Cardinals Notes: Pujols, Ryan, Schumaker, Rasmus

The Cardinals have slipped to eight games back of the Reds in the NL Central race, and the division title is looking increasingly out of reach for St. Louis. So rather than focusing on this season, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch previews the coming winter, asking a few questions about what the team's future holds. Here are some highlights of Strauss' piece:

  • Locking up Albert Pujols is the club's top priority; the Cards will likely have trouble adding another impact bat until they know what sort of money they'll be committing to their top hitter for the next several years.
  • "Strong opinion exists" at the major league level that the Cards' Triple-A and Double-A affiliates won't produce an impact position player for at least the next couple seasons. Strauss points out that the team hasn't signed many minor league free agents in recent years, and that the organization might have to rethink that strategy to provide depth and insurance for the big league roster.
  • The Cards may need to look into acquiring more offense at its middle infield spots, since Brendan Ryan (.573 OPS) and Skip Schumaker (.680 OPS) have contributed very little at the plate.
  • It's still up in the air whether Tony La Russa will be back to manage in St. Louis next season. If he does, there are questions about his relationship with Colby Rasmus. According to Strauss' club sources, Rasmus requested a trade earlier this year due to his frustrations with the Cards' skipper.


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40 Comments on "Cardinals Notes: Pujols, Ryan, Schumaker, Rasmus"


AmericanMovieFan
4 years 11 months ago

It seems as though they’re dragging their feet on the Pujols extension and the older he gets the more difficult the question becomes of what he deserves per year and for how long. In my opinion, though it might be totally off base, it seems like his previous contract was an awkward one. Too many years at too low a price. Now, Pujols is rich and the Cardinals got a discount, but it left this cloud of uncertainty over everybody’s heads since we’ve been talking about this looming extension for at least 3 years now and the older he gets the more uncertain this whole thing becomes, add to that the fact that the rest of their future contracts are being hogtied by the mystery contract that has yet to be hammered out. I don’t even want to guess what the numbers will be at this point, I just want to see it done and on the books ala’ Joe Mauer.

Seals
4 years 11 months ago

Strauss knows nothing about prospects. He believes all of them are worthless until they prove it in the majors. (That’s his prerogative, but it also makes him a horrible source for something like this.)

I’m not saying the Cardinals organization will produce a team of all-stars, but Strauss has a distaste for prospects and anyone who follows them.

dizzle4
4 years 11 months ago

That’s really interesting if Rasmus asked for a trade. As a center fielder with a really strong bat, he could certainly fetch the Cardinals a veteran star to fill out that lineup without having to deal with LaRussa’s unwillingness to play youngsters. Not that it would be a smart move on the Cardinals part, but it’s an interesting possibility.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 11 months ago

That franchise is screwed. Their GM is not good. He’s made a series of awful moves, and that 16-17 million they’re going to pay Holliday for 6 more years after this is going to kill this franchise. They have some other big contracts with raises to Lohse, Carpenter, Wainwright, and Molina, as well as the bear in the room that is Pujols’ contract extension. I have been baffled by how they have handled Rasmus. It’s clear he’s not part of their future by the way they talk about him and the way they play him. Why hasn’t he been dealt to fill the other needs? There were a lot of teams that would kill to take a chance with Rasmus; now that the problems with him and LaRussa are public, which team is going to give top prospect for top prospects? None. They are all smarter than that. Mozeliak really ought to be out of a job; he just signed a three year extension though.

motiger68
4 years 11 months ago

I used to be a Cardinals fan but not anymore because it is hard to cheer on a team that doesn’t give a darn and have a defeated attitude. The Cardinals have made many mistakes because of not locking up Pujols to a long term deal and giving a huge contract to Holliday. If I was Dewitt, I would fire Mozeliak, Tony Larussa, Dave Duncan, and all his cronies. The only reason why they haven’t traded Rasmus is because of being a valuable asset to the Cardinals. But you have raised some interesting questions and don’t know why they didn’t trade him last year when they had a chance. The one that should be out of a job is GM Mozeliak and will be glad when his contract is up and couldn’t be soon enough! I wish Dewitt had sold the Cardinals back in 2004 because of the tarnished and hatred for the club!

Ferrariman
4 years 11 months ago

geez, panic button much? lol Holliday isn’t killing any franchise. he has performed admirably and so far has lived up to his contract, he has like a 5.2WAR season thus far. Payroll is factored doing the AAV of a players contract. for example, if player X signed a 3 year contract worth: 4mil, 5mil, 6mil, than the payroll figure would account for 5mil becaues that is the average of those 3 numbers. the “big contracts” are all producing. Wainwright could win the CYA this season, Carp has been the horse at the top of the rotation and has a sub-3 era. Molina has been better at the plate recently and always solid with the glove. why are you worrying about those guys?

something i would like to see is when penny is gone, that 7mil go towards bringing in an Orlando Hudson type player for 5mil for 2ndbase and maybe a Ty Wigginton esque guy. i realize that would probably cost more than 7.5mil but not by that much.Rasmus isn’t going anywhere. TLR would leave before Rasmus.

catch21_2
4 years 11 months ago

Screwed? They have one of the best cores in all of baseball, and Molina and Waino aren’t up for contracts until after Lohse and Carp are off the books. Nice try at some Cardinals hate, but you fail, sir.

