Mozeliak: Cardinals Have Many Needs To Address

The Cardinals have a number of needs to address this offseason and GM John Mozeliak repeated to Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that ownership is prepared to boost the team’s payroll if necessary. The Cardinals will look to add starting pitching, relievers, catchers and other position players this offseason. Throw in Tony La Russa’s uncertain future and Albert Pujols’ looming free agency and Mozeliak has a busy winter ahead.

The Cardinals will need a fifth starter and they’ve already initiated discussions with Jake Westbrook, who has pitched well in St. Louis so far. Miklasz reports that the team will likely look to “spruce up” its left-handed relief, too.

The club will also look to add offense to complement Pujols and Matt Holliday. Mozeliak told Miklasz that he’d like to acquire "a couple of guys who can hit 15 to 20 homers." The front office also intends to add pop behind the plate and will likely look for a backup catcher who can contribute offensively.

The 82-76 Cardinals would also like improved middle infield defense and better baserunning. It's been a disappointing season for the Cardinals, but Mozeliak seems prepared to make a number of changes before the 2011 campaign begins.


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116 Comments on "Mozeliak: Cardinals Have Many Needs To Address"


4 years 10 months ago

I’m glad he recognizes all of these things, but what’s DeWitt going to do, bump payroll to $200,000,000? I’m sure there’s going to be some money, but not enough for all the things he’s suggesting.

The_BiRDS
4 years 10 months ago

How do you know? Are you DeWitts accountant?

The_BiRDS
4 years 10 months ago

Just dont understand how people around the nation dont think that St. Louis (a huge baseball city) can boost their payroll and become a high market team… Why is that so unbelievable?

4 years 10 months ago

Personally I think they’re more than capable of maintaining a higher payroll, but for years now there has been a resistance from ownership. I’m just being cynical, the money is there, but I don’t see it being spent.

The_BiRDS
4 years 10 months ago

Ya, but we have see a considerably higher increase year to year for the past 3 years.. Now is the time to lock up Pujols and pick up some more infield help and offense. Basically, if the rumors are true and STL is expected to largely increase their payroll it would happen this off season. If it doesnt, it probably wont happen for a long long time.

MasterDave
4 years 10 months ago

Because they’re already squeezing the fans. They didn’t sell out a LOT of games they would have previously sold out, mostly due to the ticket prices and parking prices and everything else being jacked up the last few years. They’re right around the limits of what people will pay.

Combine that with the fact that St. Louis has had a shrinking population and income… and you start to wonder if even ‘the best baseball city’ can sustain how they’ve been in the past, much less afford a more expensive future.

Yeah you can go and try and say that ownership should just take less money out of the team and spend it on good players instead, but that ain’t how Capitalism works and this isn’t MLS. I suspect that a $100m payroll would be about the limit. No proof, just a guess but considering the reluctance to add the right player in a season where the Reds just weren’t awesome but still took the division I’d have to say there’s a real financial reason for it.

The_BiRDS
4 years 10 months ago

Basic economics.. You spend money on good players, the team becomes better, team becomes better they win more games, win more games they sell more tickets and merch, sell more tickets and merch, receive more profit. Call it the Yankee factor I guess. You have to spend money to make money sometimes.

Beatofficer
4 years 10 months ago

Tell that to the Tampa Bay Rays, great team, great players, no one shows up to the games.

strikethree
4 years 10 months ago

In economics we try to maximize utility. However, the more money you spend doesn’t mean a constant flow of profits. You will begin to see diminishing returns in your investment.

St. Louis is not New York. Population and income vary greatly.

Plus, you have to factor in risk. Is it really prudent to spend money and raise prices while people are still getting laid off by the thousands? Not to mention the fact that spending doesn’t always mean winning. (Examples: Mets, Cubs, Tigers)

In the end, it’s up to the owner. Every owner can probably afford to spend a little more — but, they don’t.

The_BiRDS
4 years 10 months ago

So whats my grade?

MasterDave
4 years 10 months ago

Well, if baseball teams used 3rd grade economics everything would be solved!

Turns out, the reality is that they use complex economics, have to factor in crazy things like EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization), pay contractors, vendors, and a complete minor league system as well as the debt used to finance the new stadium and former players who had deferred contracts and still figure out how to satisfy a population that uses “simple” economics based on a single budget line (ie: major league payroll) to make sweeping declarations of proof that a team has money to blow.

If it were really only tickets and merch, you’d be able to own your own team and make money. It’s not, you’re way off. Stick to balancing your check book.

Tim Valencia
4 years 10 months ago

A team’s play doesn’t correlate with attendance. also you are asking an owner to increase payroll during a very difficult time economically, all on the hopes that it will result in a better team which might or might not increase attendance.

