Louis to play. I don’t think every player is simply attracted by money. Players want to win and be happy at their job. I doubt that is very pleasant to play for the Royals or Nationals.
Spending a ton of money on players salary does not guarantee anything. Look at the Mets and Yankees this year. Or the Cubs. When was the last time any of them played in a World Series.
Mo has a difficult job but it is early. He got and kept Loshe, a Boras client. He got Glaus, a good move. He resigned Larue. Lopez was a decent late season addition. Clement was a bomb.
I for one will be patient because I think he has some moves he will make. It’s early. I sure hope so.

Yeah, we’re the ones wrong, yet we bring up stats to back up what we say, you just ramble on and state opinions. Yep, no evidence to prove he’ll repeat this season, no evidence that says these guys will pan out in the majors and become potential all stars, but guess what, there’s also no evidence they won’t. 1 year of Holliday is not worth 13.5 million out of a 25 million dollar payroll, it’s not worth 3 years of a guy who just put up a better season than Matt Holliday, it’s not worth 4 years of our leadoff hitter this season, and not worth 6 years of one of our pitching prospects. If people saw the game the way you do, do you really think the Colorado Rockies would take these players? No, they don’t go on the possibility of whether or not these guys will pan out in the minors, they go by statistics of what they’ve seen this player do. Especially statics of what they did in the minors. You can say stats mean nothing, but what are you going on? Sounds like you’re going on his stats.

Again, a GMs job is not easy. When evaluating players he has to look at many things.
His past stats, offensive and defensive, his splits at different stadiums, his age, his potential, ala Rasmus, injury history, cost and possibility of resigning, a la Holliday, how the deal fits into the whole payroll picture, not for one year but for future years as well, the economy and how it might affect ticket sales, etc. Not to mention character issues like Bonds had. Kind of like a big puzzle.
Arizona just laid off 31 front office staffers due to economic fears and how it might affect ticket sales. According to ESPN other middle and small market teams are also watching the economic picture very closely. Several GMs have said they think that some key free agents will sign quick while there is team money to be had. Then there will be a wait and see period and based on ticket season sales other teams will then decide what to do. If ticket sales are down, small market teams will go into a sell mode and the remaining free agents will probably have to settle for lesser deals and some expensive vets might be availbale cheap. Go to the ESPN website for more.
It’s a very complicated issue being a GM.

You’re right jdun. It’s definitely NOT an easy job to be GM. As I said before, I hope he proves me wrong. I hope my not-very-high opinion of him is dead wrong. I’d be ecstatic to be wrong about that!

Hey Slforre. I am not one to argue so don’t take what I am asking as attitude, but what do you feel they go off of to measure a player? You said Pujols isn’t even a guarantee, which I agree with, but wouldn’t his productivity, i.e. stats, be what another team has to look at with him, not say hey you can’t guarantee me what he is going to do, so I only want to buy him at 1M a year…? I am just trying to understand what you meant.

By the way, even though I agree Pujols ins’t a 100% guarantee, he is the closest thing in the majors to a guarantee, so I didn’t mean that as a negative, just nothing is a gaurantee…

Hey Dude, I saw that Jose Oquendo is a finalist for the Mariners’ manager position and my question is, if he was supposed to be the heir to the TLR throne after TLR retires, why are the Cardinals letting him get away only possibly a year removed from TLR’s retirement? Does this tell us that the Cardinals may not want him as the next manager or that TLR may not be only a year from retirement as many suspect? Thanks a ton!

I’m sure the cards would love to keep him around but there is no way they are going to give manager money to the 3rd base coach. Right now I think its all about money, He may get a raise from the Cards but he won’t get the money that TLR is making or whatever Seattle might offer, and until he gets that position he shouldn’t be offered that type of money. I think that is what is going on.

But if the Cards really planned on him being the manager after TLR retires, assuming it’s next year or at least soon, wouldn’t you find a way to convince him to stay put for one more year? I am sure he would prefer to manage here than Seattle anyway. I am reading this to mean one of two things: that the FO isn’t so sure that they want him as TLR’s successor, or TLR has indicated that he wants to go longer than 2009. Am I way off here?

