NL Notes: Reds, Cardinals, Padres, Dodgers

Here's the latest out of the National League:

  • Even as they continue to work out contracts with key pitchers Homer Bailey and Aroldis Chapman, the Reds are keeping an eye on the free agent market, reports MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. GM Walt Jocketty says he is looking for an extra outfielder and infielder, indicating that he'd like to have a player at Triple-A that can handle shortstop in the event of an injury to Zack Cozart"We're still looking at a couple of guys," said Jocketty. "I don't think there's been any progress, especially this week. Once a lot of the agents get through the arbitration process this week, we'll have more time to pursue any last minute invites for Spring Training that create more competition." 
  • The Cardinals have improved in several areas without sacrificing prospects or draft picks while the rest of the division largely stood pat in terms of acquisitions, says Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but that does not mean the club has only smooth sailing ahead. While the organization dealt with injuries impressively last year, it is no sure thing to do so again, and players like Peter Bourjos and Allen Craig have some injury baggage. Whether the team can get a repeat performance from Matt Carpenter, and get production from an all-new middle infield (Jhonny Peralta, Kolten Wong, and Mark Ellis) are also all open questions.
  • After signing all but one arbitration player (Andrew Cashner), the Padres' payroll looks likely to end up at around $87MM by Opening Day, writes Dennis Lin of U-T San Diego. That would constitute a delivery on owner Ron Fowler's promise of a payroll increase of over 20%, says Lin, who opines that the team could still look to extend Cashner and add a southpaw to the pen.
  • As noted in an earlier post, MLB.com's Ken Gurnick says the Dodgers should prioritize an extension of Hanley Ramirez over the signing of Masahiro Tanaka. Meanwhile, reports Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com, the team has continued to talk with Michael Young about a return for the trade deadline acquisition. 


23 Responses to NL Notes: Reds, Cardinals, Padres, Dodgers Leave a Reply

  1. bobbybaseball 2 years ago

    I agree the Cardinals have made some good, low risk moves, but remember, they did lose Beltran.

    • Teufelshunde4 2 years ago

      The real question is does Adams take a step forward and provide more then last season? And how soon is Taveras going to be a factor? Seems like 2012 all over. Who to replace Pujols production? Nows its how to replace Beltran’s production? With the answers likely in house for Cards. But if not they have the pieces to fix the issue.

      • chad 2 years ago

        Long term I think that Craig has to play first, his bat is too important in that lineup now to be absent. I see Adams as a platoon/pinch hitter on the cards or another squad. Tavares is the long term answer to RF which I doubt he will start the season in MLB, in my humble opinion

        • YARRitsBLAKE 2 years ago

          Isn’t Craig able to possibly play LF? I know that would displace Matt Holliday, but the big question is going to be, what do they do with Craig/Adams? It appears Craig is no longer the Cards choice at 2B with the acquisition of Ellis and the hopeful emergence of Wong. Craig isn’t athletic enough to play SS and they already have signed Peralta to man that position. Carpenter has 3B locked down. I mean, it would make sense to move Craig to LF and Holliday to RF because I mean, they put up with Beltran’s defense there last year, Holliday may be a tad worse, but hey, you have to get Craig’s bat in the lineup. I’m not a Cardinals fan, so I don’t know what management is doing on that whole front.

          • Lanidrac 2 years ago

            Craig is expected to take over RF while Adams takes 1B. There will be some shifting around with Taveras expected to get some playing time in both CF and RF, while Craig will shift to 1B on occasion, but that’s the general plan for the moment.

    • Dark Knight 2 years ago

      So ! No great loss! He couldn’t run or play defense anymore! Was turning 38 this year & wanted a 3 year deal which he got & 45 mil! We saved a lot of cash & now have a better player in right field with Allen Craig OR Oscar Taveras & it made the team better & PLUS we got a draft pick! Win Win all the way around! Bye Bye Beltran & Good Luck! See Ya!

      • Jeffy25 2 years ago

        Exclamation point day I see

      • bobbybaseball 2 years ago

        I agree with the decision not to give him a multi-year deal and that his defense is declining. But his offensive production waa still pretty good. All I’m suggesting is that they will need to replace those numbers.

      • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

        No great loss? That’s what you think. But the Cards still need to replace that production.

        • billydaking 2 years ago

          Allen Craig, Matt Adams, and, at some point, Oscar Taveras.

        • Lanidrac 2 years ago

          Between his age and injury history, Beltran’s not expected to produce at a similar level for much longer, anyway.

