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.

110 Comments

Did in fact talk to Greene and Mo… two stories to follow on the site this afternoon/eve, so be sure to drop by.

-M.

When do you expect Rasmus to be called up? I’m hoping some time during the 2009 season, hopefully making the opening day roster, but I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen.

Coming from an Arkansas fan, this is a weird question. But why is Oklahoma ahead of Texas, when Texas beat Oklahoma!? I know OU beat Tech and UT lost to Tech. But in head-to-head UT has the edge, and I think that should mean more than what you did against a common opponent. Head-to-head Texas is better. To me they should be going to the Big 12 title game. I think they’ve earned the right to beat up on Missouri. Plus Missouri/Oklahoma already happened, and OU spanked the snot out of the Tigers.

Thats the problem with letting a computer decide what the rankings are…take the top 8 teams make a playoff, let the best teams beat up on each other..Does NCAA really think they won’t make any money off of that? Oh no we lost the motor city or the Sun Bowl…Raise your hand if you care!! HA

I like the Khalil Greene pickup a lot. But it sounded like because Adam Kennedy is around that Mo wasn’t looking at second baseman as a priority and would rather get pitching. While I sort of understand that, Kennedy wants out, he’s not the player he was years ago. Why not go after a much better 2nd baseman? We don’t have enough money to go after a Peavy, Penny, Lowe, type of starter. I like Orlando Hudson and I would love to have his bat in the lineup. But St. Louis just doesn’t reel in the big player anymore. Not since years ago in the Jocketty days. What’s the deal here? Why not go after a marquee second baseman? Our rotation seems to be a question mark every year whether we spend money on it or not.

if we have 10-15 mil more to spend on free agency then we can definitely afford one of the big name pitchers..or at least a Burnett/lowe type. After that I would say we try to trade for an upgrade at 2nd…The Orioles are shopping Brian Roberts, I dont’ know what it would take to get him but I can’t imagine a more perfect guy then that. It should be very interesting to see how MO uses the rest of his resources.

Well it looks like Johnny Mo is starting to pick things up. I’m glad to see it. Nice to hear we’re at least making an effort at AJ Burnett. I said all along that he still had plenty of time to prove me and the rest of his detracters wrong. Now, he’s on his way to doing that. Good job, MO!!! Keep it up.

I’ll be sure to tell him good job when he pulls this big trigger. We have been excited about the Cards thinking of bringing Burnett in the fold before..If he can pull it off I’ll be very impressed.

Why don’t I feel comfortable that the Yankees are willing to go beyond the $15 mil per year offer that the Braves have made for Burnett? Unless we can sell the “closer to home” thing to Burnett since he is from Arkansas, looks like he won’t be in our uniform since $15 sounds like all we got left coming from Dewallet..Too Bad..looks like we are going to have to settle for the Jon Garlands of the world (my stomach gets upset as i say that)

He’s still doing better than in the previous off-season and in the past few weeks even. Give the man SOME credit.

The previous offseason he got a starter that got us 15 wins. So far this year he got a mid 30′s lefty specialist and **** that had the worst year of his career last year…Let’s not give the man manager of the year quite yet, This team is still not a World Series team..and that is the overall goal….I don’t even want to think about a Cubs rotation of Peavy, Zambrano, Harden, Lilly, and Dempster.

ooop I didn’t curse in that last post it said “a” “ss” apparently it took it as something else….sorry!

He pulled the trigger on Burnett and shot himself in the foot! I guess he just isn’t good enough… http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081208&content_id=3706103&vkey=hotstove2008&fext=.jsp

A.J. Burnett made $13,200,000.00 dollars in 2008. In 2009, after the good season he just put up, he would be expecting more than that, and most teams would give him more than that. The Saint Louis Cardinals have about 10-15 million to spend, if we went after Burnett, he would take up the rest of our payroll. The Saint Louis Cardinals are still in need of the following: Possibly another Left Handed Reliever, a temporary closer until Chris Perez or Jason Motte are ready to take the job, an improvement at 2nd base, and possibly another starter. If we were to get A.J. Burnett, we would take care of the starter and that’s it. Would I like A.J. Burnett to pitch for the Cardinals? You’re darn right I would, but at the amount he would most likely get, and the holes that it would keep us from filling, I’m not that upset. Lets go Cardinals!

Oh, forgot to mention, in Burnett’s 10 year career, he’s only managed to pitch 200 + innings three times. It also looks like he’s got problems staying healthy.

And he has proven when healthy he is Brilliant..just like our boy Carpenter who we didn’t hesitate to give a huge deal to despite his injury history. We only have that much money left to spend because that is all our cheap upper management will let us spend no matter how much they can up the payroll. If I was the General Manger and the owner would not up the payroll then I go and spend all that money on a top notch starter…I would spend every cent on Burnett, then trade a package of prospects and Kennedy for Brian Roberts, then let Trever Miller be the main lefty and Flores be the other one until Tyler Johnson is ready. Now your starter, 2nd and other lefty are done. As far as the closer if your only going to get a closer for a part time role until Perez or Motte is ready how is that going to happen unless you let them try. You give them the closer spot let them pitch and whoever pitches best wins. If were not gonna give money to one of the big name closers then you let them pitch and figure it out. One is a setup man, the other becomes the closer.

You said it yourself, “when healthy.” In 10 major league seasons, A.J. Burnett has only pitched 30 + games twice. What’s been a major problem with the Saint Louis Cardinals pitching staff over the last few years? If I remember correctly it’s been injury. So we’re going to fix this injury problem by signing an injury prone player? And when Chris Carpenter signed with the Cardinals, between 2003-2006 he made $7,800,000.00 over those 4 seasons. It was after the 2006 season when Carpenter was signed through 2011/63.5 million dollar deal with club option or 1 million dollar buyout for the 2012, you know, after putting up 3 straight good seasons, 2 of them where he had no injuries and 220 + innings pitched. Would I like to have A.J. Burnett on the Cardinals? Yes, I would. Do I want to offer him 15 + million dollars a season when he’s an injury proned pitcher who just put up his first healthy season in the last 3 seasons, and only his 2nd in the last 10? No, I do not. I would rather offer him a smaller contract for lesser years, to prove that he can stay healthy. Now back to Perez and Motte, neither one of them have had a full year at the major league level, and neither one have a lot of major league experience, and we want to shove them into a closers roll that just had a pretty bad season, rather than signing a proven major league closer to a 1 year contract, while giving these guys a little more experience at the big leagues? Okay, say we do give them a shot to close, neither one of them is successful, then we’re in the same boat we were in this season, aren’t we? And why not a better option than Johnson or Flores? Why not Arthur Rhodes?

Has Mo convinced/forced LaRussa to start, and then stick with, Kennedy at second? If not, it sure sounds like there are issues of communication that exist between L and K and, given past performance, it sure seems unlikely that LaRussa’s going to address the situation constructively… which means that, in the name of a little bit of money or a non-optimal deal, we just committed to a second baseman with manager issues and gave up on a second baseman who expressed nothing but love when he came over from the Nationals… oy, unless TLR surprises me.

Oh, the Yankees are also one of the teams interested in A.J. Burnett, or at least they’re rumored to be. If the rumors true and the Cardinals offer A.J. Burnett the rest of their salary in order to get him, he’ll probably be offered more by the Yankees, so we wouldn’t get him anyways.

And alan, I don’t know, the Cardinals still might pick up a 2nd baseman, but as of right now, Mo has switched his focus onto pitching. That doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t get another 2nd baseman.

Nevermind, just read the newest article.

I’m not sure I understand the reasoning as to why the Cardinals shouldn’t offer Lopez a contract, “because he’d be a bench player.” Why would he be a bench player? If he performs better than Kennedy he should be the starter, Kennedy shouldn’t get the job, simply because he complains about lack of playing time. If you play good, you get good playing time. Kennedy simply isn’t performing well enough to be the everyday guy, in my opinion. He seems more of a “me first,” type of player, than a “team first,” type of player, as someone mentioned on that very article. I’m beginning to dislike him, not only is he playing poorly, he thinks that his poor play should be rewarded with more playing time, instead of less playing time. This move by Mozeliak is one of the first to actually upset me, the rest of the moves thus far, I see as being pretty decent. But this one, this just upsets me.

Ok. I take it back MO. You’re still a BUM!! From now on, I will only follow The Dude’s advice to ” judge the team he brings to Jupitor”. Until then I will only comment on his most recent move or lack thereof. And now he is back to his cheap, retred signing ways!
One thing though, slata, why would you trash talk Khalil Greene for ONE bad season. he still has a better history than, say, a guy like Ryan Ludwick!