Attendance has to do with a multitude of things not just quality of team;
weather
economy
population
Income
Employment Rate
Opposing team
Ticket/ concession price
Team Public Relations

I honestly feel this is a knee jerk reaction to stl not doing as wel as planned this year.

astrostl
4 years 10 months ago

RE: shrinking population, are you referring to St. Louis CITY or CITY + COUNTY? The former is a well-known issue, but I haven’t heard anything about the latter – and I would imagine that a wide majority of those filling the seats live in the county.

TwinsVet
4 years 10 months ago

I spent a long July weekend in STL watching the series against the Dodgers. I found Busch to be pretty underwhelming. Maybe I’m spoiled with Target Field, but Busch had a pretty bland setup and food selection. Decent sightlines, but I can understand how the polish is off the gem and people aren’t packing it anymore.

I was also dumbfounded by how popular Molina seems to be, but that’s another issue…

The_BiRDS
4 years 10 months ago

Wow, you guys got a new stadium with a few extra options at the concession stand and that makes your stadium premier?? I would hope you sell out the first year target field is open. Busch has been open for 6 years now, the crowd has cooled off a bit but I wouldnt call it underwhelming. As for Molina.. hes a stud. Hes a fun player to watch and hes true to his club. Dont get me started on half the twins organization who are overrated.

TwinsVet
4 years 10 months ago

Hey man, I like the Cards. I drove to STL and gave you guys 3 games worth of tickets & concessions. No need to be defensive.

It’s a nice stadium. But it’s just that; a nice stadium. Kaufman & Target are vastly superior in terms of character and fan experience. And that’s just in the midwest, to say nothing of some of the AL East parks. Concessions may not matter to you, but the options of only hot dogs and nachos (I did not find a single atypical “ballpark fare” item in 3 days of looking for one) have been studied and shown to be pretty poor ways of luring families and women to ballparks. Sorry to say, your girlfriend cares more about being able to get a Caribou Coffee Frappacino than who’s at bat.

Molina a stud? He’s a decent catcher, sure. But he seems to have a huge cult following in STL. One native told me it’s because you guys have gone through such a long spell of terrible catchers. I can understand that, I guess.

Not trying to disrespect your team or your park, man. Like I said, I went out of my way and paid a good bit of cash for the experience, and I’d do it again. It just didn’t live up to the hype. It met all the expectations of a “good ballpark” and “good baseball town”, but I’d expect a “best baseball city” to WOW me alot more.

astrostl
4 years 10 months ago

The “best baseball city” reputation – and feel free to agree or disagree with it – is based on the fans: their numbers, their loyalty, their sportsmanship, their baseball knowledge. Not so much the city itself, the park, etc. The football Cardinals moved, and now we have the Rams. We don’t have a basketball team. The Blues are a constant (and I think relatively popular) in hockey, but it’s still hockey in the USA. As far as sports go in St. Louis, it’s by and large Cardinals/baseball.

TwinsVet
4 years 10 months ago

I will agree with that part. I stood out like a sore thumb not wearing a molina/rasmus/pujols/holliday/wainwright jersey. I stubbornly stuck with my retro killebrew (and got a surprisingly good reception with it – respect for that cards faithful!).

I’d just expect Lake DeWitt and similar shortcomings wouldn’t be thrust on such a good fan base. And its not surprising it depresses the family turnout.

astrostl
4 years 10 months ago

I wish it wouldn’t. But expect, dunno – it is still what the market will bear!

skoz
4 years 10 months ago

RE: Concession options…

They’re there – you just have to look and/or pay for access to them. The vast majority of the concession stands are a continuous redundancy of ballpark food options and A-B beer, but tucked away in the corners are the little mini-concession carts that have pulled pork nachos with a fresh-veggie-toppings bar, not to mention a few micro/craft brews, both local and regional. Beyond that, tickets in certain areas of the stadium grant you access to more gourmet food options, but they cost more, natch…

BlueCatuli
4 years 10 months ago

I was there on that Saturday. It was hotter than hell.

TwinsVet
4 years 10 months ago

Amen bro.

4 years 10 months ago

Molina is so popular because he acts the part well. He’s great defensively but can’t hit. His attitude endears him to the fans even if they have to ignore the fact that he’s a major weak spot in the lineup. He has value because of his defense and game calling but it’s mostly negated by his weak stick.

Taskmaster75
4 years 10 months ago

He’s around a .700 OPS bat, a little below average, but he plays defense better than any other catcher in the majors by a longshot, and he knows how to call his own game. Those last 2 are fairly hard to find themselves.

astrostl
4 years 10 months ago

I think Busch III’s architecture and dimensions are pretty boring – I was disappointed that there weren’t more neat/unique features – but perhaps it will do a better job of not dating itself than some of the others. “Ballpark Village” was supposed to add character through the outfield view, but construction never began (it’s been locally referred to as “Lake DeWitt,” for the rainwater that pools up in its place and the team’s owner). I think some touches could be added in the CF grass, and I’d love to see even more modern scoreboarding.