~Bob

If the Cards don’t fix their bullpen I’m going to cut my out my own eyes.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

Shifter. I would hope that this isn’t taken as a rude response. But I think it’s ignorant, short-sighted, and risky to sign a player based on a measure of one or two year’s productivity, i.e.stats. I think a scout, a GM, a coach, or a manager would have to consider everything about the player. If the player, like Ludwick, has been around a while but only recently has found success, will he be able to duplicate it or even improve? A lot of that depends on age, work ethic, injuries, etc. Which brings up my next question. Can he stay healthy? And if not, will he play through pain? You might look at how he fits in with the club, and whether the guy is a streaker hitter. If you have a couple guys that tend to be streaky, you may not wanna pay big bucks for another one. They could feed off each others negativity and stay in long streaks of bad, or just the opposite. The problem with that for me is it’s a big risk.
I’m just saying that giving players a contract worth big money with guaranteed years based off of one or two successful seasons is ridiculous. No other job in the world will guarantee you job security, even if your performance falls way off! It’s dumb. Why does MLB allow that? Sorry. Baseball salaries is one of my major issues with the game?

As far as Oquendo goes I’m sure that if the cards guaranteed him in writing that he would be the next manager when TLR leaves that would be enough to keep him around, but my guess is they won’t do that and really shouldn’t because you never know who will be around that might be a better fit next year or whenever TLR leaves. Slforre, I completely agree with you that salaries in baseball are ridiculous but as much as I hate to say this “it is what it is”. If you produce your gonna get paid its that simple, IF the Cards had the Yankees money and could just spend whatever they wanted then I would be all for them going after Holliday. But they don’t, so they have to use it wisely and I would much rather see them throw 15-20 mil at a 2nd basemen and shortstop upgrade if they don’t resign Lopez or Izturis then see them put that much money on one guy at a position where at upgrade wasn’t a necessity. Will Ludwick produce this year like last year? Who knows I sure hope so, and I see no reason why he can’t, so only time will tell but I think its a good move to keep a guy that has proven that he can hit even if it was just one year (It was a BIG one) for a small price then pay another guy that can hit for 6 times the amount just because his name is more well known. As far as what I hope to see..I really hope MO goes after one of the top guys at either ss or 2b if not both. Get Furcal or get Hudson. I don’t care which. If he can work magic and get them both great but get one for sure! Don’t make a change at the other one just to do it. DON’T get Reneria..his defense sucks and his bat is going down so stick with Izturis becasue defense is Extremely important at SS if Furcal isn’t an option. IF the big name comes at SS then I’m completely fine with seeing Lopez at 2nd especially if that means we can bring in a big time pitcher. This team has some holes for sure but with some good use of the payroll and some crafty work with his resources MO has the ability to SILENCE All critics this offseason. Now let’s just see if he comes through for us! Go Cards!

The Cardinals won’t do much of anything this offseason. The front office is going to sit on their thumbs and then wonder what happened. As much as we’d like to see Hudson, Renteria, or any pitchers, the Cards don’t want to spend the money. I don’t know why they want to be so conservative, and it makes no sense. Mozeliak didn’t seem to learn anything about managing a team from Jocketty, and it’s really too bad. Be prepared for the worst, Redbirds fans.

Slata, I totally understand what you’re saying. You make it make a lot of sense, and I can agree with most of what you said. I only take issue with MLB accepting the “it is what it is” mantra. That’s BS in my book. You don’t have to accept things, because “it is what it is”. Change it!!! Stop rewarding players so much for one or two years of production. Yes, production deserves reward. But one season or in some guys’ case, a half-season, of production doesn’t deserve high dollars and multi-year guarentees. Someone has to put a stop to the BS contracts!

Here’s why Matt’s proposal is dead-on. Not only is all that Matt said true, but in addition, if we acquired Holliday, we’d be looking at locking up a player that has put up big numbers at a position where
1) We currently have depth
2) We currently have a player who last season did BETTER than Holliday
3) Production is relatively easy to find

