Mozeliak “Wouldn’t Envision” Pursuit Of Fielder

The Cardinals are going to keep discussions with Albert Pujols between the team, agent Dan Lozano and the three-time MVP himself, GM John Mozeliak said in Milwaukee today. If Pujols signs elsewhere, don't expect the Cardinals to pursue free agent first baseman Prince Fielder

"I wouldn't envision that given the composition of our club with [Matt] Holliday, [Lance] Berkman and [Allen] Craig," he said. "Our hope again would be to find a way to keep Albert, but I wouldn't see going out on the market to do something else."

Mozeliak further broke down the Cardinals' roster in a conversation with MLBTR. Here are the details on the 2011 champions:

  • Daniel Descalso, Tyler Greene, Skip Schumaker and Ryan Theriot are middle infield options for the Cardinals and they’d "be okay" entering the 2012 season with that group, Mozeliak said, before explaining that alternatives exist. 
  • "Before we get ahead of ourselves we want to make sure we explore other ways to improve," he said. "It doesn't necessarily mean [internal options] would be the best we can do." MLBTR projects a $3.9MM salary for Theriot and a $3.1MM salary for Schumaker in 2012, if the team offers arbitration. Both are non-tender candidates.
  • The Cardinals like the defense Descalso and Greene offer.
  • The Cardinals want to keep dialogue with Rafael Furcal open and they're also considering other options not currently on the roster.


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87 Comments on "Mozeliak “Wouldn’t Envision” Pursuit Of Fielder"


Rabbitov
3 years 9 months ago

They have no reason to go after Fielder, they are going to re-sign Pujols (which would give me my first point thus far). 

Yankees420
3 years 9 months ago

Where did you have Hill going?  Just curious, since he’s my 1 out of 3.  

Rabbitov
3 years 9 months ago

White Sox :-X  

I actually put a lot of picks in just to put them in and then was going to change them, but I had missed the deadline, so I am going to have some head scratchers.   For example I have a LOT of Orioles picks, and believe me I didn’t think the Orioles were going to sign 10 free agents. Hell its looking more like some like 200-300 ranked guys for the Os.

I had Papelbon going back to the Red Sox though and I thought that was a slam dunk.

Yankees420
3 years 9 months ago

Yeah I had Paps going back to Boston as well, and I was super stoked when the first reports about Madson resigning with Philly came out, because I had him going back too…..Oh well, if Reyes ends up in Detroit (a pick I forgot to change) I’ll be sitting pretty haha.  

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

“MLBTR projects a $3.9MM salary for Theriot and a $3.1MM salary for Schumaker in 2012, if the team offers arbitration.”

Why not dump Theroit and Schumaker and sign a 7MM second baseman???

Ferrariman
3 years 9 months ago

why not just add in Franklin’s 3mil, Tallet and Miller’s combined 3mil ish, the amount we paid furcal(about 1.5mil for the rest of the season), and nontender McClellan and get Reyes.  I mean, why not?  the only person on the team thats gonna get a raise this year is Motte by like 2mil, and pujols by about 10mil.  Not a big deal with the amount of money coming off the books next year (lohse 12mil, westbroke 8mil, Berkman 11mil).

side note..i just noticed i have 3K likes, yah :)

3 years 9 months ago

Reyes is not worth the risk.  Not to mention how much Cardinal fans would hate him with his JD Drew injury BS

Ferrariman
3 years 9 months ago

Reyes’ injuries are not BS though, their legit injuries.  Drew would be sitting out some days because he felt sore and broke a nail.  

Andy_B
3 years 9 months ago

Personally I always think it’s a bad idea to give a big long term contract to a player who’s skill set is based in part on his speed.   Particularly if that player is injury prone.  Whoever signs Reyes to a 9 figure contract will regret it just as much as boston regrets crawford and the Cubs regret Soriano.

3 years 9 months ago

AMEN

Matt Talken
3 years 9 months ago

Might be too early to judge the Crawford contract, since it’s only one year, but I fully agree with your point and specifically with the Soriano signing.

Of course, I didn’t watch much Boston baseball, so maybe Crawford’s been even worse than I’m aware.

Andy_B
3 years 9 months ago

thats not completely fair of me to say that about crawford, as much more than his speed was missing in 2011, and could be something completely different but Crawford stole 47 bases in 2010 for the Rays and 18 for the Sox in 2011.

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

Im just sick of having a weak middle infield.. At least we went out and traded for Furcal strictly for his defense and they won the World Series.

Matt Talken
3 years 9 months ago

I’m hoping they’ll keep Furcal personally.  He’s obviously in decline, but he’s still a better overall option than Greene or Theriot at SS.

