Who is the man?

So…

I continue to be intrigued by this notion of converting a starter. But I’m at a loss as to who it would be. Pedro Martinez? Mark Prior?

I’m obviously going to, you know, DO MY JOB and try to find out who they have in mind. But considering all the factors, who out there makes sense to you guys?

The list of FA starters can be found here.

-M.

41 Comments

While I am quite certain that this guy would never accept a closing role and will probably get paid to be a starter SOMEWHERE…. Ben Sheets. He’s got lights-out stuff. I know he gets hurt a lot, but maybe if he were throwing less innings he could survive? :)

Can we just get a starter to start? I mean are they really just going to hand Pinero a starting job? Really?

Pedro is much too delicate to be a closer, I’d think. I don’t think Prior will ever recover from PTCS, post traumatic Cub syndrome. I’d like to see Josh Kinney have a chance as closer.

I can’t see Cards signing Pedro or Prior given their health history. If so, why not sign Sheets or re-sign Izzy or sign Penny? Cards are gun shy with anybody with injury problems.
I’d rather see them give Pettite a shot in the rotation.
One year deal, $10 mil with some incentives. Let him bridge the gap to the young arms in the minors. Plus he is a lefty. He would be a good mentor to the young guys.
Wolf would be cheaper but his fruit hangs lower to the ground.

Ummmm, …. Adam Dunn ?

Seriously, if we had a bit of power, maybe we could get by with ANY closer ;-)

I’m big on Pedro, Pettitte, and was HUGE on Smoltz until he got signed at the steal that Boston offered. Of course, I’d much prefer Sheets.

I should also note I’m against signing a closer. We have Perez. No need for one.

Perez and Motte aren’t ready for a closers role. Lets look at how C.P. melted down in the 9th last year. I think Hoffman would have been a worth while deal, but he is now off of the market. I liek the perspective of Ben Sheets or Prior, but Prior cant really be viewed as a possibility given his medical history. The bigger and real issue is with converting is that this is a team who could honestly still use a 5th starter, so signing and converting one becomes a double edged sword. I believe it is more likely given our current outfield depth that we will see the cards trade for a plus middle reliever and convert. I am specifically interested at seeing what a Brandon Lyon has to offer, or possibly even at Matt Capps though that is a lot less likely.

Let’s see… in the last three weeks the Cards have done effectively nothing and the GM has indicated he is “comfortable” starting a second baseman who wanted out and is out of favor with the manager and that the GM is “comfortable” with a closer from within, even though the manager is unwilling to go with the two best prospects for the job… and we still have no fifth starter, don’t know the health of a number of other starters, have no real utility guy and too many outfielders (particularly given that the tenth best prospect in the US is likely ready to move up)… all while teams that finished above the Cards have been making moves despite pending sale of the team or even more constrained budgets… wow.

“Lets look at how C.P. melted down in the 9th last year.”

I’m not picking on you slampier, but let’s actually look at how C.P. “melted down” in the ninth last year.

(Disclaimer: I did all the research myself, going game-by-game and compiling the stats, so feel free to check my numbers and point out if anything is inconsistent or incorrect. I’m on winter break, so I’ve got a lot of time on my hands. That’s why I’m able to undertake such frivolous tasks.)

Chris Perez had 23 appearances in the ninth inning or later last season. Most were save situations, some weren’t, but there were also some technical “blown saves” attributed to Perez that didn’t happen in the ninth, so you take the good with the bad. In his 23 appearances, Perez pitched a total of 21.1 innings, allowing eight earned runs while striking out 24 and allowing 26 hits/walks. These numbers translate to a ninth inning stat line of:

ERA – 3.41
K/9 – 10.2
WHIP – 1.23.

All three of those categories are actually comparatively better in the ninth than his season totals – the ERA is a bit lower, K/9 is an entire strikeout higher and the WHIP is 0.11 lower. It’s fair to say that if one believes CP had a meltdown then it would have been a season-long meltdown, not just relegated to the ninth inning and beyond.

Still, the argument isn’t made that these numbers mean Perez is the man for the job, just that Perez wasn’t any worse in the ninth than at any other point. Perez ended the season with a down September, but his August was phenomenal by any closer’s standards, so I’m not even close to convinced that Perez couldn’t handle the ninth inning role in ’09. But for the sake of argument, let’s say we’re looking at other options.