I think you meant to say me, not slata. And I wasn’t talking crap about Khalil Greene, I said I won’t know what to think of this deal, until I see him play for the Saint Louis Cardinals. I’ve said he’s an upgrade offensively, seeing as he hits for power, where as Izturis did not. Izturis, in 2008 was the better player defensively in my opinion. And Greene has never been one to get on base.

No no no. That’s not what I was talking about. I was talking about where slata said ” A Shortstop that had the worst year of his career”. The system thought he was typing the three letter word for donkey! He was typing the abreviation for shortstop, but with an A in front of it.

Ah, my bad, misunderstanding. Khalil Greene did have the worst year of his career though, hoping he can turn it around and put up a strong season for the Cardinals, hopefully upping his OBP for us. I’ve never been a fan of players with very low OBP’s, I like players that can get on base. His best season, in my opinion was the season he had a .349 OBP.

Let me see if I have this straight; Kennedy doesn’t hit for squat, gets platooned and loses playing time, requests a trade, the Birds shop him, nobody wants him, so he is our starter for 2009? We better get shut down pitching, cause the offense has too many easy outs with that approach to position players. I gotta believe there is more to come at 2B. There is no way that flies!

I agree with Scott. The move with Kennedy makes no sense whatsoever. The Cards benched him for a reason – because he wasn’t playing well. Kennedy requests a trade, the Cards try to get a deal done but can’t, and now they’re starting him? Miles and Lopez both played better than this guy did and are now being shoved to the side. I respect Mo a great deal and I’m happy with what he’s done so far this offseason, but I’m puzzled by this move. I wonder how long it’s going to take Mo and the front office to realize that the move they are making is a bad one…

I’ll admit I like Kennedy, don’t like TLR and that Kennedy’s argument – “every time I played well for three days and began to get on a roll, I’d be sat for more than a week” – holds some water with me. I’ll also admit that Lopez outplayed Kennedy at the end of the season, though that could have had something to do with his excitement to be on a decent team with a pretty good atmosphere relative to Kennedy’s frustration at on-a-roll-but-about-to-be-sat-ness and lack of playing time. But, like Scott and Joel, whatever the reason, Mo’s logic and the situation’s history make no sense relative to the decision that’s been made. (Pujols05, and other numbers-y types, I’m a traditional “feel” fan, who hates fantasy sports and what it stands for in terms of declining team allegiances (which is not to say you, specifically, are any less of a Cards fan), so I see numbers as deeply situation-dependent… we’ll never know what Kennedy’s numbers woulda been had he played more regularly or for a manager who ever went with the guy on a roll, with the hot hand, etc.

the solution to the problem is what lies on the other side of the snow job mo is blowing at us . tonight he said he would feel comfortable putting the team as it is on the field come spring. i think that idea has been proven a loser since miller and green are not going to change the dynamics of this club by pitching to one batter a game or having a sub 300 on base %. kenedy would not have to worry about his time on the field if the cards did not sign 40 half “donkey” ( as it is now put) players, and bucked up for some real talent. say goodbye to the platoon idea and just sign a real player. look at all the money they spent in the last three years on players that were rehabers, hopefuls, or not an everyday kind of guy as they put it. the list is pretty long and some of these guys never made it out of spring training. sure they are bargains but a bunch of bargains adds up to alot of money thrown at a bunch of players who are just ok.

joeld, it’s only a bad deal if there is a better one available. I don’t think there is. None of the available FA 2Bs are enough of an upgrade on AK to justify the price in draft choices, inflated salaries, etc.
Furthermore, don’t rule out the possibility that this is all a smoke screen while some deal is being worked in the background. I still wouldn’t be surprised to see something transacted with Atlanta.

I really hope they get Miles signed. He’s a gamer!!!! I absolutely love the Greene transaction, I think they got him for a steal!!!

I would really like for for MO to take a look at this free agent from Washington, Tim Redding, for starting pitching. Easily a number 3 pitcher. I think you need that when you have a lot of uncertainties in Carpenter. Plus, he just kills St. Louis when they face him. I think he’d be another Lohse if he came to St. Louis too.

I think St. Louis has their closer with Chris Perez. I’m not worried about 2nd base too much because especially if they can get Miles resigned. They also have Brendan Ryan to fill in too.

I’m not worried too much about the bullpen because the starting rotation last year contributed to the bullpen problems by not getting the quality starts they needed to get. Face it, Carpenter, Mulder, and Wainwright being out for substantial time would kill any team. Especially, when those are your top 3 starters.

I’m not AS CONCERNED about the closer spot, since we do have Perez and Motte, AND Worrell in the minors. BUT I do think we need a backup plan if the youngsters can’t hack it. My question is this: If the Cards are dead set on Fuentes, then why didn’t we pony up at the trade deadline last year? He could have helped us then. I THINK upper management had given up on last season already. The argument against aquiring him at the deadline last year, at least the one I saw most on this thread, was “why pay a players you can’t sign after the season. It would be a rent-a player deal”. I said that was BS then, and now it seems that I was right. Now we’re talking about acquiring him, and he’s asking for 3 years at $10 mil a year, I believe. It’s something in that neighborhood. And to top that off, we’re gonna have to battle with his hometown team to acquire his services. It doesn’t look good to me. I think we’re all in for a huge disappointment. But then that’s what I’ve come to expect from Mozeliak.

Incorrect SLForre, Mark Worrell was one of the players offered in the trade in order to get Khalil Greene, the other is a player to be named later. And to answer part of your question, as to why we didn’t get him at the trade deadline, we apparently offered a trade, but the Padres did not accept, apparently they were asking for too much, that’s just my opinion of course. Another reason is that it’d be quite odd, in my opinion to give up multiple prospects, even if they are unproven, to get a guy for half a season, then turn around and sign him to a 3 year contract. It makes more sense to allow him to become a free agent, then try to go after him. I would love for the Cardinals to get him though, as long as he’s not the only thing we do this offseason. In my opinion, we’re still in need of another lefty, Fuentes, I know, is a lefty, but if we were to get him, he’d most likely be the closer, I’m talking about another lefty reliever that isn’t the closer. We also need another starter, and preferably a second basemen, even though the Cardinals have stated they’re committed to Kennedy.

You’re absolutely correct pujols_05, they do need to get a couple of lefty relievers, but the question is why did they not tender a contract to Tyler Johnson? This is the part that just bothers me to no end. They say the bullpen fell apart and was ineffective last year. So, what do they do? They take pieces out and replace with other pieces, but am I the only looking at it in a different angle? The starting pitching sucked last year and only going 3-5 innings, no wonder the bullpen after the midpoint of the season, they were out of gas!

I’ve had enough of happy smoke blown up my rear about optimism of Carpenter’s health. This is why they need to get a guy like Tim Redding. If Carpenter is healthy that’s great because then we don’t have to worry about Piniero starting!

You guys talk about Fuentes and how St. Louis needs him, they’re not going to get him. He’s asking for wayyy too much and why?? Blame it on the Yankees, Mets, Cubs, Red Sox, and others like them that are running up their salaries. We’ve got Perez and yes he’ll hit some bumps, but that’s Duncan’s job to settle him down. I can’t see spending $10 million on a closer when you can get a very good middle relief or a starter guy for less.

First, Pujols_05, please don’t answer my posts. Please. No offense but after what has transpired in the past, I have absolutely no respect for your opinion. Feel free to post, just please don’t address me directly, at least until you learn how to NOT be condescending. I’d appreciate it.
As for the lefty thing, how many dang lefties do you guys think we need? We have Manning and Miller signed. We can still sign TJ and Randy Flores if we choose. We non-tendered Aaron Miles last year and still signed him. So, to me, the lefty situation is resolved. Now we need to get a QUALITY starting pitcher.

I was just saying what I thought, you don’t have to be so rude about it. I was being kind enough to let you know that we no longer have Mark Worrell, and I felt like putting my input, I did so in a kind manner, and you turn around and act rude about it. It’s nice if you have a different opinion that me, it doesn’t make your opinion right, nor does it make my opinion right. Because an opinion is just that, an opinion. And I think we need depth at Left handed relief. Last year the only Left Handed Pitcher from the bullpen we had for a large portion of the year was Ron Villone, and he wasn’t exactly all that spectacular. Depth is always nice to have, at starting rotation, at right handed relief, at starting pitching, and every other spot as well. If we stick with Manning, I’m fine, I would just like someone who’s better, someone like Arthur Rhodes. Manning is 29 years old and he’s just now going into his second year in the majors, and his first year wasn’t exactly the best. I agree we need another starter, and I’m hoping we’ll acquire one through a trade and sign a closer, like Fuentes for example.