On concessions, I’m totally with ya. I go to Arizona and San Diego with some regularity, and even when I’m not partaking I get angry at Busch III just walking the aisles and seeing the wacky stuff that one can eat/drink. There are a few areas of note, like in the Redbird Club, but they’re not open to all seats. They wouldn’t have to change construction to vary the food vendors, and I’d love for them to do it NOW.

On Yadier I’d say it’s defense, tenure, and all those things announcers like to talk about with catchers (game-calling, grit, etc.). But mostly defense. You might look to ESPN Magazine’s “Yadier Molina Knows Squat” article to get a sense of his reputation, or you might know of some of it yourself. STL fans get to see things like pickoffs at first day-in day-out, even though it’s not something that will necessarily drive him to the top of catcher fWAR.

astrostl
4 years 10 months ago

Another Yadier thing I’d mention: Cardinal pitchers throwing breaking balls with a runner on third and two outs. Against most teams, hitters can expect something fairly straight and narrow. If you give, for example, Adam Wainwright the comfort to throw a massive 12-6 curveball on any base/out/count state that’s going to reflect well on Wainwright’s stats – but his trust in Molina’s blocking abilities is what facilitates it.

4 years 10 months ago

True, it’s hard to measure that kind of impact. Who knows how good Carpenter, Garcia or Wainwright would be if they were throwing to a guy like Mike Piazza. Certainly not as good as they are now.

4 years 10 months ago

Because if they could have they would have by now, right? If baseball is all important shouldn’t they be doing everything possible to put the best team on the field? Not spending like a large market team when they’re capable of it would seem to be bad form for a team that’s apparently so dedicated to it’s wonderful fans.Frankly it’s not the teams attendance or it’s dedicated fan base that makes it a large market team, it’s the market that makes it a large market team. Television, radio, metro area population etc… St. Louis is the 17th largest metropolitan statistical area among major league teams. It’s fan base bumps it up the scale a bit but it’s still not enough to allow the Cardinals to compete financially with the big boys. You won’t see the Cardinals fielding a $150 million dollar team anytime soon.

Redbirds16
4 years 10 months ago

Unless they get a big TV deal. There’s a large market for it, which I think the Cards could do a better job of capturing. The Midwest, by and large, followed the Cards predominantly until the last… 10-20 years. The Cards ditching KMOX took them out of a lot of radios, and their grassroots stuff could be better, but they’re still a strong market player in Indiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, and maybe Louisiana. With the Royals doing so poorly you could probably add Kansas and Nebraska to that mix. It’s not the lucrative city markets of NY, Chicago, LA, Miami, DC, Houston, Atlanta, Philly, etc… but add it up and there’s money to be made if you can overcome the hurdle of reaching that audience… which means a cable TV deal.

4 years 10 months ago

It’d be real nice to see Matt move to right and have Crawford in LF….. That will fix the basepath problem, the nice offense he brings as well as his glove out in LF where its been down last 2 years… i think we can all recall NLDS game 3….

The_BiRDS
4 years 10 months ago

I agree, I hope Cards make a run at Crawford. He is the answer to most of our problems, and we are in dyer need of someone who can swipe bags.

foxtown
4 years 10 months ago

How are you going to afford Crawford AND Pujols? And I believe Carpenter has an extension coming his way soon too. That payroll would be out of control.

Ferrariman
4 years 10 months ago

he might have an extension coming his way(carp) but definitely not at 15million a year. maybe 7-8million/yr for a few years

foxtown
4 years 10 months ago

Isn’t he in the Cy Young discussions for the 2nd straight year? That kind of performance gets more than 7-8 mil per year.

Redbirds16
4 years 10 months ago

I don’t think anyone’s seriously talking Carp up for the Cy Young this year. He’s been good, but no Roy Halladay.

Redbirds16
4 years 10 months ago

I don’t think anyone’s seriously talking Carp up for the Cy Young this year. He’s been good, but no Roy Halladay.

Ferrariman
4 years 10 months ago

no, he isn’t in the discussion this year. he is also 35 years old and has an injury history longer than a phone book. 7-8 million over 2 years is fair.

Taskmaster75
4 years 10 months ago

Carpenter is getting very old, and he is still an injury risk. The guy is basically the attitude and fire of our clubhouse, but I think 8-9 million a year will be the absolute ceiling.

4 years 10 months ago

Crawford would be a legit man in the number two spot. I’d really like a serious lead off hitter though, any suggestions for a middle infielder with a legit OBP?

The_BiRDS
4 years 10 months ago

Bat him number one not two.

redsandyanksfan
4 years 10 months ago

I guess Crawford has stated he doesnt like to hit leadoff but for money im sure he would if he had to if he dont want to he can go to the others teams

Redbirds16
4 years 10 months ago

In regards to the middle infield, they’re really looking for good talent at premium positions at a cheap price. Not going to happen. The premium positions are typically over-paid.

Redbirds16
4 years 10 months ago

In regards to the middle infield, they’re really looking for good talent at premium positions at a cheap price. Not going to happen. The premium positions are typically over-paid.

