It’s been a quiet day on the rumor mill, but thankfully we’ve got some interesting questions to get to in today’s MLBTR Mailbag!
After the loss of John Lackey and Jason Heyward, the Cardinals’ 2 best players in 2015, adding Mike Leake was our only upgrade. We have very little power or speed. With the improvements of the other teams in the NL do you think the Cardinals will make the playoffs?
I’d have liked to see the Cardinals do more with their rotation, as losing Lance Lynn for the season was a significant blow, and Jaime Garcia’s arm is a perennial question mark. Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha have both had injury issues in the past as well. All that said, though, to call Leake the team’s only upgrade feels incorrect. The Cardinals added an intriguing bullpen arm in Seung-hwan Oh and improved their catching depth with Brayan Pena as well. Beyond that, there’s enormous room for internal growth; the Cardinals will have full seasons of Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk in 2016, and they’ll also see the return of Adam Wainwright (who scarcely pitched in 2015 due to an Achilles injury) and Jordan Walden to fortify the pitching staff. There’s also a chance that Brandon Moss, now further removed from the microfracture hip surgery he had following the 2014 season, will return to his more productive ways from 2012-14.
The Cardinals had baseball’s second-best run differential in a season without Wainwright last year, and while it’s fair to expect some regression in Grichuk and Piscotty, it’s a huge overreaction to imply that they’re any sort of long shot to make the playoffs. If anything, losses in the Pittsburgh rotation and the continued tear-down of the Brewers and Reds have softened the division. It’s a difficult division with two very good teams joining them at the top (Pittsburgh and Chicago), but the Cardinals should be in the mix for a postseason spot.
The Braves are rumored to have an agreement in place with Kevin Maitan. Do tampering rules count towards international signings? — Mike B.
The concept of tampering generally is invoked with regard to players that are currently under contract with another organization. Maitan isn’t even yet eligible to sign. Generally, though, this sort of thing happens every season with every team. A huge number of the July 2 signings you’ll see have been in place for months, which is why there’s such a landslide of reports on international prospect signings on the day the signing period opens. You can argue that the system needs fixing, and you won’t get a disagreement here, but that situation is no way unique to the Braves.
Two of the best veterans, Juan Uribe and Justin Morneau, are still on the market. These are guys who can either start or provide a productive bat and clubhouse presence off the bench. Why has there been so little news about them and where do you see them landing? — Will M.
There’s been a bit of talk about Uribe recently, as he’s been connected most heavily to the Indians (as a starter at third) but also as a versatile reserve for the Giants and Yankees. Cleveland is the best fit for him, from my vantage point, although there’s a reasonable case to be made that the Astros and Padres could use him just as much as any of those clubs. The Indians seem like the most plausible landing spot for him at this point, just based on the combination of interest and need.
Morneau’s market has been decidedly more quiet, but he still seems like a candidate to land a one-year deal somewhere in Spring Training. It’s possible that at this point, his reps at Relativity are waiting to see if any team incurs a first base/DH injury in Spring Training, as that could open a spot for him. If not, the Astros have the most glaring need at first base of any contending club from where I sit. It’s true that there are some young names on the horizon like A.J. Reed and Tyler White, but Morneau would be a reasonable stopgap to start the season at first base and eventually slide into more of a part-time role. That Evan Gattis recently had core muscle surgery only makes the fit more logical, as any lingering issues from that would prove problematic for Houston.
The Orioles farm system is probably second worst in baseball behind the Angels. In 2014 they forfeited or traded their top 3 picks. How much are they forsaking their long term success if they forfeit 2 top 30 picks for Yovani Gallardo and Dexter Fowler? — Derek R.
Jeff Todd and I actually covered this on the MLBTR Podcast last week. It’s true that the Orioles would be compounding the problem of a largely barren farm system by forfeiting their top two picks in this year’s draft. However, Baltimore’s offseason maneuvering — beginning with Matt Wieters’ acceptance of the qualifying offer and continuing through re-signing Darren O’Day and Chris Davis, plus adding Hyeon-soo Kim on a fairly high-upside deal — gives a sense that they’re still firmly in “go for it” mode. If the thought is to add Gallardo on a three-year deal and possibly Fowler on a two-year deal (or acquire two years of control over Jay Bruce from Cincinnati), it seems fair to say that they could consider 2016 and 2017 both seasons in that “go for it” window. I think it’s interesting to note that if the Orioles don’t contend in 2016 and struggle again in 2017, their list of trade chips for an accelerated rebuild would be impressive (whether that comes in mid-2017 or following the 2017 season). Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Zach Britton are all controlled through 2018, and any of that trio would, at least at present, seem to represent a player that could fetch a haul were the final year or year-and-a-half of his services placed on the trade market. Baltimore would also be able to potentially listen on the final year of a theoretical Gallardo contract, two years of Jonathan Schoop and as many as three years of Kevin Gausman in that scenario.