I said Please, and I asked as nicely as possible. What rubs me the wrong way is you always pick out the minor errors in my posts, that don’t affect my point anyways and then offer up your answers to qustions I didn’t ask. I said nothing about acquiring Khalil Greene at the trade deadline. I was talking about Fuentes. We could have gotten him in time to help us last year, but everyone said we shouldn’t because we wouldn’t be able to sign him after the season. I said it was wrong then, and I was correct. The only way we don’t get him, is if he chooses to be closer to home.

I wasn’t trying to pick out the minor errors in your posts. I was just letting you know that we no longer had Mark Worrrell. You said we did, I was just letting you know that he was one of the people offered up in the trade to get Khalil Greene. I was not trying to come off as rude and I’m sorry if I did. And I was talking about Fuentes as well, maybe I should have been more clear about that. And I agree, we should have gotten someone at the trade deadline, I just find it an odd thing to do if the person is a free agent after the season, only way I’d be okay with it is if we offered him an extension.

I’ve been out of the loop for a while so I guess it’s time that I get back into it. SLForre..In response to a post a while back (sorry it took so long) I wasn’t exactly dissing Khalil I was just saying lets not give MO GM of the year just because he aquired him. As of now he didn’t give up anything for him so it was worth the risk, but don’t compare him to Ludwick..his best year was 2007 and he still only batted .254, I think we all know how well Ludwick did when he gets a chance so to me there is absolutely no comparison, as they have both only had one good season and Ludwicks was brilliant with no bad seasons yet to speak of. Other then that I agree with pretty much everything that you have said. Onto other posts..are there people on here that are really trying to say that adding TIM REDDING should be a priority? Redding was let go of by the Nationals they don’t even want him for his career he is 34-51 with a 4.92 ERA and for those of you that are saying that the Cards Starters sucked so bad because they averaged 3-5 innings and it was all there fault…FYI: ALL Cards main starters (Wainright, Lohse, Pineiro, Wellemeyer, Looper) averaged 6 innings per start at least (EVERY one of them) and the Releivers had 27 BLOWN SAVES last year. That means that the team had the lead going into the 8th inning or later and they blew it 27 different times. Just take half of those away and we WIN the division!!! So while I agree that we need to trade part of our outfield Glut (possibly Ankiel and bring Rasmus up) for a starter I also KNOW we need a closer! LaRussa loves to pull starters in the 6-7 innings and play the matchup game, love it or hate it that is how he is, he has his situational lefty pitcher, and if we can bring Fuentes in the fold then we have a 7-9 inning pitchers of Motte, Perez and Fuentes…not too mention we still have Franklin and McCllelan to help out as as well. I would like to see them sign Tyler Johnson and Miles as well for depth but if they don’t I won’t be heartbroken, and even though I’m not a huge Kennedy fan I think he knows he has something to prove with it being his contract year and such and hopefully he will. As far as why they didn’t just trade for Fuentes and then sign him? They asked for way too much in prospects for him, I agree that Management gave up on our team last year unfortunately. So to Recap..lets get a closer (Fuentes) Trade for a Starter..NOT get TIM REDDING!!, add some depth and break the Cubbies hearts!

slata4,
They’re not going to be able to get a Fuentes, he’s looking at signing with the Angels. I don’t blame the Cardinals for not playing “Big Money Ball” it’s a moot point! The Cardinals aren’t going to go out and sign big money Lowe. When I see Redding, I see another Woody Williams. He had similar numbers with San Diego before St. Louis traded Lankford for him. As far as the bullpen goes, I can’t explain Franklin or Flores. McClellan gave had really good numbers at the end of the season, but gave up the long ball a lot.

I’m not going to argue this point with you on the longivity of the starters with average innings, but I specifically remember Lohse being the work horse of the rotation. I’m tired of Carpenter being hurt all of the time, he’ll definitely be gone after this coming year.

For someone to criticize Redding isn’t fair to him. The Nationals suck! You have to look deeper than the numbers at times and see what kind of ballplayer he is. He keeps the ball down in the zone and creates ground balls. He gave 27 homers for the year with a WHIP of 1.43 while pitching 182 innings last year in 33 starts. The Rockies are going after him and that’s a launching pad there.

Offensively, Greene will probably start batting 2nd in front of Pujols. Watch his numbers this year. I’m betting on him having 30+ homers and .300 BA. I can’t see them letting Ankiel go with all the money they spent transforming him and wasted a lot of it rehabbing his pitching skills.

I could see this lineup in 2009: LF-Skip Schumacker, CF-Colby Rasmus, 1B-Albert Pujols, 3B-Troy Glaus, CF-Rick Ankiel, SS-Khalil Greene, Pitchers Spot, 2B-Adam Kennedy. I wouldn’t mind getting an upgrade at 2nd base, I really wouldn’t. Kennedy does have something to prove, but the question is, can he? In his first 2 years of this contract, he hasn’t been all that impressive. This season his defense was solid, but, he still couldn’t get on base. And don’t joke about batting Greene 2nd please, he’s not known as an on base guy, he’d do more damage at the top of the lineup than he would help, even if he is batting in front of Pujols, at least in my opinion. I’d like the Cardinals to trade Ankiel and keep Ludwick, but Ludwick has more value, so he’d get us more in return.

Scott the Angels are going after Texiera and Peavy right now (Thats big money)..they are not looking at getting Fuentes, at least not yet. Fuentes has said that he would like to pitch close to home which is the Angels but would not mind the Cardinals either and knowing that he is priority for the Cards could help. You have nothing to back up your statement that the Cards won’t spend 10 mil per year and if you look around that is what the premier closers are getting. I’m not arguing the point of the pitchers and the innings they pitched either, that is the facts, take the number of innings and divide it by the games pitched and there you have your proof. I don’t know what will happen with Carpenter, I hope he is healthy but I agree with you we need to try to get another starter. IF the Yankees get in on Lowe which it sounds like they will then there is no point in even trying so a trade is our best option. The reason I say Ankiel is because he will be a free agent next year and Boras is his agent and he has a lot of value along with Rasmus can only be a “top prospect” for so long before we have to give him a chance. I love Ankiel he is one of my fav. players but I think that would give us the best deal move for a starter right now. And if you want to compare apples to apples, Yes that Nationals SUCK but so do the Padres. That will affect your win totals at times but not your other stats that show how good of a pitcher you are. Take Jake Peavy he is on a horrible team and while his wins were down the rest of his stats weren’t, A 1.43 Whip is horrible the only one of our starters that had worse is Piniero and an ERA of close to 5? No thank you! IF Greene can turn it around and hit well again he will be a decent ballplayer but I’m definitely not going to bank on him of all people being anykind of protection for Pujols until he proves to me that last year was just an aberation and not something that will be a bigger problem.

Pujols in your lineup..Rasmus and Ankiel are playing Center, obviously that isn’t right but I don’t see Ludwick..where did he go…and if he got traded what did we get?

Sorry, meant to slot Ankiel into RF. It’s a habit to type CF whenever I think of him, because it’s what I was used to seeing him play. And I thought it would make more sense to trade Ludwick over Ankiel, because after Ludwick’s fine season, he’d have better trade value, and he was traded for a decent starter. I don’t have any names off the top of my head as to what starter I’d like to see in return, but that’s what would make most sense to trade him for, in my opinion.

See, here’s another interesting flip…
You’ve got Barton they kept on the roster all year to be able to keep him. He’s got a nice OBP, I’m sure they’d like to put him in left and bat leadoff. I see both points with trading Ludwick and Ankiel, but what about Schumacher? You do have to have the punch to protect Pujols or they’ll just walk him again this next like they did this last year. Duncan isn’t worth trading just yet. I think we all agree they’ve got too many star caliber OF’s. What I seriously like about Ankiel is he’s a lefty and has punch with an awesome arm. Ludwick, on the other hand does K a bit more, but that’s a slugger for you. Rasmus will probably make the team this year, but he won’t be the everyday OFer.

pujols_05, you bring up 2nd base. I just hope they get Miles back! You have Jocketty in Cincinnati that would just love to snag him, plus, I think these other GM’s have learned something about Miles. I’m sure these players are told “It’s nothing personal, it’s just business,” by their agents, but man, to get this done to you two years straight of not being offered a contract before the deadline has got be, what does this team want from me? I know of at least two games he’s saved for the Cardinals by batting in the 9th this past season.

slata4, we just disagree on the closer, that’s all. My beliefs are I don’t think we don’t need a closer. I like that Perez, yes, he’s young and he’ll make mistakes, but that’s Duncan’s job to settle him down. Plus, someone has brought up Motte as another closer in this post. We agree on starting pitching in that we need it. I just don’t like Piniero, he reminds me of Ponson too much!!! I do respect your theories on the closer though.