In addition, Holliday, while very good, has put up most of those big numbers in the very hitter friendly Coors Field. His home/road splits show that he may very well be an .850 OPS guy elsewhere. If we give up Schu, Ludwick and Boggs for a guy we’re paying $10-15M a year to put up an .850 OPS, we’re calling Mo a complete chump as a GM for the next 3-4 years like we do with Jocketty for the Mulder trade.
Furthermore, Escobar would be an awesome trade because it adds plus defense and plus offense to a premium position and we’d be dealing from a strength. Even if we traded Ludwick, we’d have Schu, Rasmus and Ankiel from left to right.
For all the talk of needing protection for Pujols, you know what I’d rather see? A lineup that didn’t have complete offensive black holes from the 7-9 spots. If we upgrade in the middle infield, we’ll have a lineup with players that either are, or potentially will be very dangerous, and we’ll have taken a step in the right direction to improve considerably for years to come, not just for 2009, which is exactly what the Holliday trade would have done.
Basically, my thought is, unless you’re getting a unique talent, like an Albert Pujols, then you try not to put all your budget into the positions where production comes easily. Corner Outfielders and 1st basemen that can hit for an .850 OPS are much easier to find than a CF, SS, 2B or C that can do the same.

My only issue with that school lof thought is that it assumes too much. It assumes Ankiel will be healthy alll year, Schumaker will be healthy and produce, and Ludwick will repeat a career year. It also assumes that Colby will finally put it all together. Also if you trade Lud and Schu or Ankiel for bullpen help, infield help, or a starter then you’ll want an OF in return somewhere. Let’s not forget that there’s more than one way…. I agree totally about middle infied and 7-9 in the order. And I can see valid arguments in staying out of the Holliday deal, but I can come up with equally valid points in aquiring him. It comes down to this for me…Will Mo make a better deal? If he does then he was right. If he doesn’t, and Matt Holliday has a monster year in Oakland, then he’ll be ridiculed for it. He HAS to get Hudson or Furcal or someone of equal talent at MIF. He HAS to find a way to improve the pen, and he HAS to solidify the rotation. I’m tired of HOPING he’ll do something.

slforre77: Nothing is guaranteed. GMs are asked to make judgment calls on what they think the likely outcomes will be.

Personally, I’d rather trade Ankiel than Ludwick, but I doubt Ankiel will bring Escobar. If you can get Johnson for Ankiel, that’s the best of all worlds, since you’d get to keep Ludwick as superior protection for Pujols as well.
All things considered though, I like the idea of having young guys that, if they pan out, will be under team control for several years. Will Rasmus be a stud next year? Would Escobar be, if we got him? Are guys like Motte and Perez ready to be the 8th and 9th inning guys? I have no idea, but I’d love to see Mo keep with the youth movement while plugging other holes with free agents, like the left side of the bullpen and the other (assuming a trade) MIF spot. I’d rather the team keep its options open for adding payroll for 2010 and 2011 when guys like Rasmus, Motte, Perez and others like Garcia and Boggs potentially for the rotation might be able to contribute. That would allow Mo to go for broke on one or two key free agents, rather than signing mid-level or scrap heap guys since we have too many holes to fill and not enough money.

Just think, by 2011, it might be possible that we’d have Rasmus in center, either Freese or Wallace at 3rd, perhaps a young middle infielder acquired this offseason at one of the two positions up the middle. If we fill those three positions with young guys making 400k a year, think of what Mo could do with the remaining cap space. Now THAT would be a full off-season.

We have to remember: As much as we’d like to see DeWitt open the pursestrings more, this is a business for him and St. Louis is a relatively small market that doesn’t allow for the same benefits as New York or Boston, despite the fact that the fans are amazing when it comes to filling the stadium. Mo needs to operate most off seasons the same way the A’s or Twins do, and then when a real opportunity comes out there to MAJORLY improve the team, he needs to go into Yankees mode then. But to go into Yankees mode, he’s got to have space in the budget, and he doesn’t have that right now.

I realize that nothing is guarenteed. That’s my point. It has only been one year, but so far Mo hasn’t proven he makes good judgment calls…which is the reason I keep saying he has time to prove me wrong. My opinion, though, is I don’t think he will. Holliday did not command Yankees money, by the way. And if we had gotten him, and he had a bad season, he’d be even cheaper to keep longer term. If we had gotten him, and he had a great year, we could resign him. We may not be the Yanks, but we’re also not the Pirates. Bottom line is: Wait and see.