BajaPete
3 years 9 months ago

Personally, Reyes is just about the LAST person I’d want on the ball club (Nyjer Morgan would be the last).  Reyes IS injury prone, but I wouldn’t want him in the clubhouse under any circumstances.  When he removed himself from the game in order to “win” the batting title, he proved to me exactly what sort of a “team” player he is.  I DO, however, like the idea of lumping salaries together, if possible, in order to go after a quality second baseman and my first choice (while it’ll cause a lot of hollering in Cardinals Nation) is an easy one…Brandon Phillips!

3 years 9 months ago

Schumaker bats .300 and plays multiple positions… he is bargain. Not to mention a clubhouse guy with a great attitude. 

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

For 7 Million dollars you can find a guy who hits .300 more than one season and has friends in the club house.

3 years 9 months ago

name one….

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

Kelly Johnson.

3 years 9 months ago

Some years he bats closer to .200…. no thanks. BTW Skip has been a Cardinal for 7 seasons with a lifetime BA of .290. 

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

Skip 7years 2170AB lifetime average .290… 22HR
Johnson 6 years 2791AB lifetime average .260… 92HR

3 years 9 months ago

What is your point???? I’ll take .290 & 4 Million $$$$… LOL

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

Talken just ripped you a new one

3 years 9 months ago

If you think Kelly Johnson is a better all around ball player than Skip Schumaker then you are way out in left field. The guy is a plug and definitely not worth 7 mill.

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

No he is worth around 5MM.. He told me to name a worthy option at 2nd base for STL and I use Kelly Johnson. Skip is a “great clubhouse guy” and all but I would rather see one soild 2nd baseman play for the Cardinals rather than 7 scrappy guys doing the work. Tony days are over.

Andy_B
3 years 9 months ago

no but lets not act like Schumaker is anything special either, he does one thing well he hits for average, and he can’t even compliment that ability with the ability to draw walks.  He has poor defense, no power.  I like Skip because he’s the definition of the scrappy little white guy that us cardinal fans love, he even has a name like Skip, which reminds you of other scrappy white guys who played for the cardinals like Stubby and Bo.   I’d much rather see us save the money on Skip and apply towards signing Furcal.

Cheeseballs
3 years 9 months ago

Shumaker is only good against righties. Poor defense. No speed. No power. Not worth 3 mil.

3 years 9 months ago

Played on both World Series teams …. good outfielder, good speed & don’t need power.  I know a lot of players that could only dream of having his RESUME!!! Bargain at 3 Million $$$$.

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

I bet this is Skip Shumaker disguised as JohnS..   

Matt Talken
3 years 9 months ago

Obviously this is an extreme example but here ya go:

Adron Chambers played for the World Series champions this season, too.I’d still rather have Matt Kemp if I could make the choice.

Rings don’t make you a good player.  They mean you had good players on your team.  The Cardinals won the championship because of players like Chris Carpenter, Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman, etc.

Not because of Skip Schumaker.  

Matt Talken
3 years 9 months ago

1)  He’s a .290 batter lifetime, and he hasn’t batted .300 in either of the last two seasons.
2)  He’s bats an empty .290, considering he basically never hits more than singles, so they might as well be walks most of the time, and his OBP isn’t terrible, but isn’t great either at .346
3)  He’s somewhere in the below average to awful range as a defensive infielder (understandably so, since he’s really an outfielder), so the playing multiple positions thing isn’t quite as big of a plus as you might make it out to be.  Think of how much better our pitchers would have done the first half of the season, statistically, if we didn’t have Theriot/Schumaker as our SS/2B combination, two guys that weren’t terribly good defensively.
4)  According to fangraphs, the last two seasons, he’s virtually replacement level, at -0.2 wins in 2010 and +0.6 wins last year.

I don’t have any real problem with Skip Schumaker, but I do have a problem with far too many people in both the Cardinals front office and Cardinals fandom that seem to believe he’s a player who deserves a reasonable amount of playing time.  If he wants to come back to be a utility player for 1.5M, that’s fantastic, and he would be a bargain at that price.  But for 3M+?  As I said, he’s basically replacement level, especially considering the Cardinals kept playing him at 2B until Furcal showed up and saved the middle infield.

gradylittle
3 years 9 months ago

Plus, Skip Schumaker, you’re not gonna find a better baseball name than that.

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

His real name is Jared.. Skip is a nickname

gradylittle
3 years 9 months ago

Whoa, whoa, whoa, now you’re gonna tell me Joba isn’t Joba Chamberlin’s real name!