I will say this, I do not want to see the Cardinals turn into a Red Sox, Yankee’s, Cubs, and Mets with their theories of trying to buy a pennant. I think it’s funny that the Yankees are paying $23 mil for Sabathia; $27 mil for ARod! They’re going for Manny too? Give me a break. What’s really funny is when a $60 million/year team salary beats them in the postseason! I remember seeing a quote by MO before the winter meetings that he has $25 mill to spend, but still needs to sign current Cardinal arbitration eligible players. That’s the only proof I have Slata4. Also, he stated that he has to keep in mind of a slow economy.

You’re right, Barton did have a high OBP. He also only played in 82 Games at the major league level and only had 153 at bats. I know you could say something along the lines of, “Well, then why does Rasmus deserve a shot over Barton? He hasn’t had any major league at bats.” And my reply to that would be simple, Rasmus is ranked 10th out of the top 50 prospects, Brian Barton isn’t. And Schumacker is just as tradeable as Ludiwck/Ankiel. Only problem is that Schumacker doesn’t have as much trade value, because he can’t hit lefties worth a damn. And I think you’re forgetting about another bat that could protect Albert Pujols, and that’s Troy Glaus. True, he wasn’t as good as Ludwick was in 2008, but, Glaus has one year under his belt as a Cardinal player, and I’m sure he can improve for 2009, not only that he’s in the final year of his contract, so he’s got something to prove. And I’d have to agree that Duncan isn’t worth trading, for one big reason. He just came off of surgery to repair a very serious injury, that to many could be career threatening, so as of right now, he doesn’t have a lot, if any trade value. Ludwick played in 32 more games and had 125 more at bats than Ankiel, so if Ankiel played in the same amount of games, it’s very possible that he could have had just as many, if not more K’s than Ludwick. And what’s your point? We didn’t offer a contract to Aaron Miles? Oh no. It’s not like we can’t offer him one. And are you really upset that they didn’t offer him a contract? You know it’s quite possible that we let him walk so that we could clear up room on the roster to call someone else up. For all you know by letting him walk we could have just cleared up a roster spot for David Freese, and we could use him as a utility player, that way Brett Wallace could take over at 3rd in Triple A for 2009. Or it could be very possible we cleared up a spot for someone else, or that the Cardinals plan on signing someone better as a back up player. And I know that it’s not likely Freese starts out on the active roster in 2009, I’m just coming up with different possibilities. I’m not very upset that we didn’t resign Miles, yes, he did just have a good year for us, but you have to realize he’s 32 years old, not only that he’s only had one good defensive year in Saint Louis, that being this year, the past 2 years he’s not been all that good and it’s killed me to watch him on defense. And why are we opposed to getting a proven closer? I know Perez or Motte will eventually end up getting the job, but for the time being I’d like to have someone who’s good at closing and has proven so. In 2008, we blew how many saves? Lets say we do give Perez or Motte a shot, what happens if neither one succeeds? We once again have no one to rely on in the 9th inning and the blown saves will once again start piling up. I say get someone else for the time being and let Perez/Motte get a little bit more major league experience under their belt. Also, if we sign Fuentes, it’ll probably be 3 years/33 million dollars, that’s 11 million a year, which would leave us with approximately 4 million to sign another starter or resign someone like Miles, if you really wanted to resign him. Now to take care of the starter, we could just acquire one through a trade, which would leave us 4 million dollars to resign Miles.

why would you not sign miles? his numbers the last two seasons are better than kennedy, he has no attitude, and he makes less $. the guy was almost hung out to dry last year and accepted less $, but still came back and broke his “donky” for you on the field. if you’re going to platoon, miles is a much better option. guess what, kennedy is 32 as well. as for fuentes. if the cards will not commit 10mil to a starting pitcher what makes you think they would do so for a guy who pitches 1 inning? totally different thought here. looking at what teixeira is being offered, what kind of deal is it going to take to sign albert? and do you think dewallet will pony up? i could see with the ownerships current mindset it would be albert playing pitcher, catcher, and first, and six other players fresh out of surgery manning the other posts.

Manor,

I see exactly what pujols_05 is talking about on the closer. My mind is with you, these salaries are getting stupid!!! pujols_05 has like a phobia from last year of losing games late like in the 8th or 9th, I get it. Then that way they could use Perez or Motte as the setup guys for the True Closer.

I can’t talk for him about Miles though. I like the guy, he busts tail from every game I’ve watched him play. About Ankiel though, I think a lot of them K’s came from when he had his abdomen problem, also he’s a lefty versus Ludwick is a righty and I’d bet Ludwick would go before Ankiel since LaRussa likes to the LRLRLRL all the way down the line up as best as possible. Also, I’m sure Lohse would like to share some things with Ankiel on how Boras screwed his chances for big money in last year’s free agent market.

I may be going out on a limb here, but hearing what these ballplayers say the difference between AAA and the majors is big and I know how Ankiel, Ludwick, and Schumacher play I’d trade Rasmus and see what could be gotten and use that “TOP 10″ prospect status to my leverage. I think you have to be careful when messing with this team because they gelled very well together last season. You said it yourself pujols_05 take half of the blown saves away and the Cardinals win the division. Well, why fix something that isn’t broken?

I haven’t brought up Glaus because I’m neutral with him. He played outstanding 3B, but his “O” was up/down all year long. I’m content with him especially with the “D” he carries. We’ll have to see what he does this year with the bat, but I’m by far not disappointed with him.

The ONLY thing I was dissapointed with last year on our team outside of some management decisions was our bullpen. Which is why I say spend the big money on a proven closer, when Perez and Motte are ready then you let them take over but for the time being it is better to have too many solid late inning options then to be scrambling again like we were last year when no one could convert a save for us. Again like I said we win the division if we take half of those blown saves away..that is HUGE! Our offense was fine, our defense was fine, our starters were fine..our back end of the bullpen SUCKED no matter who was trying to hold it down. And yes that included Chris Perez which is why I vote to bring in a true closer until the kid is ready. I have read the argument its Duncan’s job to settle him down, he is a young fireballer kid and miracles don’t happen overnight. I think Motte or Perez will be solid but I don’t want to entrust the lead with them next year and watch another 20+ blown saves build up..how big of a letdown is that for a team that battles there butts off for 8 innings just to watch it slip away. I think we need to try to aquire another starter in a trade and use whatever money we don’t spend on a closer to shore up our bench..Miles or whoever it is. While it may be easier to trade Rasmus and keep the “Core” together that won’t happen as this team won’t even consider trading this kid, so the next most likely scenario is Ankiel, because the cards don’t want to trade Ludwick because he is so far away from free agency or Shumacher because he just doesn’t have near the value. Ankiel while an amazing talent is a Boras client and will most likely get a bigger deal then the cards are willing to pay him. But when it comes to ponying up money I agree that it will be very interesting what happens with Pujols now that his contract is coming near it’s end. IF they elect to let him go free agent and don’t sign him DeWallet might as well go hide under a rock because people will be out for his head (literally) The only person that has hit more hr’s and rbi’s then Pujols in the last 5 years is A-Rod, while Pujols has a higher batting average then everyone in the last 5 years. The man is a machine and no matter how much you hate today’s salaries (As do I) basing Pujols on them- $20 mil a year is the starting figure…Good Luck explaining why you can’t pony up for this guy Mo and Dewallet!

A couple of things for consideration: first, what is the outlook for Josh Kinney? No one mentions him, and he was pretty awesome at the end of ’08. Also, he did pretty well in ’06 before the elbow troubles began. What does he bring that we did not have last season?

As for Albert, there is no doubt he could command a huge contract. However, is it possible Albert stays humble and thinks team with a smaller, but still good contract? I don’t see his ego demanding max dollars. He likes StL, and I have to believe he will do as always; consider the team. Anyone else think his contract will not kill the small town club?

