December 2010

Wednesday evening tidbits from Disneyburg

Some additional tidbits following our afternoon gathering with John Mozeliak:

* Mozeliak echoed what another Cardinals official told me on Tuesday night, that the club does not expect to take anyone in the Rule 5 Draft tomorrow morning. I have heard some talk that one or two Cardinals Minor Leaguers could be of interest to other clubs, but there doesn’t seem to be huge demand and I won’t be at all surprised if there is no Cards-related movement in the Major League phase of the Rule 5.
* Though TLR said on Wednesday afternoon that Allen Craig might spend time in Triple-A in order to make sure that he gets sufficient at-bats, Mozeliak minimized the likelihood of that happening.
The quote: “Certainly, players like him should be playing, but I also don’t think there’s a lot left for him to prove at Memphis. And I do think he could be good protection, just because of his versatility and the fact that he can hit. I’m not going to rule anything out today, but if I had to guess right now, I doubt he would spend a lot of time at Memphis.”
* This is probably obvious by now, but Mozeliak said he does not expect any of the Cards’ veteran free-agent role players last year to return for 2011. Aaron Miles, Randy Winn, et al, will be finding new homes if they’re playing in ’11.
* Mozeliak said that the club didn’t aggressively pursue anything longer than a one-year deal with Ryan Theriot.
“We obviously didn’t want to drag someone new into [an arbitration] hearing room, and I think with his experience last year in a hearing room, he wanted to avoid one. So it made a lot of sense if we could come to an agreement, and we did.
“Right now, we just wanted to knock off a one-year [contract]. Not going to rule anything out down the road, but right now we’re not discussing it.”
And, finally, the playlist:
(these are literally the first five songs that came up on shuffle just now)
The Cure, “Closedown”
The Rolling Stones, “Country Honk”
Michael Jackson, “Human Nature”
Pearl Jam, “Arc”
Counting Crows, “Another Horsedreamer’s Blues”
-M.

Wednesday TLR Tidbits

I have a story going up soon on Cardinals.com on TLR’s chat with reporters today, but I also wanted to blog a few extra tidbits that didn’t make it into that story.

* He made it sound like the club is leaning very strongly toward playing Lance Berkman in right field, rather than shifting Matt Holliday and playing Berkman in left.
The quote: “Lance has played more right field than he’s played anything. So I think our plan is to go into Spring Training with Matt playing left and Lance working in right.”
* At this point, the manager does not consider Berkman a platoon player.
“I think he’s an everyday player against everybody. You know, there were a couple of years there where his numbers were down. Last year’s…  You know, he can hit, he can just plain flat hit, so…”
* He said that Allen Craig will in fact play a great deal of third base this spring.
“He proved last year he could play in the outfield. So last year he took very little work at third base, took a lot of work in the outfield. It’s going to be the opposite this year.  He’s going to get enough outfield times where he keeps reading balls. But he’s going to get a lot of work at third base because I think even if  we’re assuming David’s going to be fine, there will probably be days that David should not push it. There’s playing time for Allen, so that’s a good question, and he’s going to get more work at third base.”
-M.

Tuesday tidbits from Disneyburg

Hello, all. Welcome from the Winter Meetings. I’ve been writing at Cardinals.com, blogging over at the MLB.com Hot Stove Blog and of course tweeting at @MatthewHLeach for a couple of days now. But now it’s time for an OYNAG entry, so here goes. Just some odds and ends from today at the Meetings.

* I touched on this in my main story, which will be going up at Cardinals.com before too long, but John Mozeliak said tonight that he hopes to have the club’s two remaining roster issues resolved before the club leaves on Thursday. He would like to have signed a backup catcher, and would like to have either traded Brendan Ryan or decided not to trade Ryan.
* Mozeliak said that he did not meet with Dan Lozano, Albert Pujols’ agent, on Tuesday.
* The Cardinals’ payroll currently stands at right around $100 million, and that’s before getting deals done with Kyle McClellan or Brendan Ryan, who are both arbitration-eligible, or any of the younger, pre-arbitration players.
Mozeliak has said consistently that the Cards have the money to add a Major League backup catcher, but said Tuesday that beyond that, they’re pretty much up against a wall as far as the payroll. It’s not IMPOSSIBLE that they could spend on another big leaguer, if exactly the right situation presented itself. But it’s highly unlikely.
* There are reports that Dennys Reyes will sign with the Phillies, but it’s not done yet according to my colleague Todd Zolecki. Reyes was out of the Cards’ picture anyway, but I figured I’d pass it along. Terrific guy, and on a personal level, I wish him well wherever he ends up.
Today’s playlist:
The National, “Anyone’s Ghost”
Cold War Kids, “Audience”
Interpol, “Safe Without”
Kanye West, “Runaway”
New Order, “Ceremony”
(Yeah, gloomy stuff, dunno why. Just because)
-M.
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