Andy_B
3 years 9 months ago

more like they’ll dump them and sign a 25 million dollar firstbaseman.

Matt Talken
3 years 9 months ago

I doubt we’ll be keeping both.  Consider the 3.something they’re saving part of the 24M or so they’ll be paying Pujols

3 years 9 months ago

Ugh not another singles infield. My patience for Theriot has grown thin. I can live with Schu and Dezzy on the same roster, but No Theriot and no Greene.

gtl11
3 years 9 months ago

Curious what makes you think of Greene as a singles guy. By no means is he sure to hit for as high an average as Schumaker but you can bet that the hits he does get will be far more likely to go for extra bases. His whole career he’s hit for much more power than Schumaker (although that’s about as low as you could possibly set the “power” bar).

FWIW The Bill James projections have Greene at 7 HRs in 270 PAs next year. They have Schumaker at 4 HRs in 500 PAs.

3 years 9 months ago

Greene hasn’t shown much power since he’s been up. Singles hitters can hit doubles from time to time. Ok he might hit 7 homer runs next year but he’ll still be a singles hitter with ‘pop’. Jon Jay is a singles hitter, but he gets a decent amount of extra base hits. Still a singles hitter.

gtl11
3 years 9 months ago

Singles hitter with pop? Come on man that makes absolutely no sense. If you hit for power you’re not a singles hitter. If you can hit 12-15 HR in a full season (which I have little doubt Greene is capable of… he hit 14 in 66 games at AAA last season) you’re not a singles hitter. You might not be a GOOD hitter but you’re not a singles hitter.

Look Greene is no All Star. He probably wouldn’t hit much better than .240-.260 and we’d be lucky if his OBP is over .330. That said, he provides at least as much offensive value as Schumaker (let’s not kid ourselves… Skip’s days of hitting .300/.360/.400 are long gone), he’s much better defensively, can play multiple positions AND he’s much cheaper. Why waste money on Schumaker when everything he does can be replaced by Greene? Wouldn’t that money be better spent on Furcal?

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

If Pujols walks you better spend some God damn money Mozeliak…

3 years 9 months ago

No reason to spend just to spend. 

If Pujols walks they need to strategically set aside that money for a Wainwright extension, Molina new deal, Freese arb. years possibly, ect. 

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

Wainwright is locked up for 2 more years… Baseball is all about winning, well it used to be. The Cardinals are set up to make another run at the World Series next year.. why not go for it instead of putting money aside?

3 years 9 months ago

I agree that they have the pieces in place for another run but going out and spending 90+ million on a guy like Reyes in the case that Pujols leaves is just asinine.  A RH center field option would be a good start as would the acquisition of an above average 2B and maybe the return of Furcal. 

Wainwright is going to be had at a major bargain for the next two seasons and barring any unforeseeable setbacks he will be looking to get paid big time.  All i’m saying is that there is no reason to just throw money and guaranteed years at an opening just for the sake of it.  They can be smart and fiscally responsible and still field a major winner in 2012.  We have to remember that the young guns on the farm are going to be knocking at the door with regularity very soon too, making the Pujols return that much more feasible

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

No No No you got me all wrong.. I never said got after Reyes. Fielder would be a good option but there are some decent FA names out there that could help the team. Im not saying if Albert walks go spend what you would on Albert. I do expect the Cardinals to go out and spend some money if Pujols walks.

3 years 9 months ago

My bad I misunderstood .  If Pujols can’t be had I don’t see the brass spending the same amount of cash on someone they have no allegiance to in Fielder. 

The money sans albert would have to be spent up the middle.  They could get veteran stop gaps at SS, 2B, and CF easily without guaranteeing big money down the road at any of those positions.  I agree they will spend if Albert goes elsewhere, it just won’t be spent on long term high dollar contracts

Matt Talken
3 years 9 months ago

Plug in Allen Craig in RF, move Berkman to 1st and bolster the middle infield by keeping someone like Furcal for a full season.  If Pujols doesn’t sign, I’d hope they wouldn’t just bank all 25M or so, but at the same time, I’d hate to see them spend the full 25M just because they have it.

I’m convinced with Furcal for a full season and Wainwright back, that makes up for enough of the wins lost by the departure of Pujols (should that happen) that we’d still be a contender.

Ferrariman
3 years 9 months ago

If worst comes to worst, i wouldn’t be completely against Greene.  He’s the only speed threat on the roster, maybe he figures it out a bit in the MLB level and can do something decent like .260/.320/.450 with 10HR/30-40 steals with decent defense.  You can do a lot worse…

3 years 9 months ago

And with Tony out of the dugout you have to figure he might play a lot looser.  He has massive ability.  His stats at Memphis last season are such a tease, I really want to see him get a good look this spring

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

The guy has pop.. he just needs to figure out how to use it.