Frankly I think Mo is doing ok. Maybe not great but he signed and resigned Loshe and acquired Glaus. Both good moves in my opinion. The late season addition of Lopez was also good.
As for Holliday I think he refused a 5 year $90 million offer from the Rockies. That is $18 mil a year. If Cards had traded for him he would have probably been a one year rental and would have walked after 2009. You give him that kind of money how do Cards keep Pujols going forward? Then you have lost Ludwick, Boggs, and Skip and Holliday is also gone. So how would the OF then look after 2009? Ankiel, Rasmus, Duncan?, Mather, Barton.
Give Mo some time and see what happens after the December GM meetings.

the cardinals organization is making bank on you at the game. st. louis is the third most expensive place to see a game, BUT, the payroll is ranked thirteenth. 112 mil is nothing to shake a stick at, however mo had a 40 mil opening at the beginning of the off season. since that point we signed lohse and larue. that leaves all kinds of room to still sign all our needs by expanding the budget at a minimum. the way i see it, if you’ve been to a game, they owe it to you.

Well put manor. That’s why, for the first time in ten years, I did not make a trip to St.Louis to see a series. jdun’s scenario could have played out as well as other possibilties. As I said before, there were other options other than just trading Ludwick + someone else for Holliday. One option is a third team could have been involved in the deal. And as manor pointed out, the Cardinals organization is not hurting for money. And like I said before, we may not be the Yankees, but we’re not the Royals or Pirates or Rays either.

i believe this off season plays a HUGE factor into the future of our beloved redbirds, no matter what our opinions of differ maybe, i know this, spending this money wisely and calculated is very important, the pieces we put in place now will have to be the pieces that keeps albert pujols from entering the free agent market in the winter of 2010, spending it on the guys that will improve our team and buy time for our very good prospects is smart, we are lucky enough to have one of if not the best ran franchises in the game and our prospects are buying in to our winning culture versus them taking 5 years to develop at the pro level like the royals or somebody, we have opinions and we have moves that can be made IF we have to, its better to have a deep farm system and 100 million dollar payroll (we do spend money on players) than be like the royals and have a shoestring budget and forever rebuilding because they dont pay for the top prospects out of the draft or develop them for that matter because they have a generic bunch of minor league coaches and if they do get a good player or two they trade them away instead of building a winner, one true fact about sports, winning attracts fans and fans pay money and that why im glad im a cardinal fan because i know the passion to win is here and the money will be spent wisely

I don’t have that much confidence in Mo, as I did with Jocketty. But Mo can still prove his worth. He hasn’t done anything yet, good or terribly bad. You’re absolutely right about this off-season. He has to prove it this year or the next 5 or more years could be very tough for Cards fans.

Every day more and more free agents are being signed. I’d like to know some names that are being looked at by the Cards. Give me names.

I have read about the following:
Relief pitchers Will Olhman, Atlanta, and Arthur Rhodes, Florida. I think both are lefties. Edgar Renteria, Detroit and 2B Hudson, Arizona.
I think Furcal and Fuentes are beyond the Cards budget.
But then I haven’t talked to Mo on a person-to-person basis.

Any infielder or reliever if worth it shouldn’t be out of cardinals budget period! Furcal and Hudson are probably looking for around 10 mil a year. That is not out of the cards budget. We need to get one big time guy in the middle for sure! I for one have not lost faith in MO and am giving him a genuine chance. If he fails to make a statement this offseason as he has stated he will with his aggressivness then my faith will go away, Mo has the ability to silence his critics for good with a good showing this offseason!

Bernie has a good article in the Post about how the economic situation might affect baseball and free agent signings. Go to http://www.stltoday.com then go to the sports tab.
Might help explain why Mo is taking his time.

A very repetitive thread here… one thing I agree with and two things I have not heard said: I wouldn’t touch Renteria with a ten foot pole, he’s gotten lazy, heavy, slow and – even in his good year with Atlanta – looked disaffected… he was useless in Detroit (and I’m still pissed he jumped ship for a team with “great tradition”, as he put it at the time).

The first thing I haven’t seen indicated is that anyone is leery of Furcal 1) because he hasn’t stayed with a single club for any significant length of time – clubhouse anyone? and 2) he’s hurt all the time.