All of that, of course, is highly hypothetical, but the point is that the O’s presently have enough high-value, controllable assets that it’s easy to see them successfully pulling off a Braves-esque rebuild in the 2017-18 offseason if things don’t go their way over the next two seasons.
Is the MASN deal ever going to be settled? — Marla A.
This falls within Jeff’s wheelhouse, so I asked him to take a crack at answering your question … and you can blame him for any errors or omissions!
To begin with, those who aren’t familiar with this matter should read about the key decision (to date) right here. As I explained there, the court didn’t actually decide how much the Nats will get from the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network and when they’ll get it; rather, it said that the prior arbitration decision had to be set aside because of a conflict of interest in the Nationals’ choice of representation.
In addition to throwing the matter back open to dispute, that decision also allowed the Orioles (who control MASN) to fight over the forum for a re-hearing and to continue to run the clock on the Nats. That gives Baltimore leverage, as D.C. struggles with stalled and uncertain cash flow.
Now, the ultimate rights fee issue will certainly be settled in some manner, and there’s some hope that will occur sooner rather than later. Commissioner Rob Manfred recently expressed some confidence that there’s an end in sight, saying:“I think in reasonably short order, there will be a resolution of MASN, either by the litigation being done or some other mechanism.”
Of course, let’s remember that we’re talking legal timelines here, and they can be lengthy. It appears that the case is currently sitting in an appellate court, as MASN has appealed the trial court’s decision not to order arbitration before a neutral arbitral forum. If a settlement can’t be worked out at some point, then the case will continue to work its way through the system.
Ultimately, some new arbitration will be initiated, and at that point it should proceed fairly swiftly, with the Nats’ money spigot being turned back on without much delay after a decision is reached. Notice, though, that I say “should”; there’s always the possibility of yet more legal wrangling thereafter, though this particular case is rather unusual in that the underlying arbitration decision was actually thrown out (a relative rarity).
On a relevant — and somewhat ridiculous — note, it’s important to bear in mind that the next rights fee period in the deal (2017-2021) is already fast approaching. Clearly, that needs to be dealt with as well, perhaps with some new initiative to look for a more permanent solution.
The Cardinals are a bit like the NL version of the yankees. You don’t bet on either team to miss the playoffs.
I am getting tired of hearing about the Cardinals “losing ground” in the division to the Cubs because of their lack of offseason moves. Keep in mind the Cardinals were decimated with injuries during the playoffs last season when the Cubs faced an aceless rotation. A lot of people talk about Piscotty and Grichuk regressing this season, but the same people expecting the Cardinals to have regression seem to be the same ones that believe the Cubs will have repeat performances from all of the prospects that contributed so much last season (I guess Sophomore Slumps aren’t a thing). Do you think the Cubs will have another season where they have a Cy Young Winner, and 2 players in the MVP Top 10 voting (3 if you count Arrieta)?. The addition of Heyward to the Cubs may be an upgrade, but most of his value comes from his defense in RF, which he is not going to be playing in Chicago. Lackey is getting older and will most likely not repeat his 2015 performance. Arrieta had an incredible/historic performance last season that I’m not sure he will repeat (he looked hittable in his last 2 playoff starts).
Has anyone else noticed the number of “Cardinal Killers” that are no longer in the division or have been added to the Cardinals? (Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Khris Davis, Starlin Castro, Todd Frazier (12 HR 32 RBI), Jedd Gyorko)
Heh. Cardinal fans are mighty delicate, aren’t they! Of course, one could also look at how crazy lucky the team has gotten, twice in last three years (once their hitting, and last year their pitching). I think this is about an 85 win team if things go well. Maybe they sniff a wild card if Wainwright pitches well and they beat up on the Reds and Brewers.
I will take the over on that. The Cubs are going to miss Dexter Fowler and Starlin Castro more than they think.