The_Porcupine
4 years 10 months ago

sorry, I don’t see how the Cards can afford Pujols, Holliday, Carpenter, Wainwright and Crawford. That’s 5 maximum level contracts on a team that is typically middle of the road payroll wise.

4 years 10 months ago

*game 2

motiger68
4 years 10 months ago

I am glad that Mozeliak understands the Cardinals’ needs and hope he addresses it during the offseason. I like the Cardinals to go after left-handed pitcher, infield help and another big bat behind Holliday. Also, another back-up catcher to fill the void behind Molina would also be of help. I would also sign Westbrook in the off season.

STLCARDSFAN
4 years 10 months ago

Im a huge cards fan…but to expect them to get Crawford is a pipe dream. He is going to get a contract in the same range of Matt, so you would have have most of the payroll for the next 7 years locked up with three players assuming that they resign Albert. In a couple of seasons we will all be upset that they cant resign Adam and Molina. They have a lot of spots to upgrade and they will have to be crafty on who they sign. The payroll is around 94 million now….I really doubt that they will bump it more than 110 million. There is no reason we couldn’t have a payroll comparable to the cubs at 146 but you know as well as i do that’s not going to happen.

The_BiRDS
4 years 10 months ago

Why not? You along with everyone else have jumped on this bandwagon that STL population is down and they arnt selling out as many games.. well read my comment from earlier.. spend money to make money. Its not really about the city.. its whether the owner wants to put up the money.. hes got the money, it just up to him to invest it.

The_Porcupine
4 years 10 months ago

Whether or not your point is true, you’re asking the owner to something that he’s never done before- dramatically raise payroll. He’s not going to do it. Its a business and he wants to make money. And he has the right to set a payroll for whatever he wants. It’s not like we’re talking abuot the Pirates or Rays with their 30-50million dollar payroll. The cards have always been in the high middle in terms of payroll.

Jessamynn
4 years 10 months ago

Chicago’s metropolitan population is almost 4 times larger than that of St. Louis. As long as baseball’s revenue streams are in part due to merchandising & advertising, then a team’s economic potential will always be tied to population.

If we accept that to be true, then I think the Cardinals have done a pretty good job of maintaining a respectable payroll, in relation to their market size. The facts are that the Cardinals just simply don’t make as much money as the large-market teams, but nothing’s going to change that as long as such a large population disparity exists.

STLCARDSFAN
4 years 10 months ago

i never “jumped” on a bandwagon…..Im from stl and i go to as many games as i can through out the year. I cant remember more than one that was not sold out while i was there. But it seems that the ownership is blaming the lack of a TV contract for handicapping their budget. i agree that they need to spend to make and they should suck it up and fork out the money until they get the opportunity for this “contract”.

Jessamynn
4 years 10 months ago

Well, if numbers mean anything to you, the Cardinals average around 87% of stadium capacity being filled during games. This figure is 8th in MLB; the Phillies, Red Sox, and Twins are the only teams that actually average 100% (sell out) for every home game.

skoz
4 years 10 months ago

Is that for 2010 specifically? Or has Minnesota been selling out every game for the past few years?

Jessamynn
4 years 10 months ago

The figures are for this season only.

4 years 10 months ago

Getting Crawford, I don’t even know what to say as far as how happy that would make me.

The_BiRDS
4 years 10 months ago

How many more games would you go to if we had a Carl Crawford or a Roy Halladay, or a decent offense for that matter. I would see at least 10 more games a year and I think a lot of others would as well. All Im saying id DEWITT SPEND SOME MONEY!!!!

4 years 10 months ago

projected acquisitions this offseason: brandon inge 3b, 2year deal, orlando hudson 2b, 1 year deal, jon jay & allan craig traded to LAD for matt kemp, albert pujols signed extension 8 year 10,000,000 extra per year. jake westbrook 2 year deal.

The_BiRDS
4 years 10 months ago

Ya thats probably whats going to happen.

The_BiRDS
4 years 10 months ago

Or trade Pujols for Hanely and Johnson.

Beatofficer
4 years 10 months ago

Now that’s funny, I hope you were joking. Marlins wouldn’t take that kind of payroll on, they have Gaby Sanchez at first who has a promising career ahead of him. That’s like trading a brand new corvette for a used mustang.

The_BiRDS
4 years 10 months ago

Na it would never happen but it would be nice.. Not sure Im ready to call Albert Pujols a used mustang.