The second thing no one said in the Holliday exchanges is that a significant number of really good players come to StL and find a baseball and community home. They get paid well, but the attractiveness of the team, fans, and city alters the nature of subsequent negotiations (so long as they can get along with TLR). I agree about all the statistical splits and possible rental status issues but there was no reason to believe that, playing for the Cards and hitting around Pujols wouldn’t have looked like a career move to Holliday should he have had a good year.

Lastly, Mo is more conservative and, seemingly more of a businessman, than his predecessor but I refuse to believe that the Cardinals are equivalent to small market teams like the Twins, A’s, Pirates, Royals, etc… there is no way that is the case given the gate, given the merchandising, given the history in the play-offs, and given the recent world series’. The Red Sox didn’t used to be the Red Sox, they BECAME the Red Sox by a combination of building from within, spending prudently on some good players who turned out great (can you say Big Poppy?), and spending selectively, but hugely, for the right players. There’s not a reason in the world the Cardinals can’t do that except that I think ownership and Mo aren’t sufficiently confident or bold… the Phillies really only added two relievers from last years team and won the world series, I’m pretty sure the Cards could be right there with the right focus. Like SLF, I’m keeping my fingers crossed but not expecting much.

I’m not 100% sold on Renteria either but I did read that he realized he had lost a step and had stepped up his off-season training this year. At best he would be a one year fix. He has also been quoted as saying he would rather play in the NL.

Ohman is off the market, Affeldt is off, and we signed Trevor Miller!? Yay! Well he did have a good pretty season with the Rays last year, and his numbers against lefties are dominant. I hope he’s prepared to pitch to one batter per game, cause that’s what he’ll be doing here. Enough *** dragging Mo. Let’s do something! Anybody think Coco Crisp would have been a good move? A leadoff hitter, good defender in CF….would have made it less necessary to even think about Furcal and the dollars he will command. (And no. I don’t think many are concerned about Furcal. He’s due to have a good, fully healthy season.) That could have allowed us to resign Lopez and Izturis, or Lopez and another less expensive SS. Then go after Hudson for 2B. Thoughts?

Miller is not top of the line but he is very good against lefties and has to do better than Flores or Villone did in 2008.
I don’t see Crisp as being a good move for Cards. Cards have good OF depth and I actually think somebody, probably a lefthanded hitter will get traded for a middle infielder.
Isturis won’t be back. Cards do have interest in resigning Lopez.
Offer Kennedy to the Phils. Utley is having hip surgery and will be out until at least May, maybe early June. Don’t really care what they get back.

I have a small question about the “repair” done to Pujols… Is it even remotely possible that Pujols hasn’t injured his elbow further because the pain constantly reminded him to be careful; and if that is the case and the ligament tears the rest of the way lets say at the begining of the season next year, then we are out Pujols for a year? Why not just go ahead and take half a year off and get everything fixed? Just my thoughts about that…

Shifter, I asked much the same question once before and wasn’t given a satisfactory answer either.Some crap about him being able to play thru it, so why not leave it alone for now. That’s stupid! But, oh well.
I would like to know what the hangup is in acquiring Trevor Miller. Is he asking for too much money? Is he asking for too many guaranteed years? What’s the deal?

I think the deal is that Cincinnati is very interested too and its Mo -vs- Jocketty…I don’t like our chances in that fight

Apparently Jocketty is no longer interested because of the price that he is commanding for just being a lefty specialist. So not sure who else is competeing with them but I guess we will see what happens…sure wouldn’t mind seeing the Cards name start appearing in interest of others as well outside of Renteria

John Mozeliak has a LOT of work to do, and it seems he is still sitting on his hands. I keep saying Mo has plenty of time to quiet his critics, but he’s running out of time every day. And Cards fans are running thin on patience with him. If he has some trades or signings in the works, he needs to put it out there that he’s trying to acquire some proven talent. If he doesn’t then he has no right or reason to complain about criticism.