Kinney is another injury project and again I’m not going to bank on him but he has proven when healthy he can be very effective. As far as Albert goes he is a great guy, he is a very team oriented guy, but I’m sure he knows what he is worth, and he wants to win. And if lets say the Boston Red Sox or someone like that offers him lets say 8 years 200 mil. $25 mil per…do you think he will turn it down on a team that wins year in and year out for a team that goes the cheap rout and offers him say $18-20 mil a year, and has proven that if the market grows larger then the budget, then we won’t increase the budget and just hope that who we have doesn’t land us in 4th place. I believe that Albert really loves St. Louis but I believe he loves winning more, and when the time comes around to sit down and look at a new deal, I think his first question will be “Prove to me your going to win and stay committed to it” If they can then I think he will be able to look away from the huge market teams and sign once more on the dotted line as a cardinal, if they can’t it may be very very ugly time for the birds on the bat.

P.S. I know me saying 18-20 mil is a cheap rout sounds absurd but if Mark Texiera is getting 8 year 160 mil.+ offers..just think what kind of Offers this Machine will command….

that in mind. as painful as it may be, when do you put him on the block? and how many players will we get in return? given that the current state of mind with this club is CHEAP. unless, all this cheapness is because they are saving money for the coming storm. lastly, alberts’ clip is better than arods’ so i can see berto getting either more than 20 per year or many more years at that rate. this guy is compared to the top 5 hitters of all time, not some make up wearing panzy from NY.

Look guys, I don’t see where Pujols will run away for more money. He loves St. Louis and he’ll be loyal to the team. I can’t remember how much he makes a year now exactly, but I’m going to guess $12 mil/year. Now, given the fact that St. Louis has a much lower price of living as compared to New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. My guess would be Pujols would sign for $15 mil/year to stay in St. Louis. He’s not a greedy guy whatsoever and he’s got his charity in St. Louis and he likes the atmosphere in St. Louis. When he signed that last contract he took heat from the union. Look at Mark McGwire, he took less money to come to St. Louis from Oakland as compared to what he could have gotten if he were to go to the Yankees.

I’ve said before and I’ll say it again the Yankees, Mets, Cubs, and Red Sox can pay all the big money they want, but it’s not going to guarantee to win a World Series! The Yankees are living proof of that, what was it 2000 and 2003 they’ve lost the series? 2003 was hilarious with the Fish beating them with a team payroll 25% of what the Yankee’s payroll was. What a joke. Tampa Bay wins the AL East this past year. St. Louis will not fall into this trap and I wouldn’t expect them to do so.

Texiera isn’t worth $21 million/year either. That’s just these teams getting stupid like the Rangers did when they signed A-Rod to that rediculous 10 yr 1/4 of a billion dollar contract that they couldn’t fulfill and the Yankees had to bail them out, not Congress, but the Yankees! Just a little pun there. If this keeps up the ball players will be on strike again because the union will want the minimum salary to go up drastically.

Oh, I forgot one player, do you guys think AJ Burnett is worth $16 million/year with his medical history? This is where I’m seeing a problem with baseball.

Pujols currently makes 16 mil a year, so I highly doubt he is going to take a pay cut no matter how much he likes St. Louis, and your right the cost of living in St. Louis is cheaper but when your making 15-20 mil a year does that really matter?? and a charity can go anywhere..what Pujols has built here he can build elsewhere… While the Yankees havn’t won the series in a while Boston has won 2 out of the last 3 which is why I said Boston in my scenario. Again I really hope we don’t lose him but the possibility is there. IF the Cards can’t prove to one of the best players of all time that he is on a team that will continue to do what it needs to, to compete for a World Series you better get ready for life without the big man, your right AJ and A-Rod and Tex aren’t worth that money, heck no one is…it isn’t the point they aren’t worth it but that is what they are getting these days. Pujols isn’t worth 25 mil a year…NO ONE is but in this market these days Pujols can ask for 25 mil a year and no one would laugh and I would say at least 5 teams would line up even at that price (CRINGING)..Including the Cubs!! It’s time to look at reality and it’s time for the cards to realize that very soon they are going to be in a very interesting situation..and there whole cheap philosophy is going to have to go right out the window..while we may be a “smaller” market we sell out our BRAND NEW ballpark every single game and I can only imagine the profits they actually make and pocket instead of spending them. While everyone can complain about the money that the Yanks, Red Sox, Mets and so on spend on there teams..you can’t say they don’t spend and none of there fans would ever say..well it’s not like the management didn’t try. We unfortunately don’t have that luxury! While this may be a problem in baseball..it is reality and the reality is this problem will be baring its ugly head soon here in St. Louis. So we better lock up Pujols before the free agent market makes it very hard for him to stick around with the Cardinals.

slata4, I never said that Pujols would take a pay cut. I honestly had no idea how much he made a year. If he does make $16 million/year, then yes, he’d make 19-20 range when his contract is up. However, after just reading that article on the Cardinal’s website of them offering $14-16 million/year to Fuentes for two years makes me believe they should pay Pujols more than what the Yankees pay A-Rod.

Guys, I’m thoroughly convinced that the Cardinals organization doesn’t know what they’re doing now. I’m not going to blame MO on $14-16 million offer because I think MO is just a “YES” man. He’s getting his orders from someone above him, but they didn’t offer near the payout for K-Rod and Fuentes couldn’t pack K-Rods jockstrap!

I’ve been a Cardinals fan all my life and I live in Central Illinois. I haven’t gone to a Cardinal game since the next to last year the Cardinals were in the old stadium. Why? Because I can’t afford it! That goes the same for the Rams and Blues. I hate to sound like a bad sport, but geez Louise, when does it end??

Scott just to alleviate some of your stress the Cards offered Fuentes 2 years for a total deal of 16-18 million dollars so somewhere between 8-9 mil a year. I think you read it wrong.

Guess what manor. I don’t care if Miles stats were better than Kennedy’s, I don’t want him and I don’t want Kennedy, they’re both 32 years old and neither one jumps out an impresses me. Am I saying that Miles is a bad player? No, I’m not, just don’t want him on the Cardinals any more. I want to get Kelly Johnson as the everyday 2nd baseman, which would most likely involve trading Ludwick and possibly someone else to Atlanta in order to get him. My idea backup 2nd baseman would be someone like Nomar Garciaparra or Jeff Kent. Yes, both older than Miles, but both also better at hitting than Miles. Imagine this lineup: LF-Skip Schumacker, CF-Colby Rasmus, 1B-Albert Pujols, 3B-Troy Glaus, 2B-Kelly Johnson, SS-Khalil Greene, CF-Rick Ankiel, C-Yadier Molina, Pitchers Spot. Yes, I know that means the pitcher would go back to batting 9th, and that doesn’t really bother me.

Pujols as much as I would like to see an upgrade to Kennedy or Miles the answer is NOT Oft injured Garciaparra or 40 year old Jeff Kent who is also breaking down and barely played in the playoffs last year. And why in the world does everyone keep talking about trading Ryan Ludwick AND ANOTHER PLAYER!!! for Kelly Johnson??? Can someone PLEASE explain this to me. Here are stats between the 3 2nd basemen.. (Johnson)-150 games, .287, 12hr, 69rbi’s 11 sb, 14 errors. (Kennedy)-115 games, .280, 2hr, 36 rbi, 7sb, 7 errors. (Miles)-134 games, .317, 4 hr, 31 rbi,3 errors…Johnson is younger and is he an upgrade?? I guess so but I don’t see where..but for LUDWICK??-152 games, .299, 37 hr, 113 rbi’s, 4sb, 3 errors. and on top of that you want to add another player?? I’m sorry but this kelly johnson kid is nowhere near Ludwick and his protection let alone adding another player with him! I wouldn’t mind seeing an upgrade at 2nd either but I really have a hard time even thinking about trading such a valuble guy for a guy with such average stats. I really hope the cards don’t even consider this!

You just used batting average, HR’s, & RBI’s. The three most over used stats to determine one’s value. Kelly Johnson: .349 OBP/.446 SLG/.795 OPS in 2008, compared to Adam Kennedy: .321 OBP/.372 SLG/.692 OPS & Miles: .355 OBP/.398 SLG/.753 OPS. Yes, Miles had a higher OBP than Kelly Johnson, but he also played in 16 less games, and had 168 at bats, and the fewer at bats you have, the more OBP is skewed to be in your favor. SLG is a better indicator of one’s power than HR’s, SLG is total bases divided by at bats, so basically the more extra base hits you have, the higher it’s going to be. And as for defense, lets not use errors or fielding percentage, they’re too easily manipulated to make good fielders look bad. Believe it or not, defensively, Kennedy was the 3rd best 2nd baseman in baseball this year at a + 19 according to the fielding bible. I don’t know about Johnson/Miles though, because they’re not on the list shown, if anyone else knows their +/- please do tell. And as far as Ludwick goes, I don’t know how good he’ll be in 2009, nor am I going to take a guess as to how good he’ll be, I’d like for him to have a repeat of the 2008 season, if we do keep him, but don’t know if we’ll get that or not. But as of right now, his trade value is at his highest, and I say we use it to improve upon an area that offensively needs improvement. We have good OF depth, we don’t have good IF depth. And Atlanta was asking for Ludwick as well as someone else possibly, that’s why I mentioned it.