4 years 10 months ago

More like a Ferrari Enzo or Lamborghini

STLCARDSFAN
4 years 10 months ago

Lets get inge….keep jay and craig (we need the cheap players too) Resign Penny to something that would benefit the team-if he is healthy, Sign Westbrook, trade skip for something…anything. Maybe trade jay if we can package him with someone other than craig..like skip and lohse (even though no one will take him).

skoz
4 years 10 months ago

Honestly, I know Skip is still a sub-par defender at 2B, and his offense has been way down this year, but there are intangibles there that you can’t overlook. A huge part of why the Ludwick trade hurt the team this year wasn’t just the fact they were missing his bat, but that they were also missing his presence. From comments made by local scribes, Skip has that same kind of role. Also, it’s been noted many times that he played through injury for the better part of the year (not defending that decision, just noting it)…

Redbirds16
4 years 10 months ago

Penny = Fail. Westbrook 2 year deal would be ideal if TLR and, more importantly, Dunc are sticking around.

I’d package up Jay while his stock is high. With Craig if it will land a decent MI prospect. There are some good hitting 1b types in the Cards’ minors as well. If Pujols is extended, they immediately become expendable.

I’d keep Skip. He’d be hard to trade anyway.

Redbirds16
4 years 10 months ago

Penny = Fail. Westbrook 2 year deal would be ideal if TLR and, more importantly, Dunc are sticking around.

I’d package up Jay while his stock is high. With Craig if it will land a decent MI prospect. There are some good hitting 1b types in the Cards’ minors as well. If Pujols is extended, they immediately become expendable.

I’d keep Skip. He’d be hard to trade anyway.

Beatofficer
4 years 10 months ago

Reading this topic makes me glad my team doesn’t have many issues to address next season.

The_BiRDS
4 years 10 months ago

Cards still finished in 2nd place its not like we are in panic mode.. just need to make a few adjustments to reclaim 1st and play in oct next year.

Beatofficer
4 years 10 months ago

2nd place in a bad division. Cardinals have some of the best pitchers in the league, the best pitching coach, two big RBI guys in Albert and Matt. They SHOULD have been able to do it this year, but they didn’t, obviously more money is needed and not getting rid of LaRussa.

Oh and Molina is vastly overrated, he shouldn’t even be an all-star, but since the all-star is a popularity contest he got in.

TwinsVet
4 years 10 months ago

I’d agree about keeping LaRussa, if and only if he’d quit hitting the pitcher 8th. I don’t give a rat if he wants Pujols to bat in the first and then effectively 4th the rest of the game – every statistical breakdown shows it costs his team runs.

astrostl
4 years 10 months ago

Looks like my other comment got tied up in moderator purgatory because I included a link :-/ Go to Amazon, search for “The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball,” click “Search inside this book,” search for “NL pitcher,” click page 144, and start reading for a statistical breakdown on batting the pitcher eighth GAINING rather than costing runs, on average. The difference either way is 0.023 runs per game, or 3.726 across an entire season. “The Book” is what introduced, among other things, Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA).

TwinsVet
4 years 10 months ago

Very interesting. Thanks for the lead! Def makes me reconsider data I’ve seen before!

4 years 10 months ago

Actually, there’s this ballclub named the Reds with a guy named Joeseph Daniel Votto, and alot of players to build around him, along with vastly improving pitching who I wouldn’t count out next season…

4 years 10 months ago

What’s with everyone bashing attendance? They’ll meet (and likely exceed) estimated attendance of 3.2M – slightly lower than the past few years but still far above league average. That’s pretty impressive considering the economy being in the shits. It’s not fair to expect attendance to match that of 5-6 years ago.

As far as the state of the team…

For the love of God, send Winn, Feliz, MacDougal, Suppan, and Miles packing. I don’t have time to look up the metrics, but they have to be five of the ten worst players in baseball (at least). Also, it’s time to admit the Schumaker experiment is a failure.

As far as replacements… hell, anybody. They could go internal and replace them with a combination of Craig, Mather, Descalso, Greene, Sanchez, etc. for league minimum. At least they would offer some amount of upside, however limited, and would out-produce the current ‘vets’ in all likelihood.

Honestly, if Winn, Miles, MacDougal, Soup, and Feliz hadn’t been given regular playing time the Cardinals probably would have won the division. It would have been a lot closer, at least.

Either way, addition by subtraction. No need to make any big FA splashes or trades.

Just quit bringing in players that aren’t good enough to play on the bottom-dwelling teams in the league.

atfm25
4 years 10 months ago

I agree with getting rid of everyone except Miles as a utility IF. His entire time with the Cardinals he has been good. Look at his stats. I know he was a bum for every other teams but he works with the Cardinals.

atfm25
4 years 10 months ago

I agree with getting rid of everyone except Miles as a utility IF. His entire time with the Cardinals he has been good. Look at his stats. I know he was a bum for every other teams but he works with the Cardinals.

BlueCatuli
4 years 10 months ago

Attendance really doesn’t have that much to do with payroll. The Pittsbrug Pirates and the Boston Red Sox are perfect examples of both situations. Pittsburg has a great facility and can’t sellout with a cheap owner who pocketed the funds, but still made a huge profit. The Sox sell out every game but play in a small park in an expensive division. The Sox started Fenway Sports to help fund their team, because attendance wasn’t a factor.