Trevor Hoffman is tough to compare to Perez because they’re on the opposite ends of the closer spectrum – Hoffman is a veteran, not particularly hard-throwing and not big on strikeouts, where Perez is the young fireballer who’s gonna strike out plenty but also walk his fair share. Still, strictly in terms of numbers Perez beat Hoffman’s 2008 ERA and K/9 but fell short of Hoffman’s 1.04 WHIP. Again, what you’re paying for with Hoffman is the experience and the consistency…what the Brewers are paying for, actually. So lets close that book.

The two names listed above, Brandon Lyon and Matt Capps, also represent different directions for the Cards. Lyon, like Hoffman, isn’t much of a strikeout pitcher, and it’s arguable that 2007 was the only year he’s ever even been closer-worthy. He’s sort of a poor man’s Hoffman. Capps, on the other hand, is still under contract for another year, so right away we’d need to strike a deal with the Pirates for this to even be an option. Capps has better numbers and has been more consistent in recent years than Lyon, but he’s still in the same mold – almost no walks, but not many strikeouts, eithers. If you do straight numbers, Capps is only deficient to Perez in K/9. But you factor in the players going out in a Capps deal and you wonder if it’s worth it.

This is less of a response to any one thing and more a real hard look at our ninth inning situation, and I think the conclusion I’ve come to is that Perez posted pretty impressive numbers in his first (almost) full season in the majors. No closer is going to be perfect, but I’m more willing to give Perez a shot than I am to explore any other viable options at this point.

A veteran starter who also had closed games = Kenny Rogers

Kudos, Grimm. Anybody who states they’re not proven needs to check out Viva el Birdos, where they’ll pick that argument to shreds.

El Duque?

obviously alanrudy has his eyes open. every time i see mo flap his lips on the news i want to scream. am i the only one who remembers finishing fourth out of five teams last year? we basically have the same team, nothing has changed. he’ll spend 40 mil on loshe, but peavy wasn’t worth the investment! i don’t think he watches baseball. mo is just showboating his bs skills in preparation of the next election i think.

Who would you trade to the Padres for Peavy, Manor? List a better package than what most teams offered without starting with Colby Rasmus. I bet you can’t do it.

If I could get Peavy for Rasmus and change, I wouldn’t even have to think about it, done deal!

Padres made it pretty clear that they want a young, cheap, major league ready arm in any deal for Peavy. Cards don’t have that commodity to deal. If we did, we would not be looking to acquire a 5th starter.

I don’t buy Peavy, personally. Guy’s got talent but he’s as big a choke artist as CC when it comes to October. Rasmus will be a cost-controlled megastar for years to come. Beyond that, it wouldn’t be Rasmus alone to pull the trigger, you’d have to throw in a guy like Motte or two, and by then it’s simply laughable. If our GM was Sebean, maybe, but thankfully we’ve got Mo. I do admit to growing weary now, though, with Kawakami off the market, as well as Redding and Co… This is getting a little rediculous while there are glaring holes in the rotation.

Redding for $2.25 mil, Penny for $5 mil, Shawn Estes for about $1 mil plus incentives. Wonder if Cards had any interest in any of them?

I heard that Prior is done, is that true? Pedro would definitely be a chance worth taking if he takes a one year deal for cheap.

http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com/

zoop…did you really just say “thanmkfully We’ve got Mo”???I’m not thankful for that. I’d rather see efort and failure, than no effort to sign good players at all.

it’s not about who or what and how the peavy deal would have gone. it’s about what comes out of mos’ mouth. he said peavy wasn’t worth that kind of money, but he spent that kind of money on an unproven pitcher. at the end of last season he alluded to making moves and spending money, but what has happened is nothing. actually i don’t even think they have spent all the payroll that was free from last season yet. honesty. if it’s a building year then say that. if we are going into next season with the same fourth place team we had last year, than say that. stop with all the jibba jabba.