Win Shares wise, Johnson is a + 20, Adam Kennedy is a + 7, and Aaron Miles is a + 9. Ludwick was a +26 at a position where offense isn’t as hard to come across.

Again your comparing Johnsons offense to two guys that platooned with each other..not a fair comparison. I don’t care what Johnsons slugging percentage is..which player gets Pujols pitched too more Johnson or Ludwick? No one fears Johnson’s power they do Ludwick. Will Ludwick repeat this year? who knows but I would much rather take my chances on him then Johnson. There aren’t many 2nd basement I would trade Ludwick for (Pedroia, Utley, Roberts, Lopez) If one of those names are involved lets do it..if not then I’m not interested. Kelly Johnson is a nice young player..but he isn’t worth the top protection we had for Pujols last year that is for sure!

and FYI when I compared them it was just to show that he didn’t put up much better number if any then 2 players that were only good enough to platoon.

But the thing is he did put up much better numbers. I can understand not wanting to trade away Ryan Ludwick, I just can’t understand not wanting Kelly Johnson over Aaron Miles or Adam Kennedy. Lets look at it this way, if you could acquire Kelly Johnson without giving up Ryan Ludwick, and instead get him by giving up some minor league OFer’s like Brian Barton/Joe Mather/etc., who would you rather have, Kelly Johnson or Aaron Miles & Adam Kennedy. I’d rather have Kelly Johnson.

Don’t get me wrong I would rather have Johnson over Miles or Kennedy I completly agree with you there. But if the asking price is Ludwick AND/Or Another person not caring who that person is, I hang up the phone. If we can get him for an OF’er that didn’t do much for us last year (Barton, Mather) while packaging Kennedy or something then I’m all for it. But I’m not giving up one of Pujols’s main protection especially if Pujols might not be ready for the beginning of the season for a small-mid upgrade over what we already have.

Alright, understandable, I don’t think Atlanta would take Kennedy though, so we’d probably be stuck with him, unless we could find a team to eat part of his contract, either that or just let him go.

Katsuhiko Maekawa, really?!?! At 30, there’s an upside to a guy who’s all-but gotten shelled in Japan?

It’s on a minor league contract, not a big league contract, so who cares? Sometimes I think people forget you need a complete roster, even in the minors.

Ha ya but leave it to the cards to pick up the guys from the scrapheap to complete there roster even if they have to go across seas to get him lol…

I don’t know about any of you, but I am not looking forward to next season, at least not as a Cardinal fan. As a fan of the game, I’m always looking forward to baseball season. But I have a feeling “my team” is going to be hard to watch this year coming up.

wasn’t Rasmus an astros for a long time???

Bigpapi72, http://bostonsports.mlblogs.com/

No. Colby has never been in the Astros organization. From the Memphis Redbirds website….Selected by the Cardinals out of Russell County H.S. (Ala.) in the 1st round (No. 28 overall) of the June 2005 First-Year Player Draft…helped lead Russell County High School to the national championship in 2005…resides in Phenix City, Ala.

thanks Pujols_05, I was hoping to be dismissed out of hand… thanks for straightening me out by pointing out that only what happens to the major league roster matters… I’ll keep that in mind when I read anything anyone here writes about the minors.

Hahaha. Thanks alan.rudy. I needed that laugh. Too good.

slforre always stirring the pot ;) Happy Holidays everyone!

I agree with above comments – this season will be hard to pay attention to. “wow” another blown save. again, all the money talk is ridiculous – with the fan base, etc – this team has INCREDIBLE amounts of money – they won’t spend it. they keep saying certain players are “out of range” – say goodbye to Albert soon, thanks management. there are more reasons NOT to waste time and money on this club – heartbreaking stuff guys. MERRY CHRISTMAS.

LOL! I couldn’t help it. That made me chuckle out loud. Sounds kinda like something I’d say. Happy Holidays to everyone, including pujols_05. I hope you have a good Christmas and fun New Year. I plan to as I move to a new house. My New Years resolution…to try to remain a Cardinals fan amid dire circumstances and poor management. Speaking of which…Dude. The Dude. What’s with this crap about management saying they “were under the impression that Lopez wanted multiple years”? That’s the same BS excuse they used when they let Eck get away. How about actually ASKING the guy what he wants? These idiots assume too much, and don’t act when the time is right. Someone should start http://www.FIREMO.com

The idiotic Yankees are screwing every other team out there. The Yanks should have to pay DOUBLE the luxury tax this year as a penalty. In a down economy, these scum suckers are driving the market up on free agents. GREED Steinbrenners. It’s one of the seven deadly sins, and you are guilty!

But you what, slforre77?? The Yankees can spend all the money they want, they still don’t have a team that can beat the Red Sox this next year nor have they showed me that they can beat Tampa. I don’t really follow the AL, but I don’t see where the Rays lost too much in the off season. I do see the Yankees signing another big money player with Manny Ramirez and pay him $25 million a year.

OK, now that the Texiera sweepstakes is over, who is the next move for the closer going to be. I thoroughly believe that Fuentes is going to sign with the Angels. Do they sit back and wait on the arbitration hearing on Jenks with the White Sox and hope they don’t sign him or do they go after Trevor Hoffman?

I just wonder if MO has been in contact with the Twins for Liriano? He was filing grievances with team last year because he got hurt and they wouldn’t call him back up because they had a solid rotation. That boy can throw! He’s a starting pitcher and young. I just wish I was sold on Carpenter being able to stay healthy all year long.

Yes, slforre77, you and I are on the same side on the salaries issue. You watch baseball will be going on strike again when the labor agreement comes due because the union is going to try for a sharp increase in the minimum salary. It really is a shame because these big money ball teams don’t seem to understand that all the best talent on one team doesn’t necessarily win you a World Series ring. Especially, when you overpay for mediocre or non durable players, as which the Yankees are guilty of this year.

I completely agree that salaries are getting out of control in baseball. BUT as much as we hate it, this is the reality of it and if the cards were out there spending this much money we would all be jumping up and down instead of complaining about what they don’t do. Are the Yankees ridiculous…YES! Can any Yankee fan question there desire to WIN a World Series…NOT A CHANCE. And if you think that Texiera getting 22.5 mil a year over 8 years is ridiculous what on Earth do you think Pujols will get…AND if he wants what he HAS EARNED what will the Cards do? The fans will burn down Busch Stadium if they don’t resign that man!!! Merry X-mas!!

The Yankees are NOT screwing anybody !!!! ALL of the people who own major league teams HAVE that kind of money to spend – this idea that a guy who pays 400 million to buy a franchise is then broke and cannot spend any money on players is completely ridiculous – THEY WILLINGLY CHOOSE NOT TO. I think the Yankees are stupid for paying so much for a guy like Teixiera, a bust waiting to happen – what will the excuse be in St Louis when someone else signs Albert for 25 Ml/yr – that will be pathetic.

Well said rad, If you have the money to buy a franchise you have the money to buy players. Especially in cities like St. Louis where EVERY home game is sold out every year. When teams like the Yankees spend 40 mil on Luxury Tax that gets spread out to every team. IF a team has a payroll of 40 mil and decides to pocket the rest then that is how they choose to run there team but there is NO WAY the Cards don’t have money (New Stadium, Sold out seats every year.etc), and there is NO WAY that they can’t have a payroll that competes with the big boys, Maybe not the Yankees but they are in another league. The difference is EVERY year the Yankees are willing to do whatever it takes to try to give themselves the best chance of winning the world series, that is there #1 goal, not winning the division or trying to sneak in the playoff or putting a patchwork team together but WINNING the World Series. No matter if it hasn’t worked out for them lately. The fact of the matter is I am really looking forward to the Cards trying to rationalize not giving a 1st ballot Hall of Famer and arguably the best player in baseball whatever he wants. They can’t say they “didn’t realize” that he wanted mulitple years and tons of money like they try to sell us on other people, they know its coming, I hope they have a plan in place, and that plan can’t be skimp on the rest of the team so we can resign Pujols because he is an ultracompetative player and will not resign for basically the rest of his career with a losing franchise…PERIOD!!!!