3 years 9 months ago

Mozeliak is only saying he wouldn’t go after Fielder because he wants Albert to feel like he has their undivided attention.

nictonjr
3 years 9 months ago

 He’s saying it because Pujols will take a discount to stay.  Fielder, via Boras, will extract top dollars and top years.  Are the Cards willing to pay Fielder more than they would Pujols??

gtl11
3 years 9 months ago

This isn’t true. The Cardinals really do have better ways to spend that money. Pujols is being aggressively pursued because he’s Pujols. If you erase him from the picture it’s pretty clear (IMO) that the Cardinals could benefit more from MIF help than 1B help. Craig has proven he should be an everyday player. His bat won’t be as good as Fielder’s, of course, but the difference between Craig and Fielder is much smaller than the difference between, say, Ryan Theriot and Jose Reyes.

Matt Talken
3 years 9 months ago

With Reyes’ injuries and all, I don’t think he’s the answer, but your point here is still spot-on.  It’s all about upgrading in the places where it’ll make the most difference.  A top-tier middle infielder or center fielder is always more difficult to find than a slugging first baseman.  (Not that Pujols is just ANY slugging first baseman, of course)

Andy_B
3 years 9 months ago

that and the cards would have no desire to pay a baseball player 25 million when most of the fans are in better shape than him.

DT Flush234
3 years 9 months ago

Goal 1: Resign Pujols
Goal 2: Resign Furcal
Goal 3: Sign a quality 2B not a singles hitter
Goal 4: Sign a LHP
Goal 5 : Resign Dotel

jwsox
3 years 9 months ago

Haha sign a lefty RHP!! Please tell me who this lefty Right- Handed-Pitcher is because who ever he is I want him on my team!

MetsMagic
3 years 9 months ago

Pat Venditte of the Yankees. 

Andy_B
3 years 9 months ago

to do your plan Goal 1 would need to be raise the payroll by 20 million.  Also if you resign Dotel, there likely isn’t room for Sanchez.   If there’s one thing the cards are ok it’s right handed relievers, they’ll be ok without Dotel.

3 years 9 months ago

I don’t really understand what is wrong with a second baseman who gets on base at a high clip.  It really wasn’t that long ago that most 2B’men were leadoff hitters.  Not saying that Schu or Theriot are the answers because their OBP is terrible, but I don’t think the 2B’man needs to be a power hitter…

3 years 9 months ago

I want to see Torty play everyday.  Even if Albert is back

3 years 9 months ago

He would have played more under Tony LaRussa…. Nobody utilizes his bench more than TLR.

3 years 9 months ago

I don’t think Matheny is going to deviate far from TLR’s course .  Craig is going to get a whole lot of at bats health permitting

3 years 9 months ago

I hope your right… but I don’t think so. Tony really was a “one of a kind” manager.

Jdobb
3 years 9 months ago

Allen Craig would be my starting 2nd basemen. He is a natural 3rd baseman. Resign Skip as a 4th outfielder. I hope the sign Furcall for 6 million for 2 years and if he plays in 140 games give him extra 2 million a year.    

JohnOrpheus
3 years 9 months ago

As many others have pointed out, Schumaker and Theriot suck. End of story. Therefore, any GM with any sense at all would non-tender them both. TLR’s gone, Mo. No need to keep that dredge material on the roster anymore.

DT Flush234
3 years 9 months ago

So
now I’m hearing that the Miami Marlins have offered Albert Pujols a 9
year 225 million dollar contract. I saw it on twitter posted by Baseball
Talk Philadelphia they are usually a pretty legit source but I haven’t
seen any insiders post it so I’m not sure what to believe.

Jdobb
3 years 9 months ago

Let Albert walk for 9 years 225 million.

3 years 9 months ago

For all you want to get rid of skippie and make the cards a weaker team…who knocked in the only run vs Roy in game 5? Nuff said

DrHMD
3 years 9 months ago

Cardinals 2Bmen since 2004
Schumacher, Theriot, Kennedy, Womack, Grudzielanek, Vina, Miles, Luna, Barden, Punto, Descalso, Thurston, Hart, Belliard  and a host of others have produced 3 WS in last decade.
Skip is the most consisitant of the group and Teriot can play as well, DesCalso can do the job, Maybe Greene, Maybe somebody we haven’t thought of yet. More of a revolving door, yet 3 NL pennants.
who plays short????