4 years 10 months ago

Exactly. Attendance might be the difference between adding one more expensive player or not but the size of the media market is the difference between a $40 million dollar payroll or a $140 million dollar payroll. The Pirates could sell more tickets every year than Boston and still not be able to compete financially with them, for example. Same goes for St. Louis. Not that St. Louis should be considered a small market team, they’re not, but they simply don’t have the resources to be considered a large market team. I’d say their payroll is just about right for their market size.

Jessamynn
4 years 10 months ago

Couldn’t have said this better myself.

myname_989
4 years 10 months ago

Spending mass amounts of money on primetime players is what got the Cardinals into this jam in the first place. I see a lot of people suggesting that the Cardinals should bid on Carl Crawford… You’re serious? Crawford WILL get a 100MM dollar contract with the Red Sox and Angels both known to be interested. That aside, the Cardinals have three very solid outfielders in Matt Holliday, Colby Rasmus, and Jon Jay.

Assuming that David Freese comes back healthy, the Cardinals will need to be in the mix for a shortstop, a second baseman, a closer, and back of the rotation help. Carl Crawford is a pipe dream at an unnecessary position. The Cardinals should be looking to TRADE Pujols. Signing him to a massive contract at 30MM dollars a year is going to seriously limit what the team can do in the future. Instead, trading him to a team with a mix of good prospects / position players could fill several holes, and allow the team more flexibility to bid on free agents both this year, and next.

4 years 10 months ago

dude trading pujols would be the worst thing you can do. without him in the lineup this year they wouldnt be where they are right now.

BlueCatuli
4 years 10 months ago

One guy could have upgraded all the holes. Pujols can bring that kind of haul. If they trade him, they can upgrade SS, 2nd base and bullpen. 1st basemen that put up big power numbers (obviously not Pujols’, but still productive) are a dime a dozen. It’s a tricky situation, obviously the Cards are willing to raise payroll to keep him and add pieces. Time will tell if it’s worth it.

BrosaParks
4 years 10 months ago

Trading the best player in baseball? Sure seemed to work for the Red Sox in 1919. You only trade Pujols if there is no way a new contract can be signed. Yes, I’d rather see him traded than walking away and STL getting nothing in return, but be reasonable. No team would trade an all star + top prospects for Pujols’s production; it just wouldn’t make sense financially. And besides, who has the players to offer? Rays, Marlins, Orioles, and Pirates seem to be the only ones who have the prospects.

BlueCatuli
4 years 10 months ago

Like I said, tricky situation. Who would think having the beat player in the game could be a burden.

4 years 10 months ago

It’s a burden of their own making. I still don’t think they should have committed so much to Holliday, no one else was bidding. They should have gotten him for less or not at all. You don’t sign an all-star to a contract that could prevent you from signing an all-time great and franchise icon.

myname_989
4 years 10 months ago

Did you really just compare Albert Pujols to Babe Ruth? You should be shunned for that…

In all seriousness, I don’t think it’s possible to compare the two. Ruth was traded close to 100 years ago. The economics of the game weren’t even comparable, and the game has come a long way since then. The development of the minor league system, developing talent… It’s a different game.

4 years 10 months ago

I’d add KC to the teams with the prospects to get him, perhaps a few others. Not sure about the Pirates though, a lot of their minor league talent is still a bit too raw and aren’t quite projectable at the major league level yet. I guess it would all depend on what St. Louis was asking in return though, specific positions etc… Washington has a few good young guys too that would interest anyone, Strasburg, Storen, Zimmerman, Harper. Think St. Louis would trade Pujols for Nyjer Morgan???

BrosaParks
4 years 10 months ago

Forgot KC and Washington. Good catch.

The Yankee’s paid 100,000 dollars for Ruth, comparable to 1,000,000 dollars now. The Red Sox couldn’t afford to keep him. Same route the Cardinals might be going. Seems like the same economics to me.

baseballdude
4 years 10 months ago

whos jon jay?? i dont even know who he is

Dermick
4 years 10 months ago

are you kidding?

TwinsVet
4 years 10 months ago

I’m Jon Jay.True Story: I was at a bar near the waterfront late one Saturday night with a buddy of mine from the Army (a black guy). Some dental hygienist from Kentucky was in town as well, and she was cute enough so we all started having a few drinks. She asked what I did, and I said I was just in town for a few baseball games.”You play for the Cardinals?””No.””And this [my black buddy] is your bodyguard?””No.””OMFG! You do! It’s cool, I won’t tell anybody. I understand you don’t want to be signing autographs and stuff.”At that point, why try to convince a drunk girl otherwise? So I went with it.”Ok, just don’t tell anybody.””This is so awesome!””I’m just a backup. I barely get to play. I’m hardly on the team.””What’s your name?””Jon Jay” (the first obscure name I could think of)”OMFG. You must have tons of money!””I only make league minimum.””Can I get a picture with you for facebook? This is amazing. I knew it! Do you know Holliday? He’s so hot!””I do. He’s a great guy. Really nice.””What about Pujols?””Albert’s a ****.”Poor, drunk, dumb Kentuckian…

4 years 10 months ago

Lol, good one.