Ditto, thanks slata4, I have asked the question here before. the ultimate goal EVERY season is the World Series, correct??? If not, what is the goal then??? is it only every 5 yrs, 10 yrs — I just want to know — what the hell are the goals ? where are we/they going?? Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas – God bless.

Rad,
The goal of the Cardinals is to put the most competitive team on the field without breaking the bank. You say “The Yankees aren’t screwing anybody,” but earlier you said “I think the Yankees are stupid for paying so much for a guy like Teixiera, a bust waiting to happen.” What kind of message are you sending to the Agents of these players when you sign Guy A (Texiera) to a high salary, then you have Guy B (Pujols), yes, Pujols has the better numbers, but what message was sent to Pujols’ agent when Guy A was signed? Have that thought process when the ticket prices go up because of the salaries. The Yankees spend a lot of money, but they’re foolish with it! They don’t get quality pitching they get a ton of sluggers. Oh yeah, Sabathia makes like 4 mil less than A-Rod, but Sabathia only works 1 out of 5 days. What a value!

Thanks, you’ve answered my question – completely and honestly – The Cardinal organization ONLY wants to be competitive – whereas the Yankees want to WIN the series EVERY year – no matter what it costs – the NY fans get it and happily (maybe not) pay for it – that is what I want from the beloved cardinal – no chance of breaking the bank – winning is’nt politically correct – it’s the ONLY thing that matters to some fans.

Rad, let me use an argument that I use against the Cub fans around me and they just cringe when I bring it up…
How many times has the Cardinals been to the World Series this decade alone? Twice, they’re 1-1.
OK, Yankees spend a butt load of money and they go to the series three times and their record is 1-2. Plus, 2 of the 3 times they’ve gone they’ve gotten beat by teams that have a team salary that is less than a third of the salary of what they pay. We’ll use Boston as well, they’ve gone to the Series twice and are 2-0.
What I’m saying is you don’t have to go out and pay 25 mil for a player to play on your team, all you need is a fundamentally sound and healthy team. I like how the Cardinals organization builds their team. They have some really great coaches like Duncan and Oquendo. The Cardinals build their team defensively not offensively and a lot of times those players are cheaper than the headliners that pop a lot of homers or the pitchers that are “K” kings. They pick up pitchers at a discount rate who’ll work with Duncan to keep the ball down in the zone and they’re not looking “K’s” they want the opponent to hit the ball to the infielders. “K’s” just run up the pitch count anyway and it’s really a worthless stat except for bargaining for new contracts for the player.
I’ll even go out on a limb here and seeing the moves made so far by the other teams in the Cardinals’ division and the make up of the teams that St. Louis will win the Division! They’ll have the Cubs’ number this year. Also, don’t be surprised if they make another trip to the Series, the rotation will hopefully remain healthy this year, though I would really like another starter because I’m still not sold on Carpenter staying healthy all year.

I do not expect the Cardinals to spend 25M on each player – I bleed red like all of you – it, at times, seems like there is NO real effort made at strengthening certain positions. Just following along – and trying to understand the logic – and striking out. win baby, win. lackluster season gone with hope for the future?

OK. Well obviously none of you know anything about economics. Unfortunately for us fans, it’s no longer just a game. It’s a business to these guys. Some are ALL business. And when you have a team like the Yankess spending almost half a BILLION dollars on three players, you inflate the market and that screws the rest of the teams who can’t compete in that kind of market. And in case you didn’t realize, New York is enormously more populated than St.Louis and pretty much every other MLB city. So they have more people coming to games AND they’re paying higher prices for tickets than in pretty much every other MLB city. So don’t tell me the Cards have as much money as the Yankees to spend on free agent players. NO ONE can compete with that. The Red Sox try, but ultimately they can’t keep up.
This is also sparking calls for a salary cap again. Baseball is the only major sport without one. Do you want another player strike? I think not. But the moronic Yankees just throw money around like it’s play money, and in this economy it’s just stupid and irresponsible.
The only argument the Yankees have is that this doesn’t guarentee them anything. They have always had the highest payroll, but they don’t always win. HOWEVER it’s not just about whether or not the Yankees win the World Series. It’s about what this does to the other teams and the future of the game.

Except for scott, of course. Scott obviously DOES understand what the Yankees have done. Well put, Scott. Thank you.

Thank you for the complement slforre77.
Hey guys, I see where Tim Dierkes of http://www.mlbtraderumors.com was asked how much Albert is worth after the latest big free agent signings. His response was “Albert can command $30 million,” WOW! Thank you Yankees.
Getting back to that argument of Pujols staying around after his contract expires in two years. I really do think he will if the Cards offer him $18-20 million. I do believe the Cardinals are committed to winning. They’re not putting a scrub team out there year in and year out. The Cardinals are a mid-tier payroll team, but in a couple of years you’re going to see their farm system developing the players they need on the major league level, that’s the way it should be done anyway. I’m not worried about them until they start finishing in dead last year after year.
Rad, I guess I’m misunderstanding your argument when you say that the Cardinals need to start opening their pockets and get great players. I take that to mean that you want the Cardinals to go out and pay $24 million for a Sabathia and $25 million for a Manny Ramirez. So, in closing I hope you understand where I’m coming from and just because they don’t go out and don’t sign big money players don’t think they’re not trying to win all of the games they need to win a Championship and slforre77 said it very well too, it is a business.

I would also like to address this talk of goals. Rad, you seem to admire the Yankees for frugally shelling out millions of dollars, because that proves to you that they want to win the World Series every year. The goal of every team IS to win the World Series, but realistically only one team can do that each year out of 32 teams aiming for the goal. So let me ask you this…What are the goals of players who sign these exhorbitant contracts? Is it to win? Or is it to get filthy rich? I’m not saying anything about CC or Tex, but some guys are more worried about personal goals that fatten their wallet than goals that are team oriented. If we’ve learned anything from the Yankees past, it’s that you can’t buy a World Series. All they have done is increase their chances, while hurting the sports as a whole.

Real quick… 1) the Yankees, in effect (and through a whole raft of shenanigans) got NYC to pay for a huge chunk of their stadium and then to let the Yankees off the tax hook, 2) the Yankees own their very own cable TV station for broadcasting their games… and 3) have international merchandising profits the dwarf any other major league team.

There’s a great deal more to it than putting butts in seats and size of one’s metro area… and, while the Cards appear to have foregone their historical regional rather than metropolitan status (RIP KMOX at night here in MI), they were until quite recently a regional team.

Baseball needs a salary cap AND redistributive taxes but I don’t believe for a minute that one will be forthcoming until the Commish isn’t a stooge for the owners.

The Cards are, generally, doing things right… it seems… but really need to give us a sense – at least every once in a while – that the chance to win dictates releasing the coffer-ed hounds… and I don’t get that sense.

the yankees organization IS doing what their fans WANT them to do – win – yes, they have not done that alot lately, with 26 WS titles overall – they are still hungry. As stated above, that is not thinking realistically because you could not possibly win the WS every year – thanks, now I know the mindset behind all of this. Let me know when the Cardinal organization FEELS that they want to win – and we will return to our 5 family trips / yr to root for the Redbirds again. I always want the best for OUR team – I don’t get that sense from OUR management – like them, I will run my family as a business this season, and save a few thousand bucks !!! Happy New Year to everyone – enjoy reading all posts.

How many business owners do you know that do whatever their customers want them to do? Is that how business is supposed to be run. I don’t think so.I don’t think you quite get the scope of the big picture, rad. The Cardinals organization ALWAYS wants to win…just like every other organization. But not every team can go out and waste money on exhorbitant contracts, then eat the loss when it doesn’t work out. See Kevin Brown. So most teams spend wisely, instead of wrecklessly. I am glad the Cards spend wisely, but I do agree that they are a bit too frugal, at times. And on the other hand, too generous on the wrong contracts at times.

Rad, I don’t mean to pull you out or anything nor am I questioning your credibility as a Cardinal fan, but to get a better understand of where you’re coming from I’d like to ask you a question. If you were the GM of the Cardinals what would you have done differently? Would you have gone after Sabathia, K-Rod, or AJ Burnett more aggressively? What’s your thoughts on Fuentes? Would you go after Sheets or any of the bigger name 2B’s?

Also Rad, don’t think this Cardinals team is going to be mediocre this year. I firmly believe they’re going to do some good this coming year. I do see a division win, but will wait and see how the health of the team is to make it to the WS.