  2. Cyyoung 2 years ago

    Mozeliak is a Great GM.

  3. murph180 2 years ago

    The Padres payroll could be more than the Mets….

  4. johnsilver 2 years ago

    I’d love to see Ramirez back to the 2009 form consistently once again, yes he was that way last year I realize. If LA could get that guy under contract for a few years? They would have one of the best players in the game overall, not one of those way overhyped 5 tool guys, but one that has proven it over the course of a few seasons on the field.

    There was a period of 3-4 years that nothing was beyond this guy, his only issue was the infamous “double clutch” at SS where he held onto the ball before throwing it to a base. He could do anything with the bat. Trader Jack began working with him, like he did Bonifacio with the mental part of the game, but he only had them half a season. It’s all that was wrong with both.. Confidence. He fixed Bonifacio’s issues while he was with the Fish, but not all of Hanley’s.

    I want to see Ramirez anchor down that LA lineup, sandwiched with AGone and Puig. Get him back to where he was around ’08-09 and this lineup will be what Detroit and Boston has any day of the week and far better than anything in the NL with a rotation unequaled in the NL.

    • BlueSkyLA
      BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

      I don’t see Ramirez as the classic “five tool” player. His defensive work is never going to be better than just average. He still does that double-clutch thing quite a bit, and his speed isn’t what it was once. But the man can hit, and that more than makes up for his mediocre defensive skills.

  5. Jeffy25 2 years ago

    Gurnick still writing about baseball?

    Figured he gave up on the sport with his hall of fame vote.

    And no, Hanley shouldn’t be the priority over tanaka

    • Matt 2 years ago

      Yes he easily should, but the Dodgers got so much money that they shouldn’t have a problem getting both done if they really want both.

      • BlueSkyLA
        BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

        Exactly. Kasten made it clear again just this week that the first priority for the Dodgers is fielding the best team they can, not reaching some salary line. I don’t understand why so many in the sports media have such a hard time getting that message.

  6. Tony 2 years ago

    Guys — is there any team in baseball that would not LOVE to have the “problems” that the Cardinals have? EVERY team is subject to the injury bug — and Craig’s injury last September was a freakish thing caused by the first base umpire.
    Let’s break things down. Peter Bourjos may be right now the best defensive outfielder in the game. He can steal bases, lots of them, which Jon Jay can’t do. That will easily make up for whatever slight offensive advantage you give to JJ, and I’m not sure there is that, either. Bourjos is a player with a lot of upside.
    Jhonny Peralta is a huge offensive upgrade at SS. Even if he is only average, it’s still huge.
    Matt Carpenter is still on the upswing. And now he moves to his natural position.
    Yadier Molina and Matt Holliday are horses. Holliday will be less exposed in LF now that Bourjos is in center.
    Allen Craig is an excellent player and still underrated. His hitting with RISP was not a fluke; it’s instead his OK batting with nobody on that is a fluke. I don’t think there’s any reason to suppose that he will regress.
    Matt Adams is a beast, and Oscar Taveras is a beast in the making.
    Mark Ellis has been a fine MLB player for many years, and will take the pressure off Kolten Wong, who has succeeded everywhere he’s been, until the pressure of last September.
    What’s not to like about the team? That Honus Wagner isn’t starting at shortstop?

    • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

      They need to replace Beltran’s production. Craig’s BA w/ RISP was 100% a fluke. It was 139 points higher than his overall BA. That will never happen again. Chances are he doesn’t even hit .300 in that split in 2014. After enough years, most players’ BA w/ RISP closely matches their overall BA, same with postseason stats. Career averages show up in all splits after enough years. In fact the team’s BA w/ RISP was a fluke, and that will probably never happen again either. They need to replenish their losses as much as any other contender.

      • Drew M 2 years ago

        Craig has always had a BA of .400 or over with RISP throughout his career in the majors and minors. The teams RISP average was a fluke. Craigs was not.

      • Lanidrac 2 years ago

        Baseball players are not machines. I’ve seen too many examples (Craig’s included) to doubt that there are mental adjustments that allow some players to be great clutch hitters.

        Besides, even if you expect Craig’s clutch hitting to revert to form, so should his power. He’s still a .306/.358/.492 career hitter. A full season of starting from Adams, the addition of Peralta, and the imminent arrival of Taveras should make up the rest of the difference.

  7. Ryan Stall 2 years ago

    Padres need hitters, not another pitcher. We already have 3 lefties in the bullpen (Erlin, Luebke and Schuster). Even though I see Luebke and Erlin as more starters than relievers.

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