I agree manor. John Mozeliak has done absolutely nothing to improve our team, all the while lying through his teeth about the club’s ‘intentions’. You also make a good point about Mo claiming Peavey isn’t worth the money, while giving Lohse a super sweet deal based mostly on one inconsistant season. And what about Tim Redding, Brad Penny, Shawn Estes, and the rest?? Not worth the money either, Mo? This is ridiculous. It reminds of the days right after Auggie the third passed away. The younger Busches didn’t want to spend money on the team either.

Maybe we should think about getting a new GM ?

Definitely…The problem is ownership has who they want, a ‘Yes, man’ who will do what they say regardless of whether it helps us win.

Who would you guys have signed with Mo’s budget that would A) improve the team and B) without losing draft picks?

I would have tried to sign Penny and/or Redding. They cost less than $8 mil total.

ANYONE on that list !!! No pitchers / closers from last season – they already proved that they can’t do the job !!

First of all you can’t always worry about losing draft picks. Our farm system isn’t exactly drained. But to answer your question, I’m with jdun. I would have signed Penny and/or Tim Redding. ..or Shawn Chacon or Freddy Garcia or Jason Jennings or maybe even Russ Ortiz.
There are plenty of moves to be made, IF a team were willing to spend some of the money it makes.
Further, at 2B, I would have signed either Orlando Hudson or Mark Loretta or maybe Ray Durham. Even could bring back Grudz from KC.
My guess is ownership figures none of those guys are any better than Pineiro and Kennedy, so they’d rather keep the money and picks and hope for better in the future. My problem with that is they need to be honest about that, and they’re not. AND when is the future going to get here? When are they going to be ready to commit the dollars and commit to win? Cause right now they’re committed to saving money and asking LaRussa to work magic with what he has.

do you think Duncan could do his magic on Jon Garland??? If I remember correctly – he is still available (and young)

I DO think he could work some magic with Garland. That’s a good call, rad. I had overlooked him on the list.

McGwire’s getting shafted. I’m not a fan of the variety of Earl Weaver-inspired, sedentary, walk-single-hope-for-a-three-run-homer brand of American League ball TLR and McGwire brought to the Cardinals, but McGwire’s getting shafted. He always struck me as a good guy and teammate, he used Andro openly – it was legal AND w/in the bargaining agreement at the time and, if he used more than Andro, he was far far far from alone (way more pitchers have been busted than hitters, no? Hello, Roger, that means you-ooo.) Now, he blew the PR show-and-tell at the Congressional Hearing but CERTAINLY no more than the Commish has embarrassed the game in front of that same august body… many, many times. The man’s getting shafted not because of what he did or didn’t do but because we’re (often, tho not always) a moralistic, sycophantic, cynical and hypocritical country… esp. when it comes to sports. (My favorite sports movie of all time, you might have guessed, is North Dallas Forty.) Or, at least that’s how I’m feeling today. Yea for Jim Rice, has anyone looked at pictures of Ricky as a skinny rookie and, later, as a bulging behemoth and wondered….? How did he stay so relatively healthy for so long…? Apologies for feeling pissy.

They proved they can’t do the job after a month of pro pitching? By your logic, you’d rather other teams grow the talent, then we overpay and lose our young kids to get them.

hey, Matt…can you tell me something? Who maintains the Depth Chart link on the Roster menu on the Cards’ website? And, how “accurate” is it?

Thanks!

Zoop, are you talking to me?? Cause if so, you’re dead wrong! By MY logic if we have grown major league talent, we should use it! Either as trade value or on the big league club. Right now we’re just sitting on it…Bryan Anderson, Colby Rasmus, Jess Todd, and others. Realistically we’re not going to have every single draft pick play for our team at the major league level. So why not analyze what we will need for the future, decide who to keep in the system, and trade those who have value AND don’t fit in that category. …And NO ONE proves they can OR can’t do the job in just a month of pitching! Come on, man. Did Adam Wainwright show what he could do in the first month? NO. It took him a while to learn (mostly from Carp) how to be confident and consistent. In fact I’d go so far as to say it’s an exception rather than the rule for ANY pitcher to prove ANYTHING in a month!

At the risk of beating the same very dead horse yet again that I’ve been whaling on for weeks, I’d do the following scenarios, more or less in order:

We NEED Carpenter in the rotation, but his shoulder’s a question mark. Start him in the bullpen as a set up or closer until he checks out physicall at 100%. In the meantime, re-sign Braden Looper as the 4th starter until Carp joins the rotation and either make Looper #5, or return him to the BP…as closer.