4 years 11 months ago

Actually he was saying that those two have big raises coming next season, which is true. He wasn’t saying their contracts are up. Players get paid more and more every year of a contract. Molina is going to make $1 mill more next year than this year and Wainwright is going to make almost $2 mill more next year than this year not to mention that he has two options after that that will bump up his salary to $9 mill in 2012 and $12mill in 2013

Ferrariman
4 years 11 months ago

that doesn’t matter. payroll figures are calculated using the AAV of a players contract, not how much they make in that one season each time.

Ferrariman
4 years 11 months ago

that doesn’t matter. payroll figures are calculated using the AAV of a players contract, not how much they make in that one season each time.

4 years 11 months ago

Actually he was saying that those two have big raises coming next season, which is true. He wasn’t saying their contracts are up. Players get paid more and more every year of a contract. Molina is going to make $1 mill more next year than this year and Wainwright is going to make almost $2 mill more next year than this year not to mention that he has two options after that that will bump up his salary to $9 mill in 2012 and $12mill in 2013

bbxxj
4 years 11 months ago

If La Russa comes back next year and Rasmus hits the block I could see the Braves throw up an offer including one of their two other ace prospects Vizcaino or Delgado (not on of Wren’s ‘Untouchables’ Teheran) and a bevy of other minor league pieces.

Wren has shown that he will keep his elite of the elite (Hanson, Heyward, Freeman, Minor, etc) but that he will aggresively trade his other top prospects (Flowers, Rodrigo Lopez, Gorkys Hernandez, Collins, etc) to get what he needs.

AmericanMovieFan
4 years 11 months ago

Maybe Pujols would be better off asking for that $5MM buyout and to hit the market ahead of schedule since the Cardinals are in such disarray. I’m not sure where he would or should land, but I feel like he’d be better of somewhere besides St. Louis. Sucks for the Cards. I’m sure they’ll be kicking themselves daily over the next half decade for that Holliday contract.

j6takish
4 years 11 months ago

Anyone that could afford Pujols dosen’t need him, and anyone that needs him can’t afford him. The Pujols fanboyism that goes on here is borderline ridiculous. Yes he IS the best hitter in the game, and his value does say that he deserves 25m or 30mm or whatever ridiculous figure people throw out there. But the reality of the situation is, he is still one player….you can’t throw 30mm at one guy and expect to be competitive. Pujols will be a Cardinal, and he will sign a pretty reasonable contract…he doesn’t really have anywhere else to go.

motiger68
4 years 11 months ago

The big Holliday contract may soon come back to bite the Cardinals in shoring up their needs such as SS, 2B, 3B, and a couple of pitching prospects. I wish Pujols would leave St. Louis (hate to say that) but it would free up a lot of room for other prospects. It does suck for the Cardinals but what more can I say besides it is all up in the air right now and the club doesn’t care. One thing I might add is that Pujols wants to be on a winning team and if Larussa does go he is gone as well.

brstreet9
4 years 11 months ago

…then again, there is the Jose Oquendo factor. Their long time third base coach, he has a great relationship with him. If LaRussa steps down, and Oquendo gets the job, Pujols might be inclined to talk extension. But, yes, I think the roster needs a makeover on top of that for Pujols to stay.

Potrzeba
4 years 11 months ago

Trade rasmus to the red sox.

4 years 11 months ago

Yankees and Rays would probably jump on him, too.

4 years 11 months ago

Yankees and Rays would probably jump on him, too.

4 years 11 months ago

Yankees and Rays would probably jump on him, too.

motiger68
4 years 11 months ago

The Demise of the St. Louis Cardinals is not only the lack of offense but the defensive errors. The Cardinals need a better SS, 2B, 3B to help with defense which has plagued the Cardinals all season. I also might add that I am tired of the Cardinals getting the left over pitchers off the scrap heap and instead get someone young that is just starting his MLB career. Add more depth, play small ball, and better pitching will win you many games something that has been plaguing the Cardinals.

yazpik
4 years 11 months ago

La Russa needs to go, his ideas with the rookies are stupids, I feel bad for Rasmus , he could be one of the best outfielders in the game

4 years 11 months ago

Maybe in a few years but for now that’s a bit of a stretch.

4 years 11 months ago

if daved comes back in011 3rd is coverd what the team needs is a ss 2bs rf looks like a cf a new cls and relf pith and a 4-5 srtr

Ferrariman
4 years 11 months ago

english please…

j6takish
4 years 11 months ago

People always mention the deep Free Agent class next year, but how about the Managers? La Russa,Girardi, Gonzales, Gaston….? I wonder who will manage the Blue Jays?

