In a chat yesterday, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch covered a series of topics with his readers, many of which implicated the hot stove. Here are a few highlights:
- Top prospect Oscar Taveras will have a shot at winning a roster spot in the spring, Goold writes. He may start out coming off of the bench, as Matt Adams did last year, though service time considerations will certainly weigh in the equation. Meanwhile, Carlos Martinez could still begin the year as a starter in Triple-A or as a key part of the big club's bullpen. To hold him in the minors as starting depth, however, the Cards would need to feel confident in another relief option, Goold explains. If injuries do not intervene, big springs from Taveras and Martinez could force other roster moves to clear way.
- When it comes time to make those decisions, Cards' GM John Mozeliak will surely utilize the club's value-based approach to comparing players and making personnel decisions. As Goold explains, the team puts a premium not only on years of control, but also the availability of options that allow the club to maintain that control even if a player struggles (or is supplanted) at the big league level. The organization has also ensured depth by holding onto higher-level minor leaguers that appear blocked, rather than flipping them for younger, more speculative talent.
- Mozeliak could always be wooed by an organization like the Rockies, says Goold, but all indications are that he remains committed to St. Louis. Mozeliak has interest in the game's broader business aspects, and could continue to expand his role in that respect with the Cardinals. If Mozeliak were to climb in the organization and move out of a baseball operations role, he has indicated that he would like to have a succession plan in place. Goold notes that several internal candidates to fill his shoes would be assistant GM Michael Girsch, director of player personnel Matt Slater, and director of amateur scouting Dan Kantrovitz.
- Putting aside the Cards, Goold opines that the Nationals are the N.L. club that has made the most improvement over the off-season to date. He views Doug Fister as a "big addition" for D.C.
- The Cardinals figure to join other MLB clubs in expanding the use of defensive shifts next season, Goold advises.