HERE’S THE VERY INTRIGUING DEAD HORSE: Invite Mark Mulder to camp this spring as an unsigned free agent and let him try to make the club as a closer. If he can’t make it, we’re only out a bus ticket. If he DOES make the team, use some of the $9 million it cost to buy out his contract and which is already off the books toward a new, incentives-laden contract full of perfromance plateau rewards. I see NO downside to this other than howls of derision from the “faithful” naysayers. The guy’s 31 years old and has something like 23 complete games in 8 seasons…He is, or was, 9th inning tough! He also had a five or six year run where he won more games than any pitcher in baseball! If he proves to TLR’s and Duncan’s satisfaction that he is back, mentally and physically…why not?

I think Pedro would be a wonderful closer AND mentor for our three young studs…Kinney, Motte and Perez. The man’s enthusiasm for the game is infectious…a TERRIFIC role model. Not a bad pitcher in his day. Who says it’s over?

Sheets. One year with an option for another! And load the contract down with incentives!

Trade Ludwick, Duncan and LaRue for Peavy. SD’s dumping salary and both Lud and Dunc come with question marks that limit their price…one with only ONE spendid year in an otherwise indifferent career; while the other has incredible power but has been hurt as has Ludwick, come to think of it. But their demonstrated ability has already been proven. This lets Moorad dump his overpriced outfield and his franchise pitcher…for an inexpensive gamble, but he’s selling the team and has already screwed San Diego once…he CAN’T be more reviled. Meanwhile, besides giving Mather a shot at second, try Schumaker there, too. Isn’t that his naturl position? This opens up center for Rasmus.

Enough!

If nonr of this works, go after Oliver Perez and/or Jon Garland.

Montanapete,
The trade with San Diego won’t work because the Padres want cheap, major league ready pitchers in return, which the Cards do not have.
I don’t think Mather has ever played 2B. He will get some time at first and third in spring.
Sch has not played the infield in years.
I like the idea of chasing Perez or Garland or even bringing back Looper.
Not sure about Pedro. Would he be a club house fit?

Mulder might be worth a shot but how is the chemistry between him and management? Any hard feelings that might get in the way? There is more to consider than just his physical condition.

Nah, not you Forre. We’re clearly on the same page with evaluating the kids. I say let’em compete for the closer position. It’d be better than Izzy/Franklin by default.

The Padrers need a hell of a lot more than young arms, that’s just one of theor problems! They need to dump their outfield, third baseman and Peavy for financial reasons. They need a mentoring catcher, too. Their buggest need is a new owner and it looks like that will happen…they haven’t addressed anything else to any degree. Peavy CAN be had and with each passing day it becomes more possible as other clubs have settled on what they can afford and as spring training nears, To me, Peavy, Sheets and Pedro will all be available (relatively) cheap!

Cards have about $15 million available before arbitration decisions. No way will that get Sheets, Peavy or Pedro.
If the reports are correct. Looper might get $10 mil for two years. Sheets will go for at least $10 mil considering Derek Lowe got $15 mil a year for 4 years and he is 35. Peavy is owed about $15 mil a year for several years. Spend it on him and in a few years there is no money to resign Pujols.
Padres need arms first. Cards have no catcher to give tham as a mentor. Give up Larue and use Anderson as the backup?
They gave up Greene for 2 minor leagers and are trying to sign Eckstien to bolster the infield.

Yes, the Padres need a lot of help. But that is their problem.
Let’s not make it easy for them.
The economy will hit baseball this summer.
That is one reason Cards gave up on buying Memphis team.
I would love to have Sheets and Peavy, but this is not NY.

I like your ideas but I just don’t see them happening.

Quite frankly I’d love to get Pettite for one year at about $10-$11 mil. Then let the youngsters take over. But it won’t happen.

STARTER NEEDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JOHN GARLAND 192,191,217,221,211,208,196 Innings pitched last seven seasons. 32 starts per season 205 inning average 6.4 innings per start

Ben Sheets 216,220,237,156,106,141,198 Innings pitched last seven seasons. 28 starts per season 182 innings average 6.5 innings per start Last three seasons has had injury problems.

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