Yep, been crazy lucky for about 20 years now, I guess.. Cubs were going to pitch us to death with Wood/Prior/Zambrano. Didn’t happen. Astros were supposed to supplant the Cards at the top of division….they’re not even in the NL anymore. Then it was the Brewers turn to try to topple the Cardinals. Didn’t happen. Reds were up next and won exactly zilch. The Pirates finally decided to take their turn, but never could top the Cards. And now we’re back to the Cubs challenging for supremacy again. The one constant in this division is the Cardinals. They might not win the division every single year, but counting them out of any season is just foolish. seamaholic seems like one of those guys who thinks he’s a lot smarter about baseball than he actually is. And judging from his next completely unnecessary complaint, he’s probably got a real winning personality to boot.
Speaking as one without an NL Central rooting interest, I’d be a little less smug and condescending if my team was under investigation (with one employee having already pled guilty) to hacking another team’s proprietary information
So if someone where you works does something illegal that you know nothing about, does that make you guilty also. There is no more investigation. It’s over.
We’ll see what MLB does when they get the results of the criminal investigation.
They have to do something to save face, but it’s not going to be the crippling fines alot of Cubs fans want. I still find it funny that there is no mention to the proprietary information Lunhow took with him.
“The best fans in baseball!”
Yes they are. It only takes being around them to see that. I’ve lived in many locations over the past 20 years, due to my job. Currently I’m in St. Louis. I hate the city. The entire city seems to have an inferiority complex. Never have I seen a city that wants to relate to every news story. Every single story in the news is tied back to a “local connection.” No other city I’ve lived in even comes close to this I-want-to-be-involved attitude. But I degress. When it comes to baseball no other city seems to have such a consensus of knowledgeable fans. Sure there are idiot fans also. But ask them what Willie McGee’s BA was in 1985 and the majority will rattle it off. It’s uncanny how into baseball these fans are. Now with that said I’ve not had the privilege of living in every baseball city, but I have lived within the “fan base” area of nearly half. Cardinals fans take it a step higher. Other fans cast the moniker of best fans in baseball as an insult. But from what I’ve seen most fan bases don’t even come close. At the end of May I will be relocated to yet another baseball city. So my informal study will increase.
If anyone has any doubt, just ask them…because they will tell you. Again and again and again.
As for the team, they are in trouble this year. Their pitching should regress back towards the norm, but having Wainwright for the entire year will help cushion that part. The bigger issue is their lineup and the health of Molina. Their lineup is anemic and Molina has an amazing presence in the locker room and on the field. I admittedly am not a fan of STL, but I respect how their organization sustains a competitive team and holds onto guys like Molina.
As for Cubs v. STL, it is all about the playoffs. STL just needs to grab a wild card spot to make it interesting. The Cubs can hit and their two-headed monster (Arietta & Lackey) is pretty good. Lackey is a #2 btw, and I haven’t seen anything that points to him stepping up to #1 status.
I would love to pick STL to miss the playoffs, but they have an annoying ability to win consistently, which is a testament to their organization and players. I believe this is the worst team they’ve had in a number of years and I can see them being a game or two over .500 and missing the playoffs, but I their track record is such that I’m not betting against them.
Don’t give me that “decimated” bullcrap.
The only Cardinals starting pitcher who was absent from the postseason was Martinez, and they had their ace Wainwright back, who I’m sure they could’ve stretched out as a starter if needed.
The only other significant injury they had in the playoffs was Molina, and he only missed the last 1 1/2 games.
He only missed 1 and a half games but was nothing like he should have been for the entire series. But you’re right there was no decimation.
And the Cubs had no significant injuries the ENTIRE year, unlike the Cardinals, who still pulled off 100 wins. So keep throwin trash talk at the Cardinals, theyre ready for it Chicago.
Rythestunner…….Congrats on making the most ill-informed, ignorant comment of the month. Wainwright made his first appearance back from his injury with only 2 1/2 weeks left in the season, nowhere near enough time to get him stretched out. Molina missed the last 2 weeks of the season with his thumb injury and only played to try and help the pitchers. He couldn’t even swing the bat and had surgery immediately after the season. Lance Lynn was pitching with a torn UCL that required Tommy John surgery after the season. Matt Holiday was playing on an injured quad that cost him 70 games. Gritchuk had an injured elbow and couldn’t throw. If the Cubs had lost their ace (Arrietta) for 5 months they wouldn’t even make the playoffs. Imagine the Cubs with no Arrietta (Wainwright), Lester (C. Martinez) Hendricks pitching with a bad elbow (Lynn) Montero unable to swing a bat, Schwarber at 60%, and Fowler at 70%.. The Cubs LOSE the series. The Cubs DON’T MAKE THE PLAYOFFS without Arrietta. Congrats again, another fool that roots for the loser Cubs.