4 years 10 months ago

This is exactly what I’ve been saying. My love for Albert knows no bounds, but let’s be frank, his body is already starting to fall apart and you’re going to have to over pay for his declining years. I’m not saying it will be a bad investment straight away, but in 5 years when Albert is getting to where A-Rod is now (i.e having to DH regularly to stay in the lineup) you’re going to see his production tail off. Not hamstringing the team with a $30+ Million dollar a year deal and bringing in quite possibly one of the biggest hauls for a single player ever would be a fantastic decision to make, especially because with a boost in payroll it would allow the team to compete for legitimate free agents for the coming years. I’ve said this before and I’ve said this again, who would you rather have, Albert, Holliday and Wainwright accompanied by a cast of thousands or Holliday and Wainwright supported by a team full of quality players.

TwinsVet
4 years 10 months ago

I think you might over-estimate the haul. There wouldn’t be many bidders for Pujols, considering the contract he comes with. You’d have *maybe* five clubs making serious offers.

It’d be like when the Twins were shopping Santana. The best we got was Carlos Gomez. Nobody was willing to take on $150M+ for a pitcher.

You’d have to seriously consider that salary relief might be your best return in a Pujols deal.

myname_989
4 years 10 months ago

I disagree. I think that any and every large market team would be involved in a Pujols sweepstakes, regardless of who they have at first base. I think the Red Sox would definitely be interested, and they have a ton of players to offer the Cardinals. Large market teams aren’t going to pass up the opportunity to acquire Pujols, not only because of his baseball factor, but because of his marketing factor as well.

TwinsVet
4 years 10 months ago

But like Rocky said, you’re paying premiere dollars for declining years, and injuries are starting to catch up with him. NYY, NYM, BOS, and maybe a couple others would certainly take a long look and put together a pleasant package, but the very reasons that he’s an appealing option to trade away makes him a liability to trade for.

If a kid like Josh Johnson were made available, I’d suspect he’d garner a much bigger haul than Pujols.

myname_989
4 years 10 months ago

What would you consider declining years? A normal first baseman may decline at a rapid pace, but this is no normal first baseman. The worst you can say about Pujols is that he has a nagging elbow injury. Even injured, he’s at the top of the class. The man is only 30 years old, and has plenty left in the tank. I don’t think you’re paying for declining years, I think you’re paying for the best player in the game. Let’s face it, even an off year for Pujols is a great season.

Redbirds16
4 years 10 months ago

That nagging elbow injury, by all accounts, will eventually require Tommy John. It’s a time bomb really. So someone’s going to end up paying 30 million for him to sit on their DL for a year. When he comes back though, it’ll be stronger than ever… scary.

4 years 10 months ago

The problem with your argument is that Pujols isn’t making $30 million dollars yet. The only salary relief they’d be getting is the $16 million he’s scheduled to make next year. Unless St. Louis is planning on adding an additional $15 million to payroll in 2012, Pujols or not, then you can’t count that as savings. And TwinsVet is right, the haul might not be that good because Albert is going to have a limited market and he’s only signed through next year.

4 years 10 months ago

I’m a Cards and as much as I’d hate to see Pujols go, I do understand why they’d let him walk. Or even trade him this year to get something back out of him.

The Twins traded away Johan Santana and I didn’t see any fans rioting in the street.

TwinsVet
4 years 10 months ago

People were pretty gutted, between Santana & Hunter.

The MASSIVE factor is whether or not the team still wins. If you follow it up by playing sub-.500 baseball, attendance will crash. If you follow it up by making the playoffs, people forgive and forget pretty quickly.

4 years 10 months ago

Agreed. The Twins are generally pretty well run (despite the poor return on the Santana trade) and were in position to weather the loss of Santana and Hunter. That said, neither of those guys are quite in the same league as Pujols, it’d be hard for any team to recover immediately from losing him. It might take a few years to recover unless they get good, major league ready talent that contributes immediately. St. Louis has a lot of dedicated, generational fans, I don’t think too many of them would give up on their team just because Pujols were dealt, even if they weren’t competitive following the trade.

TwinsVet
4 years 10 months ago

Was it Jeff Passan who recently had the article about the Rays attendance?

One point he had was that baseball really can’t rely on a hardcore devoted base. Football can, because they only need to sell out a stadium 8 times a year, and a hardcore base can do that.

Baseball, however, has so many tickets to sell over the course of a season, that they really rely on the “family outings”.

