December 2008

Scattershot Friday

Some stuff from all over the map…

* MiLB.com’s Top 50 prospects wrapped up, and there’s one more Cardinal prospect included. Colby Rasmus, even after a rough year, still ranked No. 10. Kid’s pretty good.

* It’s expected that the club will have some news this afternoon regarding Chris Carpenter’s tests. I’ll of course have a story on that once we know what’s going on.

* Might also get a chance to talk to the newest Cardinal. I hope so. If so, then the site will have a story on that too.

* Picks for this weekend: BC, UF, OU. I know, bold. I could see UCLA giving SC a scare, and I won’t be shocked if Bama beats UF.

-M, with iTunes shuffling.

The mystery box could be anything! It could even be a boat!

From Faulkner to Family Guy, that’s me…

Wanted to weigh in on the deal, and get y’all’s thoughts.

At first blush, I like it quite a lot. Low-risk, high-reward. Greene’s career SLG away from PETCO is over .500. I like that a whole lot. His defense dived last year according to the Fielding Bible, but it sounds like that was just a lost year in a lot of respects. It’s more likely that a 28-year-old player had an off year than that he just lost it entirely.

The problem, obviously, is that we don’t KNOW. He could put up another year of 213/260/340, and that would be bad. But he also be much closer to his 07 performance. What I’d really love to see is a return to his ’04 ways, when Greene had 53 walks AND 50 XBH, for a nice 273/349/446 line. I doubt that, but I do think there’s a chance he could find at least some of his plate discipline again. And that should in turn lead to improvements in batting average and power.

Worrell will probably look decent pitching in SD, but he was never going to get a real look here and he’s not something the Cards will miss. I do not expect the PTBNL will be anyone they’ll miss all that much either — obviously if it’s Jess Todd or something, the look of the deal changes, but my expectation is that that’s not the case.

I expect a line of something like 250/320/450 from Greene in 09, and that’s not an All-Star, but it’s a definite upgrade from Izturis, and if he’s back to being a plus defender, it’s a good ballplayer. Plus, the Cards have saved their main trade chips for another potential deal, either for a SP or a 2B. I think they’re in pretty good shape.

Your thoughts?

-M, marveling again at how much I love “Stay Positive” — there’s zero question what my No. 1 album for the year will be.

I don't hate it! I don't hate it!

(major bonus points to anyone who identifies the reference)

Anyway. I don’t hate the Miller deal, not at all. For a couple of reasons.

First, a one-year commitment is definitely what you want to be making to anyone other than an absolutely elite reliever. Better one year than two, especially for a 35-year-old. Sure, the shoulder is a risk, perhaps a significant one. But if he’s been pitching with it for two years, well, let’s just say he’s far from the only guy with significant structural problems in his arm who pitches with no symptoms.

But I think there’s a bigger issue here, and reason for optimism. By spending no more than $2MM on a LOOGY, and suggesting that they won’t make it a top priority to get a second LOOGY, the Cardinals are IMO indicating something about their plans for the rest of their holes.

Look at it this way. Say they had $20MM to spend. It could be a smidge lower, though not much lower. It could be $25-$28MM, depending on how high they’ve set the 09 budget and how some arbitration cases turn out. But either way, there was somewhere in the general neighborhood of $20-$25 million in the budget.

Now say they spend $4MM apiece on two different LHRP, maybe Affeldt and Rhodes. Mind you Affeldt would have been a terrific fit for this team, but in the end, LOOGYs are only so important. Starting 2Bs and SSs and starting pitchers are more important.

By limiting that outlay to somewhere between $2 and $4 million total, rather than $8 million, the Cards have put themselves in a position to be left with something other than scraps at other positions.

I may be proven wrong. And if they go to Spring Training with the only further additions being guys like Nick Punto and Adam Everett, then this was a mistake and they should have spent more on LHRP. But I think that may not be the case.

Just my $.02 of course; your opinion may vary. But the more small holes they can fix on small dollars, the more they can spend bigger dollars on bigger holes, which is as it should be.

-M, listening to Beck’s Modern Guilt and soliciting nominations for the annual year-end music review.

Cardinals say no

The Cardinals have decided not to offer arbitration to any of their free agents, general manager John Mozeliak said on Monday. Russ Springer is a Type A, while Braden Looper and Jason Isringhausen are Type Bs, but with this decision, all can be signed without Draft pick compensation.

-M.

Wallace ranks No. 42

Hola, everyone…

I’m back from vacation and ready to bear down for the coming weeks. Got some new tunes and newfound energy and some FSU-related frustration to work off.

As an icebreaker to get back to blogging, I wanted to point out the start of a new Top 50 prospects by my very good friend and esteemed colleague Jonathan Mayo, over at MiLB.com. More specifically, I wanted to point out that he has Brett Wallace ranked No. 42. There’s a writeup of Wallace, including some video, that you can see at this link. And the complete list will be posted 10 at a time at this link.

Jonathan does terrific stuff, so check it out.

-M, enjoying the new Cure album but not really grabbed by it yet.

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