I believe Escobar will be a Padre next year, but Im not sure that Wren wants to give up 2 infielders in one year. It might be different if we sign Furcal though. We have Escobar, Lillibridge, Infante, Johnson, and Prado at 2nd and SS. Lillibridge isnt quite ready yet, Infante is going to be used as a untility player, and Escobar will most likely be gone. If Wren can sign Furcal after if we get Peavy, then most likely Kelly will be gone, although he is much loved here in Atlanta. Wren might just want to keep Kelly just in case Furcal gets hurt just because Kelly is a natural SS, but he can play in the outfield and at 2nd too.
http://darion.mlblogs.com/

slforre, I completely agree with you..MO has EVERY opportunity to shut up his critics this year. And quite frankly I’ve been very dissapointed that our biggest talks have been about how we can’t get a lefthander that wasn’t even apparently on their radar to sign a contract and mutual interest between the cards and a player that has declined both offenseive and defensively (Renteria) Obviously I don’t work for the cards but from what I’ve seen so far he isn’t make me optimistic or giving his critics any reason to not continue to complain.

Quick input in here. Don’t assume that if you don’t hear of any other offers that no others offers have been made. You’re not always going to hear of a deal, some times you don’t, until it goes through.

Another quick input: THERE IS A VERY LONG AMOUNT OF TIME BETWEEN HERE AND NEXT SEASON FOR A DEAL TO BE MADE, STOP BEING SO IMPATIENT, WAIT IT OUT.

While there may be a long way between now and the first game of the season there are MANY teams that are being very aggressive with some players the Cards NEED very badly, and while you may not of heard of the offers the cards have made some players, you are hearing that many other teams are making offeres to players. So if other teams and other agents are saying offers are being made do you really think the Cards are that secretive or are they just not doing much, outside of spending the past week trying to sign one reliever I mean! I wish the Cards were as quick as your inputs…I’m starting to lose faith in MO slowly and I hope he reverses that! Honestly I really do want to like and admire the guy!

That’s exactly right Slata. Nice try carzy kid, but slata one upped you, and he’s right.

1) I didn’t see myself being one upped anywhere in that statement.

2) I didn’t see anything there to be right about. Oh wow, they gave an offer to a player, does that mean the Cardinals won’t? Sure doesn’t. Does it mean they won’t? No it doesn’t. Say it again. VERY LONG TIME BETWEEN HERE AND NEXT SEASON, PLENTY OF TIME TO SIGN FREE AGENTS AND BLOW YOUR MIND.

3) What happened to that statement you, SLForre, yourself said, you know, about the whole not paying attention to my posts anymore, and not commenting on them, even if I say something to you?

4) It’s crazy, not carzy, what the heck does carzy even mean?

5) Secretive or not, I’ll state it again, just because you haven’t heard about a trade offer or a contract offer, doesn’t mean that it hasn’t happened.

6) Learn to patient, it usually works out in the end.

Didn’t mean to post, “does it mean they won’t?,” twice.

Well, you were one upped. He WAS right, and carzy is called a TYPO!!!! And I only read your post after I read slata’s. Man, you’re incredibly immature and petty. And that’s all I’ll say for now.

If I’m immature and petty, what does that make you?

I’ll bring up a post by you that proves you are.

“Wrong, wrong, wrong!! You’re all wrong!!!”

How childish.

Oh, and another thing, just because you read my post after you read mine doesn’t change the fact that you, yourself, said you would not reply to me any more, and I would appreciate it if you left it that way, because it was your post that pissed me off.

*read my post after you read his

Hahahahahaha!!!You get pissed off way too easily, man. When I or anyone else talks about the team, it’s all opinion and not at all personal. It becomes personal when someone gets all pissed off for being disagreed with. Now I know I brought this one on, and I do apologize. And to be clear the “wrong, wrong, wrong” post was meant to be sarcastic, which is hard to read into on here I know. I apologize for that too.

I apologize too. I have no problem with someone disagreeing with me, it’s the way they come across in doing so. Yes, I know I get frustrated easily, that’s who I am, it’s a medical problem, need to get to the doctors, which would be easier if I had insurance. Plenty of time for Mozeliak to make a move and to improve this team, and I’m seeing a lot of impatience, and impatience is one of the things that really gets to me.