3 years 9 months ago

Danny D and Tyler Greene

Wouldn’t kill me to see that combo up the middle if number 5 is hitting third in the lineup

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

Thats beacuse he plays more games than Skip in a season. Ill take 26 HRs, 13 SB and .286 BA from a second baseman over a a guy who hits maybe 1 HR and the rest singles.

3 years 9 months ago

Like I was saying…. He is a bargain at 3 Million $$$$. 

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

80 at bats in one year doesnt count.. and for God sakes take a chill pill dude.. you’re obviously sitting at your computer refreshing the screen every 3 seconds waint for a responds.. this isnt a chat room… **Crickets**

Matt Talken
3 years 9 months ago

In one of those seasons, he played 88 games.  So he hit .300 in 2 1/2 seasons.

And it’s an empty .300.  The guy doesn’t walk terribly often and doesn’t get extra base hits.  Skip’s value still isn’t great.

Kelly Johnson’s actually a great comparison for a few reasons.  They’re reasonably close in time in the big leagues, both coming up in 2005 for the first time and both having between 700 and 800 games played.  Tell me which player you’d rather have:

.260 hitter with .343 on-base and a .441 slugging percentage, 92 HRs and 58 SBs, and according to fangraphs WAR (Wins Above Replacement) this player contributed 16.8 wins to his teams over his career.

OR

.290 hitter with a .346 on-base and a .378 slugging, 22 HR and 19 SB, and 4.6 wins contributed to his team.

Kelly Johnson, despite his lower batting average, gets on base at virtually the same exact rate, but hits more extra base hits and is capable of putting the ball out of the park.  He also is rated as an average defensive second baseman over his career, and actually a plus fielder during his last two seasons.  Using WAR, he’s been a significant contributor.  His best season, WAR wise, was 2010 and his WAR that season at 5.9 would be similar to the 2011 season of Adrian Beltre (5.7), Shane Victorino (5.9) or Brandon Phillips (6.0) or even Jose Reyes (6.2)

Skip Schumaker gets hits, but rarely walks and has virtually no pop in his bat whatsoever.  He’s a plus defender in the outfield, but since we’re talking about 2nd base, he’s been rated as a below average or worse defensively.  Using WAR, he’s basically only slightly better than a replacement level player.  His bests season for WAR was 2008 at 2.8 WAR.  This value is similar to the 2011 season of players like Jon Jay (2.8), Brendan Ryan (2.6), Carlos Pena (2.6) or Jeff Francoeur (2.9)

Any argument out there that anyone is making that Kelly Johnson and Skip Schumaker are even in the same conversation when it comes to 2nd basemen is made based on fishing for specific stats or ignorance.  

I’d rather put the job in Tyler Greene’s hands at league minimum and use that 3M elsewhere as BiRDS advocates.  Schumaker’s a great clubhouse guy, but if that’s all they want, they can pay me 1M to be friendly and upbeat and to make friends with everyone in the Cardinals locker room.  They won’t even have to give me at bats that should have gone to better players.

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

Never disagreed… all I said is I wont to see a SOILD 2 baseman for once on the Cards.

Matthew Dolter
3 years 9 months ago

freddy sanchez

3 years 9 months ago

is he available…

3 years 9 months ago

not available…

mlbbaseball
3 years 9 months ago

They could re-sign him, but for now he is a Free Agent.

3 years 9 months ago

He’ll be back. At least he should be. Punto was very important when healthy.

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

Actually I would. 

3 years 9 months ago

D-bag alert!!!

Matt Talken
3 years 9 months ago

Unless your argument is really as narrow as “Skip Schumaker hits .300,” then you’re the one who doesn’t seem to know what you’re talking about.

Skip seems like a great guy and all, but making an argument that Skip is superior to Kelly Johnson is either too narrow (if you’re ONLY using batting average) or just foolish.

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

There is no promise that Berkman will do what he did last year, Craig is still on the bench last time I checked, Freese had an amazing post season (injury prone) and Albert is a free agent… WAKE UP!

Matt Talken
3 years 9 months ago

Actually, their On-base percentages are almost identical.  What you missed in watching all of Skip’s singles is that he only walks about 7-8% of his at-bats, producing a .346 OBP.  

When Kelly Johnson isn’t hitting home runs, his walk rate is closer to 11%, giving him an OBP of .343.  

3 points of on-base basically means that perhaps one or two times a year Pujols or Berkman might get a big hit that Schumaker would’ve been on base when Kelly Johnson wouldn’t have been.  But you’d be giving up about 15 home runs a season and better defense at 2nd base in order to get that 1 situational run.

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

Well said sir.