The Cardinals need to re-sign impending free agent Jason Heyward, Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. Heyward’s traditional stats don’t jump off the page, but he makes a difference with his fielding, throwing and baserunning, says Hochman, who also points to Heyward’s age and clubhouse presence. The Cardinals aren’t showing their hand yet, but they believe they have enough talent that they won’t let the situation with Heyward slow them down. “[H]istorically we’ve had that issue come up where are you held prisoner until you get something accomplished. The good news for us is I don’t think that’s the case here,” says GM John Mozeliak. “I think we have enough internal flexibility where we can still look to do other things and still accomplish what we need to do.” In a recent MLBTR Newsletter, Tim Dierkes examined 25 teams as potential suitors for Heyward, concluding that the teams most likely to sign him were the Yankees, Astros, Angels and Mariners along with the Cardinals. Here’s more from the National League.
- The Reds have a long road ahead as they attempt to catch up with the Cardinals, Cubs and Pirates, writes Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. The Reds need help offensively and won’t have much money with which to acquire it this offseason. “We have really, really stiff competition in our division,” says Joey Votto. “We can’t go in with a half effort because of how good those three teams are. … They’re good it seems at every aspect of the game. We have to exceed them.” Earlier this week, I looked for the Reds’ path forward as part of MLBTR’s Offseason Outlook series.
- After a down season in 2015, it looks highly unlikely shortstop Ian Desmond will re-sign with the Nationals, Chase Hughes of Nats Insider writes. The Nats won’t want to add another risky long-term contract, given that they already have the Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman deals on the books. And Trea Turner’s emergence gives them a potential replacement for Desmond at shortstop.
- North Carolina State’s 2011 recruiting class has already produced Turner and Carlos Rodon, and four other players from that class were also drafted, as Baseball America’s Jim Shonerd notes. That kind of haul is noteworthy not only for the talent involved, but because NC State got all those players in the last year before the new CBA limited the abilities of teams to spend heavily on late-round draft picks. The Wolfpack had, for example, also recruited righties Jake Junis (who ended up signing with the Royals for $675K) and Jason Creasy (who signed with the Pirates for $250K).
The St. Louis Cardinals (I believe) would like to re-sign Jason Heyward, however, I don’t think they have to re-sign him. I see a bidding war starting with him this winter. If that happens, the Cardinals will let him go and collect the compensatory pick, they’ve done this several times before with impact players (Pujols, Lohse, Beltran etc.) With the emergence of Stephen Piscotty, I think the team has a great talent at a much lower price.
This doesn’t mean the Cardinals won’t be looking though. I think a more reasonable acquisition could come in the form of a trade. One such player would be Carlos Gonzalez from Colorado. As stellar as Heyward’s defensive attributes are, The Cardinals need an impact bat more. CarGo is a prime candidate to fit that. He has a reasonable salary over the next 2 seasons at 37 million. Colorado needs a front line pitcher, St. Louis has plenty of that. Jaime Garcia and a prospect or two could fetch him from Colorado in my own opinion. With the return of Wainwright next season, a logjam is going to push someone out:
2016 St.Louis rotation:
Option to be exercised:
Garcia ( 2 options in 2016, 2017)
Up and coming:
Reyes (not too far off)
Garcia seems to be the logical man to be moved based on salary. However, I think RF could addressed in free agency as well. Perhaps Cepedes at a lower dollar/years commitment. This will depend on what the organization views as Piscotty’s future position though, OF or 1B.
New Law Era
I’m reversing course from my previous sentiments about Heyward. I still hate the price tag that is going to come with him but I think he can really flourish in the STL environment. If not for that dismal April, his batting stats probably would have looked much better. He’s young enough to where a 7 year deal isn’t a death sentence.
Let’s just see how the market prices him. If it’s too high, spend that money on offense. 1B is the most glaring weakness unless MO and company think Piscotty is the answer. I think it’s pretty obvious at this point that Adams is the odd man out regarding the future at 1B.
Hey wood isn’t worth 18 million a year and put Priscotty in right. Add the extra money into a new ace. Or trade Adams and Gracia for Cargo. My opinion!!!