No doubt the Cards have one of the largest hardcore bases of fans out there (rivaled only by Boston, perhaps). But alot of marketing data suggests baseball (MLB, or any particular team) cannot survive if they’re not appealing to more mainstream folks.

skoz
4 years 10 months ago

It wasn’t that long ago that Ludwick got traded and most Cards fans, casual and diehard alike, were up in arms. Most ended up rationalizing the move by saying that there was not way he would be back with the club next year, so get something for him while you can, etc., but the bottom line is that the move was not looked upon favorably by Cardinal Nation. Now, imagine what the reaction would be if they traded Pujols – even if it “made sense”. Fans like franchise icons – even overpaid, underperforming, declining ones. And let’s be honest, no matter the contract, Albert’s more than likely a couple years away from coming close to that category.

4 years 10 months ago

Sorry “Card’s Fan”

jwsox
4 years 10 months ago

why is everyone acting like albert is going to sign a contract that makes arods look like minimum wage?…he has said time and time again over the last few years he already got paid…he wants to win…he has said since the world series that he has made enough money and it is not about the money to him anymore its about winning. He LOVES STL….and loves the city, fans, team….he has also stated over the past few years if he sees that the cards are going to compete or are on track to compete for a WS in the next few years he will stay….NOW I’m not saying he will sign a super team friendly contract but albert does not lie and is a very very good man…he sticks to his word if he truly loves stl and wants to stay i doubt he signs a huge deal not saying it wont be big but i dont think it will be a franchise hurting contract. I would not be surprised to see him look more for years then for $$…..but at the same time if a team that is in WS shape already offers him a deal NEXT SEASON(he has an option this year everyone stop acting like he is a FA this year) ie the yankees, angles, rangers(you never know)braves(maybe) maybe bosox(if they are over this whole signing old injury prone guys stint they are on) then yes he will probably go else where…but everyone in their right mind knows that a player like Albert only comes along once every 50+ years, teams just dont give up on them..also he could always sign a huge contract and defer alot of the money like matt did to help the team win now…..

.as for the getting on base thing i doubt they could afford to get crawford he will more than likely get big deals from boston, both NY teams, both LA teams, maybe the whitesox…and a few others….i also doubt they get werth….there is always scotty pods for lead off moving matt to right, matts offense and alberts make up for scotty’s lack of defense….

Ferrariman
4 years 10 months ago

ok lets have some fun with numbers.

penny, 7.5million
ludwick/westbrook 5mil ish
feliz – 1.5mil(what was about what was left on his deal)
Reyes- 2million

thats 16.5million freed up to cover:
an improved middle infield
a (good) backup thirdbaseman
a backup catcher
bullpen

of those:
Dan Descalso has to be able to sink or swim. if we can acquire a guy like Stephen Drew than thats great or sign Orlando Hudson to a 1/5.5 deal. hell or both, middle infield is that bad right now.

get ONE good reliever. and i don’t mean another Dennys Reyes, i mean an actual GOOD reliever (benoit, guerrier, wheeler, etc) and let Fernando Salas, Josh Kinney, and hopefully Eduardo Sanchez occupy another spot or 2.

get a good starting pitcher. not another reclamation project like Brad Penny. i’m referring to someone like Ted lilly, jake westbrook, kuroda, pavano, arroyo, etc. that would make for a terrific rotation of Wainwright-carpenter-garcia-FA- lohse(ugh).

this should be able to be accomplished within 16.5million and then if DeWitt raises payroll to keep albert and/or improve a lil more on the above parts, this team should cruise its way back to the top. Especially after so many down years from the starters this season and frustrating injuries. Molina, schumaker, ryan all had horrible seasons. Freese and Ludwick(when he was here) were pretty unreliable. Rasmus was inconsistent to say the least but he is only 23.

looking forward to a brighter 2011….

Redbirds16
4 years 10 months ago

In regards to position players: I hope the Cards explore trade options for the best player attainable that doesn’t play LF, CF, C, or 1B. The Cards really have 4 have ‘half-needs':

2b- Schumaker won’t cut it, although a platoon with Descalso could be serviceable. Zach Cox is also likely to be fast tracked, although obviously not ML ready for 2011.
SS- Ryan can’t hit, but his defense is top notch (when his head is on straight). If he’s the only hole in the lineup that’s plenty serviceable.. and my guess is if everyone is hitting around him he’ll hit better as a result anyway. Tyler Green is a ‘?’
3b- Freese has major health concerns. Maybe it’s too much of a risk for the Cards to lose their 3b production for a whole year… again.
RF- Jay’s weaknesses have been identified and exploited by the league. He was hitting above his head and should have been traded in July when his value was highest. Craig has a major league bat, but no position with Pujols at first. Neither seem an ideal solution in RF, but could be serviceable if other holes are addressed.

I think the Cards have pieces to move (all the players mentioned above have some skills plus some minor league talent) and should address one weakness with resounding clarity and live with the rest. As you said, they have limited resources.

As far as the pitching, I’d go for Westbrook on a 2 year deal. Plus a LHRP. And c’mon, Dennys Reyes wasn’t bad at all. Just not as good as Trevor Miller.