They still had their season ace Lackey (2.77 ERA), Lynn (3.03 ERA), Garcia (2.43 ERA) and Wacha (3.38 ERA) and still couldn’t get it done. Don’t be “that” guy who blames injury.
Lackey was not the ace. I hate that now that he’s a Cub ppl have a higher view of him.
And people think Lackey will pitch that way with Chicago…..of course he won’t
Wainwright wasn’t in the rotation, Lynn was obviously not 100% since he had to have Tommy John surgery after the season, and Martinez was out as well. So the Cardinals had a rotation of no aces pitching in the series. 60% of a rotation injured sounds decimated to me.
The ’06 Mets were as much on cloud 9 as Cubs fans are now. Beltran (the bum) at his absolute peak (for the regular season at least) Wright and Reyes at their peaks, Delgado on the “decline” only hitting 38 hrs and all 4 of them finishing top 12 in MVP voting and a rotation anchored by Pedro, Pre-Bone spur-Maine and Glavine, yeah, better team. Epic collapse in ’07 and the dismantling began. Be wary of what you reap, Cubbies. The Cardinals as an organization simply know how to win, and reliving them of an aging (albeit ageless) Lackey who started the most games of his career in ’15 and second most innings in addition to Heyward who is an absolutely gifted fielder but statistically almost identical in batting to Dex Fowler I don’t think will cut it. Start thinking wildcard, Wrigley faithful.
I realize MLBTR probably doesn’t pay super well and it’s a federal holiday (so we’ll take what we can get), but seriously, a “mailbag” of five questions, one about a business question no one outside of Baltimore/Washington could possibly care less about?
It’s a weekly feature that we ran today. The questions reflect a paucity of new hot stove topics of interest. Do you want me to make up rumors or something?
Oh, and I’ll admit that I don’t quite earn what I did at the old law firm, but it doesn’t impact my effort level. But hey, I can’t speak for Steve, so maybe he was just “mailing” it in here (get it?!).
I. Care about the masn issue and find it really interesting.
And I’m not a fan of Balt or wash.
Keep writing about it.
Well, I for one do care and appreciate the efforts of the MLBTR staff.
BTW, MLBTR put out a request for a writer a week or so ago. Maybe instead of complaining about nothing, you can put your name in and contribute something more than meaningless and unnecessary comments.
Keep hearing how bad the Orioles farm system is but truth is there is not much upward movement to budge the starting 8. Orioles two top levels went deep in AAA and AA playoffs. Dariel Alvarez was an All Star in just his second season and Oliver Drake top reliever but Zack Britton was going no where. Now Rodriguez goes to Boston and fits in their rotation but he was no where good enough to deserve a call up with the Orioles. Moncada is rated 4th yet hit sub .280- in low A ball had a good season and guess they like his 49 steals. Orioles have quite a few top notch infielders with similar numbers to Moncada at Frederick and Eastern Shore. Two top first baseman with trey Mancini but no room at first for a long time in Baltimore.
Moncada’s hype is based off of his ability–He had a crazy second half.
I won’t deny that Dariel Alvarez is going to be a stud–I’ve been a supporter of him since he came into the public eye in like December of 2012, but is a bit old for a prospect at 27 and needs to be in the bigs quickly–however, the rest of their guys project as decent, but not star potential- Mike Wrights maybe a future mid-rotation guy at best, Christian Walker may possibly be a serviceable power bench bat, but probably not much more.
When assessing a farm system, don’t look at W/L record. The Nats system under Bowden used to tout the W/L record, ignoring that it was built on retread major leaguers and old-for-level never-weres. The better bet is to look for players who have a chance to become solid-to-star level major leaguers
You dont use stats to justify prospect rankings. All those players you listed for the O’s are fringe prospects who don’t even project as MLB regulars.
As far as Moncada, He hit .310 with an OPS over 850 in the 2nd quarter. He had a rough start to the season given he was shaking off rust after not playing baseball in over a year. The O’s dont have one prospect that even compares to Moncada.
The O’s dont have a spot for Rodriguez? Rodriguez would be your best or 2nd best starter.