Wow are you kidding me…making fun of someone over a typo and getting really upset because someone doesn’t agree with you? How did I come across so wrong in my disagreement that made you so mad? I simply stated facts..If you look on the net or listen to espn or whatever you hear this team or that team is interested or “has made an offer too” a certain player…you also hear agents confirming such a thing. The only thing I have heard for the cardinals is an agent confirmed they were talking too Miller a reliever that at the start wasn’t even talked about and will face one maybe 2 hitters since he sucks against righties and is dominant against lefties, and Edgar Renteria who it seems that everywhere you look it talks about how is defense and offense is suspect, also you have heard Furcals and Hudsons agent say the Cardinals have not talked to them yet but they would expect them too…why havn’t they even inquired about the top 2 players at the top positions that they need? That in my opinion is not management doing their homework early on hoping again that everyone will give them a hometown discount just because our fans are great and were the “Cardinals”…If all were gonna go for is Renteria I would rather keep Izturis. He hit over .260 and his defense has never been in question! This forum is about discussion between cardinal fans not about arguing about what we think will happen or what is happening in our personal lives..if you have some sort of problem then get it fixed, if you can’t control yourself with a keyboard in front of you then write it down and don’t bother posting it here. In my “opinion” slforre comes on here and talks about sports and has an opinion..do I always agree? No but I do appreciate someone that can come on here and talk sports and not try to instigate a fight over a keyboard! Thank You! and hopefully i didn’t offend anyone this time.

I think Mo is doing ok so far. The free agent signing period began only 10 days ago and Mo has already resigned two of the teams free agents. He was in talks for Holliday but the price was too high in his opinion. He might be moving cautiously because he is waiting for the final word on Carp’s
health. They are talking to Lopez about coming back.
The GM meetings are soon.
Personally I think some middle & small market teams are waiting to make moves because of the economy. There may be some bargains out there come January or February, like Loshe last year. The big prizes will start to sign leaving the middle tier free agents. Some might get desparate and be willing to take less. They won’t want to be sitting around not playing, like Weaver.

I would trust what you hear on ESPN, they hire some of the dumbest people on there who know absolutely nothing about baseball, some times they’ll be right, but other times they’ll just sound stupid in what they say. And wait until the winter meetings, that’s when things start to get really interesting.

Jdun you make a good point about the economy. I can see that as a reason to be more patient. However, being so cautious that you don’t even contact Hudson or Furcal’s agents??? That makes no sense at all to me. And if it is the case that they are waiting to see where the economy goes, then I think they should put that out there. Not just for the fans, but for the players as well. Think about this…if we don’t contact Hudson or Furcal’s agents, they may assume we’re not interested or we’re trying to be cheap. In which case they may not even consider offers from St.Louis when they finally do come. And waiting on final word about Carp is super risky, in my opinion. Even if Carp becomes healthy, what are the realistic chances that he stays healthy. We need to sign another quality starting pitcher even if Carp comes back. And thank you slata for having my back. I was starting to think I was the only one who sees that kid as very volatile.

I believe Ludwick is the real deal, injuries aside, that is my only concern. But Lud showed he was available most of the year last year. The Cardinals are deep in the outfield and Ludwick’s upside and years remaining on his contract shoud be enough to attract the Braves if they are interested in getting a plus outfielder who can hit and hit with power. I agree, if Escobar can be had I would hope the Cards would make the deal. My question is…why are the Braves even considering trading their young SS and 2B? Do they have promising depth in their system?

Well, I don’t believe they’ll trade away both Kelly Johnson & Yunel Escobar, unless it’s to get Peavy. They’ll most likely trade away one or the other, if they don’t get Peavy, and I’m assuming they’d have Martin Prado or Diory Hernandez compete for the other spot, whether it be SS or 2B.

I still do not understand why the Cardinals would not go after Peavy. He’s available, CY winner – help we need now. Please don’t give me the ” we do not have the money” crap. If the plan is to wait ’till the AS break again?? – to see where the team is at – ridiculous to me.

Lets think about this for a bit. Both the Cubs and the Braves have better pieces to offer than the Cardinals do, and neither one of them may receive Peavy, because the Padres are asking for something from both clubs, that neither club wants to offer. The Cubs have the best shot at getting Peavy, and they might have to involve another team, the Orioles, in order to get Peavy. So why aren’t the Cardinals going after Peavy? Oh yeah, they don’t have the talent to offer.

Would I like the Cardinals to get Peavy though? I sure as heck would, he’s an awesome pitcher, I just don’t think we have the talent to offer in order to get him. I wouldn’t be opposed to getting Randy Johnson, he may be getting up there in age, but he can still pitch, as evident by his 2008 season, he’s also only 5 wins away from 300.

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