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.

21 Comments

Matt,
I tend to agree. Look at the Giants signing of Howry, a RH reliever, a set up man. He gets $2.75 mil plus incentives that could add $1.5 mil. And his numbers last year were worse than Millers. Higher ERA, BA and more HRs allowed.
Now let’s hope Mo puts the savings to good use.

I agree with the small caveat that they are overpaying for Lohse already so frugality in this small position is slightly less significant if we pay too much for big positions.

Three of my albums of the year are The ’59 Sound by The Gaslight Anthem, Stay Positive by The Hold Steady, and The Verbs (Redux) self-titled effort.

Is it from Funny Farm???

Though… they’re not overpaying Lohse this year. His 09 salary is $7.125MM — it just shoots up later in the deal.

Stay Positive is, hands down, my album of the year. Rocked my little world. I’ve heard great things about the Gaslight Anthem’s album, but the single didn’t really thrill me…

-M.

I like the small investment like deal we gave to miller. We definitely boosted our left side of the pen and didn’t cost us much to do it. MATT do you think that the 3rd “mystery” team in the Furcal running is the Cards? Have you gotten any kind of feeling about that? SS is one of the obvious holes we have and I still hear the Rumors of the Braves thinking of trying to go after Ludwick again which I hope is completely off the table for the Cards unless they are getting BOTH Johnson and Escobar either or aren’t worth Ludwick…In my professional opinion ha.

Has anyone heard exactly when we will know more about Carpenter? Will it be before the Winter Meetings?

Nope, but you’re thinking appropriately literary-ly. It’s higher-brow than my references usually are.

Man it takes 10 years for my comments to show up.

Haven’t heard that they ARE in on Furcal, haven’t heard that they AREN’T either. I need to do some digging on that.

And I think they’re supposed to hear something on Carpenter before LV. Also on my radar as far as stuff to find out about before the week ends.

-M.

sounds good I look forward to hearing your report as soon as you know! Thanks for doing the digging that us regular people can’t ha.

Faulkner.

I never really liked that one. I know it supposed to be a masterpiece, but it just didn’t do it for me. Stream of consciousness writing kills me.

Any word on this rumored deal with the Padres for Greene?

Khalil Greene, eh?

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081203&content_id=3701496&vkey=hotstove2008&fext=.jsp

6.5 mil but maybe a .270/25/100 guy at SS? Now THATS un upgrade.

Worth 2 prospect relievers?

I don’t know what happened to Greene last year, as his production took a huge hit, maybe taking him out of Petco is the right recipe for him or maybe he showed his true talent and isn’t worth the 2 prospects. For me it would be who are we giving up to get him. IF they are two solid prospects that have a chance to be in the bigs soon then I say no we have better options, if they are insignificant guys then it can’t hurt I guess. Just as long as we are sure he is healthy and figure how to get his swing back to the 07 form. Obviously if he puts up those numbers then we got a steal, but I wouldn’t bet on that just yet.

Why does it seem that any time we make a trade, it is for someone we hope can find his previous form? Adam Kennedy anyone? I really hope the FO knows what they are doing. A lot could ride on who those prospects are…

Well, it appears your right. They save that extra money to aquire Greene in a trade and looks like they are taking his 6 plus million a year. So it appears they will be spending more on position and hopefully starting pitching. That will be a good thing for sure. I like the Greene pickup as well. Great albums of 2008: Perfect Symmetry-Keane, The Killers-Day and Age, The new Kanye album 808 and the heartbreak, The new Ben Folds album Way to Normal, I enjoyed the new weezer record, and the new Death Cab album was very good as well. To many good records out this year, could go on forever……

P.S. I want to say I remember something of the sort in a Faulkner book, but I couldn’t tell you what book or anything like that, Dude. Am I close or way off?

~Bob

So much for lack of action on Mo’s part. Greene and Miller within a 48 hour period. Fills two needs at a cost of about $8.5 mil which leaves about $17 mil for free agents and arbitration.
Get another LH reliever for $3 mil and then trade a LH bat for a starting pitcher. Throw in Thompson, Anderson and/or Kennedy, Barton, Mather?
Keep Wallace and Freese and the young arms.
Lopez and Miles split 2B.

Hopefully taking Greene out of Petco will be the right recipe for him..sounds like the players we are giving up with Mark Worrell and a player to be named, I can live with that for sure. I say now we go get another lefty, trade for a starter, and go after Orlando Hudson…any thoughts?

Trade excess OF bat for a starter and throw in Anderson, Thompson, Kennedy, whatever it takes. Even Barton or Mather or Boggs.
Then sign Hudson for $10-$12 mil and a LH relief pitcher for $2-3 mil and the money is all gone and the Cards are loaded.
The way I figure it is right now the Cards have about $15-$17 mil for free agents and arbitration.
If Carp comes back healthy then dump Pinero or Wellmeyer at the trade deadline.
I’d really hate to trade Freese or Wallace. I say make Wallace a left fielder. Couldn’t be much worse out there than Duncan.
Next year let Glaus walk, tho I like the guy and he produces and had a gold glove year.
c-Molina-Larue
1B-AP-Duncan-Mather
2B-Hudson-Miles
ss-Greene-Ryan maybe Tyler Green?
3B-Glaus-Ryan-Miles
LF-Duncan, Mather, Barton
CF-Skip(Ankiel is the LH trade bait)Rasmus
RF-Ludwick

But I do think Ludwick will bring more in a trade because he is farther from arbitration or free agency than Ankiel.
But I ramble.

I like your scenario there, the only way I would change anything is if Carp isn’t guaranteed to be healthy. If that happens I would switch gears a little bit. I would look to trade for a 2b..possibly Brian Roberts? then spend my money that would of went towards hudson on a starter…Lowe or Burnett?…I love this time of year, ya never quite know what is going to happen.

Hi Slata. That would be an excellent option if indeed Carp is out, as long as it’s a quality arm, not another rethread. Frankly I am not expecting much from Carp this season.
Maybe even trade for Kelly from Atlanta?
Kelly and Greene would be a great middle infield!

I agree but I’m not willing to give up Ludwick for Kelly straight up, not a chance in the world, I’ll keep Kennedy before I do that.

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