That’s the funny part that the Red Sox don’t get yet but will soon. Eduardo is not going to amount to more than anything but a back of the rotation starter. The Orioles New that when they traded him. The Os have plenty of major league prospects but because it’s the Orioles no-one believes it but they are there.
This is nonsense. A team a prospect plays for has absolutely zero impact on their prospect status. No one believe in the O’s farm because there isn’t much talent in it. They rarley invest in international and they’ve traded/signed away a lot of picks and prospects. Bundy and Harvey were both nice pieces, but unfortunatley injuries hurt their stock.
As far as Erod, totally man. A top 50 prospect with 2 plus pitches is nothing more than a backend arm… Your bias is showing. Im pretty sure almost every talent evaluator and prospect expert has said he has TOR upside and a floor of a mid rotation arm. Keith Law even had him in his top 20 last season.
Just to add to the MASN update: although MASN nominally won the decision on COI grounds, they lost in every substantive way – most importantly on the methodology for computing the rights fees. That’s why the “victor” (MASN/Angelos) were the ones to appeal. MLB has cross-appealed, saying the trial court erred in throwing out the initial award. If MLB wins, it’s game over.
In the meantime the Nationals have done as the trial court suggested & gotten new counsel. They have therefore made a motion to the trial court to compel MASN to go back to the RSDC for a new award. I think the Nats are doing this (rather than joining MLB) because they’re gunning for a larger award. They might get it, too, since the original award was based on a very conservative assessment of where the RSN market was going – an assessment that has been overtaken by events.
Nice additions, thanks. Sure would like to see the docket and briefings – is that easy to get from the state court site?
You’re right that MASN lost on most grounds, but getting it overthrown was a pretty notable victory regardless. I guess your point is more that they are forced into an appeal as a way to get their preferred remedy (neutral panel), since the lower court didn’t see fit to order that — probably at least in part b/c the grounds for overturning the decision related more to the (kinda inexplicable) choice of counsel, not the panel or structure of proceedings per se.
Generally, my take on the MASN appeal is that they are trying to lever a largely hollow victory (at least, going forward … they already won delay/leverage) into a new forum (neutral arb) or, at least, more delay.
The most interesting question is whether the Nats have any hope of trying for a bigger award. High stakes for the O’s if they really opened the door to that. That seems like an interesting evidentiary type of question for a new panel with lots of angles to it. And another issue ripe for future litigation if the Nats somehow do get a larger number.
The main one for beginners of the league allowing the Nat’s onto their turf while not allowing the struggling A’s to move to San Jose, the Giants now.
Maybe work a deal with Angelos somehow and the Athletics where he pays whatever damages (small) would have been given go to Oakland now so it looks like he got a somewhat hollow victory? He never wanted the Nats anywhere near him to start with and it still isn’t right that the league forced him to allow it now.
At least with the Athletics in San Jose, there is another later on example and not just this single example of forced coercion.
Ironically, the Senators allowed the St. Louis Browns to move to Baltimore and become the Orioles.
It should have been an open bidding process on where the Expos went. Cutting a mid market teams fan base in half and giving most of the wealthier half to the other team was kind of a jerk move. But O’s fans have been getting messed over since a NY judge told Eli Jacobs he couldn’t sell the O’s to Barry Dewitt and Larry Lucchino and had to put the team up for auction. What have their teams won respectively, five WS titles since Angelos bought the team? So if the Nats get a big settlement it will be just more of the same.
We need a like button on here. Because that is so true. The Washington Senators had Baltimore get a team and now the tables have turned.
It was a whole different animal then due to the reserve clause.
Yes, but that was so long ago. We could mention all the 2 sports teams with one in each league, even the old Boston Braves and Sox.
I mainly meant the last 50y or so. Post Bowie Kuhn actually when the league got kind of modern.. FA and all..
To be more precise, it wasn’t that the trial court “didn’t see fit to order [a neutral third party panel]” – the trial court held that it couldn’t order one even if it wanted to as a matter of law, because courts lack the authority to rewrite the party’s bargain. The court said that if the parties all agree to a different arbitrator, sure (good luck getting the Nats to go for that). But the O’s agreed to an “inside baseball” process and are stuck with it.
I think the trial court will grant the Nats’ motion, but stay the order pending the outcome of the various appeals. From the Nats perspective this would (a) increase the pressure on Angelos, because it ups the stakes if he loses; and (b) speed the process should the appeals court uphold the trial court decision in its entirety.
