Sadly for frustrated Cardinals fans, it’s come to this: Plan C. A distant Plan C, at that. After falling short on #2 starter types A.J. Burnett and Javier Vazquez, Walt Jocketty confirmed his interest in good ol’ Matt Morris.
Jayson Stark quoting an anonymous GM yesterday about the Cardinals:
"That’s a team whose window to win may be closing. They’ll still be good. But they’re getting thinner, and they’re getting older, and they’re getting more vulnerable."
This is undeniable. The Cards aren’t packed with young talent in the pipeline, and a couple of stars like Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen might be creeping towards their decline phase.
That’s why signing Matt Morris is a bad move. It doesn’t seem like the type of move the Cardinals would make. They were planning on letting him go because they knew he wasn’t worth $24MM over three years and they refused to pay it. Now they might hand him that money anyway because there’s nothing better and cheaper out there.
Continuing to pitch in front of a solid St. Louis defense will be good for Morris’s career as he becomes a finesse pitcher. A few weeks ago, I gave an ’06 projection for Morris as a San Francisco Giant. I said a 4.41 ERA with that defense; he might manage 4.25 with some luck as a Cardinal in ’06. U.S.S. Mariner said it best on October in their Free Agent Landmines post:
"Since the all-star break, Matt Morris has been, well, awful. His numbers across the board have taken a nosedive. His strikeout rate has fallen and he’s getting lit up like a Christmas tree. He has a history of arm problems, and at this point, wouldn’t be a good bet even on a one year contract. Given his reputation and his overall totals, someone is certainly going to overpay."
Looks like that someone could be the Cardinals.