About the salary cap in baseball, I don’t think it’ll work that well in baseball as it does in the other sports because of the season being a marathon. Plus, it would royally screw up trade deadline trades and Waiver Wire trades. I am also one that will complain about the lucrative salaries, but I’m also one that doesn’t have the solution to the problem. I’d like to get other people’s take on the salary cap, do you guys think it’d work?

It can be made to work. There’s no doubt about it. The problem is the player’s union. They have lost some power after the steroids scandal, so maybe something can be worked out after the current labor agreement expires.Baseball will eventually fail without a cap. It will become so that only wealthy Americans can afford to go to games.

I just read this article…
http://blogs.chron.com/sportsjustice/archives/2008/12/salary_cap_tell.html

It makes the salary cap sound a whole lot better than the luxury tax that teams have to pay now and support the ones that have ran their team into the dirt. It would somewhat make those teams raise their payrolls to $114 million, which is in the neighborhood of what the Cardinals spend every year. The bad part of a salary cap is, say bye bye to a player possibly staying their whole career with the same team. I don’t follow the NBA any, but in the NFL players end up playing for another team eventually.

Of course here’s a way to fix the problem. All the fans band together and refuse to go to the games, what are the odds of that happening, but if the fans can’t afford to go what choice is there?

If there was a salary cap put into place and the Union would have to agree with it, would that mean the Union would then get their way and have the DH in both leagues for them to agree with a salary cap? I’m totally against that idea, it takes a spectrum of strategy out of the game.

Thanks for the returns – and honesty – I like it. I think a salary cap would be a disaster. the Yankees are not going broke – so far the overspending by NY is not paying off – I agree with that. I am beginning to get a bit concerned about the possibility of Albert leaving when it is up. another great starting pitcher like A.J. would work – and middle infield studs – getting a bit nervous about the same line-up – it seems good enough for now – not GREAT though. winter blues fellas. winter blues. covering up with my World Series blanket. Good Night.

what the yankers are doing is filling the field with big names so when the stadium is built the seats will be filled with big fat ny butts. it’s no good but “as a business” it is smart. who would you rather see on the field? ccc, or kyle loshe. tex, or adam kenedy. reality is winning doesn’t fill the seats. did anyone see a rays game last year before they were in the post season? wnba had more fans in the stadium. in 08 the cards were 11th in payroll out of 30 with a 100 mil salary.in 08 the ave price of a seat with the cards was ranked 7 out of 30, and in 07 they were 5th. top this with the fact that bush is no small park and they fill the seats with close to or above 3 mil people each year, throw in the NINE DOLLAR BEER and you have yourself a recipe for generating cash. don’t forget all the teams invested in making this website and make a return large enough to choke all the clydesdales at the same time. i don’t want a whole team of trillionares, i just want someone with no question mark attached to.

Manor, that’s kind unfair to put Tex vs. Kennedy, they don’t play the same position. The Cards have their own stars that draw, like Pujols, Yaddi, Ankiel, Wainwright, Carpenter, now Greene. The Cardinals had to take out bonds to be paid back to the city of St. Louis for the new Busch Stadium as well. I think the $9 beer is to keep people from drinking as much. Also, don’t they stop serving beer in the 7th inning?

The Yankees would sell out that staduim reguardless of who they put out on that field. They’re one of them iconic teams like the Red Sox, Cubs Dodgers, and Cards. Florida teams (Marlins and Rays) will NEVER have that following because that state is a football state. The Marlins have won the World Series twice since their conception in the early 90′s and they don’t even sell out.

“[Using a pitcher already in-house to close] has always been an option,” Mozeliak said, although manager Tony La Russa has expressed little enthusiasm for such a course. “That’s never changed. I think when we saw the market change on closers is when we engaged. So we made an attempt. We weren’t [Fuentes'] first choice.”
and they say adding another long term starting pitcher is OUT of the question. 4th place guys – 4th place. this guy is LOST. thanks Miles – THEY”RE KEEPING KENNEDY – he hates St. Louis and LaRussa – WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON???

Kennedy has no trade value. I’m sure he’ll play good this year because this is the last year of his contract with them. I’m beginning to see the whole picture here. They’re in the beginning stages of letting Brendan Ryan get more playing time at 2nd and to be full time next year at 2nd. Your new closer is either Motte or Perez. Of course, they’re not going to telecast their next move and that may just be Trevor Hoffman and I bet they do go out and sign a starting pitcher or trade for one if they’re able to do so.

You know what I think is funny is I think the Cubs want to move to St. Louis because I’m noticing a trend here. They like to sign the Cardinal free agents! I wonder if they have a offer on the table for Lowe?

MO is just a “Yes” man. He’s running everything through ownership that’s part of the reason why Jocketty is in Cincinnati today.

Anyone remember when McGwire came and learned what a great place to play StL was that he convinced Edmunds to come and then Rolen, Eckstein, et al. couldn’t wait to be Cardinals? Does anyone think that, despite the best fans in baseball, this franchise/management now seems/presents an attractive place to play? How many players have left, or asked out, disgruntled at their treatment? I do not want to rehash exchanges placing blame on players vs. manager vs. management… all I’m saying is that the shine appears off the franchise. Fuentes’ preference to play “closer to home”… in the age of jets?! Please. There were two options and he didn’t want to play in StL… I don’t believe it was proximity, I believe it was franchise culture, including the manager’s style and the players’ rapport.

Alan, McGwire came to St. Louis because he wanted to play for LaRussa again when they were with the A’s. Edmonds came in a trade from Anaheim for Kennedy and Bottenfield and Rolen came in a trade for Polanco and two others. Eckstein was the only one I believe that signed as a free agent. The reason why Edmonds isn’t there anymore is because Edmonds was getting hurt frequently and his batting was going down and there is youth sitting in the outfield that you see today. He was traded to San Diego for what might be a diamond in the rough minor league 3B by the name of Freisz. Rolen is no longer there because he couldn’t get over his fat ego and realize why LaRussa benched him for poor performance in the playoffs and let’s face it, he’s seen much better days and was traded to Toronto for Glaus, I don’t know about you, but this trade worked pretty good in St. Louis’ favor. I still think that Rolen’s health issues began when he was run over by Alex Cintron in the playoffs when they were playing the Astros. Eckstein isn’t there today because of player value for the money. Eckstein wasn’t getting on base as much either and left as a free agent.
Personally, I’m glad they didn’t get Fuentes! A LHP as a closer in a right handed dominate game. Yeah, I’ve seen his stats. Maybe the Angels was his favorite childhood team. He didn’t say anything about wanting to go to the Dodgers and that’s just across town or San Diego.
Lohse gladly accepted a contract extension before the end of the season doubling his salary and looking at what Burnett signed for and could have demanded the same kind of money.

Hey Scott: I’m well aware of how those guys got here. At the same time, Edmonds at least had enough seniority to control where they went and both Edmonds and Rolen spoke publicly about conversations with Cardinal players about how great it was to play in StL.

I was disappointed to see Jimmy go, but understood it. My feeling all along has been that TLR is a lousy communicator when it comes to his non-favorite players (witness his treatment of Ozzie) and not even always with those he adores (i.e., failing to keep Pujols abreast of his status in the All-Star Game)… I believe Rolen would have responded with frustration but understanding if TLR had actually communicated with him with any regularity during Rolen’s efforts (with clearly limited results) to play through pain. Obviously, by the time of the trade, it needed to be done and the Cards came out with the better end of the stick.

The key, to me, is that whatever route the players under discussion took to the Cards (yours, mine, somewhere in between), it still feels like the bloom is off the team… Matt’s article today – about patience and ongoing efforts – to the contrary notwithstanding (my sense is that Lohse was a shot in the dark that turned out well, not a deal-in-the-making indicative of likely future repetition).

a month of silence from Matt, here…

Alan I agree with you that playing in St.Louis isn’t what it used to be. I also believe you’re correct that the root cause is Tony LaRussa’s attitude and lack of communication with players. I have griping about that for two years on this blog,
and I’ve been ridiculed for it. Now I feel better that someone
else sees the same things I do. Personally, I think the Lohse deal was too much, too soon. But that’s because I don’t think he could command AJ Burnett money, as scott suggests. Also I’m not convinced Lohse will remain healthy and effective through even half of that contract. He was up and down last year. However he does have Dave Duncan on his side, teaching him. And we all know what Dunc can do.

I brought this post back up just because it’s funny how everybody was talking in the off season and look at the team now, baby! Kicking **** and taking names!!!

I brought this post back up just because it’s funny how everybody was talking in the off season and look at the team now, baby! Kicking **** and taking names!!!

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