Getting the pleadings has been tough – there’s a guy on Twitter (@EricFisherSBJ) who posts links sometimes. The decision itself is available.
Another part of the Nats’ motion to compel – they contend that the O’s refusal to go back to the RSDC is a breach of the process the teams agreed to in the original 2005 deal. If the O’s refuse & are found in material breach of contract, the Nats could escape the MASN deal entirely
Yeah, I read the decision a while back when I wrote the linked post, but haven’t reviewed it since. Certainly, if the court said it didn’t have any authority to order a different arbitral panel, then that’s a clear matter to decide on appeal.
That sounds like an argument you might make but would never expect to win. Surely, there’s a colorable legal argument for the motions/appeals the O’s/MASN are making. Hard to imagine a court just blowing up the entire agreement b/c Baltimore is arguing over the nature of the relief it is entitled to. Might be different if it was ignoring a court order to arbitrate or something, but I doubt they’d do that.
Oh, they only blow up the agreement if the appeals court upholds the trial court decision & the O’s still refused to go back to the RSDC panel.
I have no love for WAS as a team or fanbase, but Angelos is a jerk of epic proportions. I hope they can settle on fair terms and be done with it…..as 2017 they can re-negotiate…lol.
If the trial court decision stands, then the O’s would have essentially no chance to appeal the basis of a higher award or the process – they’d be bound by res judicata.
I don’t think I agree with that — another arb would potentially pose a whole new slate of questions. There might be individual questions that couldn’t be re-litigated, but there could be plenty of new matters that were never addressed in the initial litigation. It would depend upon what is ultimately decided in the current litigation, what happens in the new arbitration, and then how the arguments were framed/received by the court. Everything would get new layers of complexity — which is one of many reasons why MLB probably needs to somehow get a negotiated settlement in place.
I don’t doubt that Angelos would try – but as you already noted, it’s rare for a court to toss an arbitration award. If the trial court decision stands and the COI issue fixed (and the Nats getting new counsel was expressly mentioned in the decision as one of several possible ways to do that), it’s hard to see where Angelos could go from there. Everything for Angelos rides on the appeal.
I do agree that MLB desperately wants a settlement. But Angelos has already decided not to accept 3/4 of a loaf (the panel award was much closer to the MASN figure than to the Nats’ figure, I suspect in part to try to get Angelos to accept it), and the Lerners have the resources to wait him out. Everyone is now so pissed off (a technical legal term) that I’d bet they fight to the bitter end.
Beyond Angelos wanted to stick it to WAS, and any type of delay tactic hurts WAS, so I’m sure he’d love for this to carry on to spite all involved.
I really really hope My Braves land Maitan they are comparing him to Miggy of the Tigers and to chipper cause he switch hits and plays SS.
Wow. How could this mailbag start with the ludicrous statement of Lackey and Heyward being the Cardinals two best players. One of two things have to be true of the person asking that question. It is either a Cubs fan posing as a Cards fan or really doesn’t know much about baseball. Jason Heyward is over rated. Matt Carpenter was far and away superior to Heyward last season. Heyward is being paid due to potential. He’s a .280 hitter with great defense. He has little power and surprisingly little speed on the base paths. If he doesn’t opt out of his contract the Cubs will be crying about him being over paid in about five years.
John Lackey wasn’t even the Cardinals best right handed starter. Both Wacha and Martinez were better pitchers. Lackey was great at home and so so on the road. Pitching half his games in Wrigley will expose his age curve. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his era go up and entire run in 2016.
The Cardinals made a few additions by subtraction in the off season. Namely in the departure of Jay, Kozma and the truest dead weight of all Borgeous.
If Holiday stays healthy his numbers will be around the same as Heyward’s. Grichuck will eclipse him playing an entire season.
Mike Leake will be an adequate replacement for Lackey. I call that move a push. Wainwright in the rotation will make up for the loss of Lynn. Gyrko, Pham, Pena and Piscotty are huge up grades over the previously mentioned Kozma, Jay, Borgeous and Cruz. If anything I think this Cardinals team will be better.
Injuries will hurt when they come. They will determine how the Cardinals do in 2016.
The Cubs are much improved, but injuries could make or break them as well.
cub pickups heyward zobrist lackey highly overrated. defensive value overrated too. two boring hitters and a hard drinking pitcher playing lots of day games.