Ferrariman
4 years 11 months ago

this is such a fail. no one in cardinal nation listens to Joe “i make stuff up” strauss. their is a reason that derrik goold does all the important writings for the baseball america and stuff like that.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 11 months ago

Are you saying the Cardinals problems are made up by Strauss? Have you watched their season unfold? Yeah, nothing to see here. Strauss made it all up. The Cardinals in no way have lived up to their potential this year. It’s all Strauss’ fault. Okay, got it.

Ferrariman
4 years 11 months ago

get lost kid. i didn’t say any of that stuff. i was referencing more to the part where Strauss usually likes to blow up a little petty argument into something a lot bigger than it really is-for example, Chris Carpenter confronting Ryan about not being ready at the start of an inning, or in this case, Colby Rasmus supposedly asking Mo for a trade.i realize this season has sucked, and i can accept that. If your gonna freak out from one down, injury plagued season, than i can’t help you. Sometimes you just gotta step back and realize that this is a good team having a bad year with a bad manager.

so if your gonna act like a little immature Know-it-all, don’t twist my words and tell me stuff i didn’t say please.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 11 months ago

Wow, chill out a little. You referred to the writer as Joe”i make stuff up” Strauss. I assumed you were saying he made all of this stuff up too. That article has some legitimate points about the problems the Cardinals are having this season. The bottom line is they have not played up to their potential this season.

Ferrariman
4 years 11 months ago

i agree they haven’t lived up to their potential. but honestly, what was their potential? 92-93 wins? we lose our #3 and our #4 starter, our starting 3rdbaseman, and both our middle infielders and catchers have career worst seasons all at the same time, and yet we can still win about 86 ish games. don’t overlook all the injuries/down seasons that we have had..that stuff just doesn’t happen every year.

Jessamynn
4 years 11 months ago

I understand what you’re saying, but “injuries” only go so far in explaining what has happened to the Cardinals.

The Phillies have absolutely been decimated this season by injuries. Utley missed 40+ games, Rollins missed 60+ games, Howard and Victorino have each missed over 20 games. That’s a group of MVP/All-Star caliber players and yet the Phillies are what, 30-12 since mid-July? The Red Sox have endured similar problems as well.

At some point, you just have to accept that maybe the Cardinals were never as good as we thought. It would be one thing if the Cards had lost Pujols/Holliday/Carp/Wainwright…but they haven’t. Obviously losing middle infielders hurts, but…they’re players who aren’t much better than replacement level players anyway. Good teams find ways to survive that.

Ferrariman
4 years 11 months ago

yeah but all of those guys came back. penny is gone for good. freese is gone for good. kyle lohse might as well be gone for good, he sucks and probably isn’t full healed. because of all this we had to get westbrook meaning ludwick is gone for good.

Ferrariman
4 years 11 months ago

yeah but all of those guys came back. penny is gone for good. freese is gone for good. kyle lohse might as well be gone for good, he sucks and probably isn’t full healed. because of all this we had to get westbrook meaning ludwick is gone for good.

4 years 11 months ago

I would love to see the jays take a run at him if he comes on the block I would be willing To Give up Stewart and One Of Our Catching Prospects

catch21_2
4 years 11 months ago

Why do you think the Cardinals would trade Rasmus for a catcher? Seriously. That’s one of the last positions they need to worry about.

VoteForPrado
4 years 11 months ago

I really can’t believe how they’re handling the Rasmus situation. Just another reason why TLR is my least favorite manager in the game.

I remember a few months ago, the Cardinals had something like a 9 run lead in the 8th, and La Russa was still bringing in pitchers to get a lefty-lefty matchup. It makes the inning take 3 times as long, only to have a 1-2-3 inning. Thus, my hatred for La Russa began. He’s one of the better managers in the game, just extremely annoying.

4 years 11 months ago

TLR didn’t ruin Pujols, Molina, Wainwright, And Big Mac as rookies, and iirc walt Weiss was rocky of the year in tony’s oakland days.

Plus Jamie Garcia is doing pretty good as a rookie.

I think Rasmus needs to stop running to his dad every time he has a problem.

Just my 2 cents

stl_cards16
4 years 11 months ago

I’m not sure what everyone is talking about with “how they have handled Rasmus” He has been hurt, when he is not hurt he is the starting centerfielder. He is not going anywhere. Strauss always looks for something bad to write about the Cardinals. They have their problems to address this winter for sure. #1 a new manager, I really think it’s time for a fresh start and TLR to move on.

stl_cards16
4 years 11 months ago

I’m not sure what everyone is talking about with “how they have handled Rasmus” He has been hurt, when he is not hurt he is the starting centerfielder. He is not going anywhere. Strauss always looks for something bad to write about the Cardinals. They have their problems to address this winter for sure. #1 a new manager, I really think it’s time for a fresh start and TLR to move on.