I agree that Heyward is over rated. Especially since he is projected to be just an above average CF. Almost $200m for an above average CF seems excessive. They should have just resigned Fowler for 1/5th the money. I doubt Heyward will be far and away better than Fowler with the bat this year. Don’t get me wrong he is the superior player but Fowler was all the Cubs needed. Zobrist is another beast entirely. He was an excellent signing by the Cubs. He can cover Lf if Schwarber faulters or can cover 2nd if Baez isn’t ready. He was a solid #2/#3 hitter in the AL. Moving to the NL Central where he will face teams like the Reds and Brewers regularly should provide a nice boost on his career averages. He put up solid numbers in the AL East every year. I am betting on a career year with the bat out of him this year. Lackey is Lackey. A solid #3 which is exactly what they needed. I am glad they didn’t run out and sign Price like several of the talking heads predicted. So, IMO they should have signed Fowler instead of Heyward or signed Heyward and possibly added to the deal with the Yankees. Maybe adding Soler and Baez then getting back Gardner, Pineda or Eovaldi and Betances. Would have taken care of both teams needs.
heyward isnt overrated he was called up at a young age and still can improve
20? And he was a man among boys in the minors at the time. His rookie season, which was partially halted by a nagging injury, was justification of his call-up.
200 million and even you say he can still improve. Sounds over rated to me.
Cards will make Trade for Cargo or Votto if Cards are in it when trade deadline comes.
Cargo is over rated outside of Coors field and Votto would not be traded to the Cardinals. They don’t have the price the Reds would want. I think it’s more likely Votto winds up with a Mets logo on his chest come trade deadline time.
I don’t know about CarGo outside of Wrigley. He is a good enough hitter that the two extremes play a part into it. Just as Holliday proves those numbers aren’t the most accurate. I do know he is a platoon guy at this point. I don’t see the cards necessarily needing an outfielder but that’s dependent upon health. I also don’t see Votto being a Met. With Wright being a face of that franchise it’s more likely he gets transitioned eventually across the Diamond. The cards are fine. To say they weren’t decimated by injury is a joke. Sure they were back but the simple fact was they weren’t stretched out to factor in as starters. Lackey also isn’t an ace. The division still goes through St. Louis. The Cubs also have their question marks just like every team. The Pirates take a step back this year and they’ll be really good the year after. You look around the diamond as an objective baseball fan and realize the cards are still good. They don’t necessarily need that spectacular move if guys can stay healthy.
Cargo outside of Wrigley? I have no idea what that means. And are you saying he is a platoon guy? Unfortunately for Wright his back condition will only get worse not better. An eventual transition to first seems pointless to me.
Where do you get the Mets from?
Just a gut feeling. No basis. The Mets got to close last year. They will be in the hunt again this year. The Nationals are much improved. If Harper decides he wants to be a team player then the Nats are the team to beat. So the Mets should be looking to add a bat come trade deadline. Votto would be a perfect fit.
Morneau might be a good fit for the Padres, especially if they could unload Kemp and move Myers back to RF, which is his natural position. Kemp is just not going to be a good player in the NL anymore.
I think baseball is tired of hearing about the “The Cardinals are disrespected every year.” First off, no they aren’t. Not once in the last 15 years have they been picked to finish last in nl central. Baseball gets it… The cardinals are the class of the NL. Cards fans are too arrogant to play the underdog role. As a Cubs fan, I embraced the underdog role last year, and they were 8 games always from winning it all. I guess baseball writers should be sorry for not putting the cardinals as the champs every year. Cardinals’ fans have no idea how lucky they’ve been blessed with great play.
I give STL too much credit. I’ve always liked them, despite my allegiance, but over the last couple of years, with the size of money they have coming in/attendance and a once-heralded farm system, they have not produced what was expected. Interesting they’re now have been thought of as cheating (albeit a select few in the organization) by tampering, but still I wouldn’t have thought such things some time ago.
Wow so many things wrong with that statement. I don’t think I have the time to point it all out. I’ll just assume that anyone else who read that is laughing as well.
It’s not Luck. Luck is doing it occasionally. Not consistently doing it. I would also argue that they have no need to play the underdog role. It would actual be very uneducated as a baseball fan to play the underdog role when the team has offered them so much success. You say you played that role last year. Well unless youre around 110 you really have no choice. The Cubs are good no doubt about it. I see them winning the Central. But I find it ludicrous to say Cardinals fans should play the under dog. If they don’t make the playoffs once in the next 10 years, then maybe.