Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offers a look back at the stunning 2014 trade that the Cardinals pulled off with the Red Sox. While the deadline swap that brought in John Lackey devastated the St. Louis clubhouse at the time — Allen Craig and Joe Kelly went to Boston — it looks quite good for the team in retrospect. Goold explores it from all angles, including those of the players involved, while noting one of the intriguing remaining elements of the deal: Cards outfield prospect Dylan Carlson, who was taken with the comp pick the team added when Lackey turned down a qualifying offer after the 2015 season.
- The Cardinals aren’t exactly hiding their interest in Cuban prospect Luis Robert, though it’s also still not fully clear just how hard the club will push to sign him. As Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes, GM John Mozeliak acknowledges that he had a face-to-face meeting with Robert, but also wasn’t willing to telegraph the team’s direction. “It’s hard for me to characterize exactly how I would position ourselves,” he said, “but I definitely felt like our scouts in our international department have done a good job.” It’s still hard to handicap the running for Robert, who is drawing interest from quite a few teams around the league.
- Cardinals righty Michael Wacha says it wasn’t his idea to skip a start, as Goold and Hummel write. Rather, it was a team decision to give the resurgent hurler a break, with the organization hoping to keep him fresh over the long haul. Wacha has shown improved velocity and results after struggling through an injury-marred 2016 season. “[A]nything you can bank now is smart,” Mozeliak explained, suggesting that there may not be another opportunity for an extended rest until the All-Star break.
- Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein suggested that the team is open to keeping young outfielder Ian Happ on the MLB roster, as Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports on Twitter. “When you call someone up, you always have plans in pencil,” said Epstein. “Nothing’s ever written in ink. He’s feeling great at the plate.” Indeed, the 22-year-old has launched two home runs in his first three games. If the highly regarded Happ can prove he’s capable of handling major league pitching as it adjusts to him, he could provide a boost to the defending champs.
- Meanwhile, Epstein tamped down any speculation that the Cubs or others might begin eyeing early trades, as Mooney further reports. Clubs around the league know that there’s still plenty of time for developments to change the calculus in any number of ways. For the Cubs, the current approach is the same as always, Epstein says: “We obviously have to prepare and allocate our scouting resources and whatnot. But it doesn’t make any sense to speculate on the nature of the trade market now, because it will look different in July than it does right now.”
I thought of something crazy, what if Happ pans out to be a star , and they put him in left field and Schwarber is traded, i doubt it would happen but its a thought
It’s a thought by about every realistic baseball fan out there.
Imagine if the cubs did trade Schwarber for Miller instead of the package for Chapman
Then maybe the Cubs don’t win the World Series. I think that Schwarber coming back for the World Series was a huge boost to everybody on that team. I’ll take the WS victory and leave the “what if’s” at the door.
Yeah Schwarber was big for them You’re talking about removing him from first 2 games and plugging in Heyward (he sat the first 2) and then plugging Coghlan into games 6 and 7.
I agree , but i was watching mlb central today, they were saying schwarber shouldnt be hitting lead off, anyone agree?
Hes a 7 hitter IMO. Solid power, and gets on base. To be an effective 1 hitter speed is preferred, not mandatory but preferred.
7 hitter….? I’m sorry but on what lineup would he be a 7 hitter and not a 3-4-5 guy. You want that bat in the first inning
I honestly think Zobrist or Heyward should be lead off
Most of Maddon’s unorthodox methods have paid off so far. But moving Schwarber to lead off was a bad idea from the start. His power potential and lack of speed make him the ideal cleanup hitter (more RBIs). He’s simply too slow to lead off, and all the HRs he’ll hit (presumably) will be wasted with no RISP.
Until Schwarber starts hitting above .200, he should be dropped in the order. Zobrist is more suited to lead off, with Rizz batting 2nd and Bryant 3rd.
What about him screams guy you want batting in the first 3 spots of your lineup? His 122nd ranked OBP? The .187 BA? His exceptional fleet of footness for a softy with a reconstructed knee?
I love the Schwarb, but he is what he is. He has no business in the first 3 spots of any average lineup. Much less a good one.
That being said, it’s not like they have a clearly better option to hit there. He’s probably going to maintain an OBP that resembles what a guy like Shin Soo Choo did for years. Will that profile as a leadoff guy? The OBP up there is very nice, but the rest of the #’s, not so much. However, gotta work with what you have.
The first inning ?
I’d want zo 2
Rizzo 3 or 4
Bryant 4 or 3
Fat guy 6
What does that leave us?
They don’t have a true lead off hitter anymore
He is a 6 hitter in that line up
Jon jay is probably the best 1-2 hitter they got but he is only a reserve on that team
Schwarber’s OBP will rise with his BA.
He’s also 8th in the MLB in pitches per plate appearance. That’s the type of hitter you want hitting high in the order.
His BA sure isn’t good right now but his OBP is great. That’s want you want in a lead off guy. To get on base and score runs. He’s made great contact but s low BABIP has hurt him. They will start dropping for hits
The straws you guys grasp at!
That’s PART of what I want from a lead off hitter… I also want him to be able to run and put some pressure on the pitcher/defense when he does get on base…
Adam Dunn had a .381 OBP through his first 10 years in the league. There’s still no way in hell I’d want him leading off on my team.
Also, Schwarber’s OBP this year is .315 (.339 career). In what world is that “great”?
Straws? That’s stats they’re throwing at you, son. The game isn’t about passing the eyeball test.
Pads fan, you’re really going to call a professional “fat guy”? Don’t be jealous because he can actually hit a ball and you were always the last kid picked for a team.
Yea sub .200 hitter,slow and has no real position. The eyeball test is a lesser Adam Dunn!
Almora should be lead off
You are clearly not well-versed in evaluation.
Thank you Jammin for pointing that out to these people! Cubs may not have won WS without him!
Seven hitter …. hahaha
So you think he is a .189 hitter huh? Wow.
But Schwarber is HOF bound!
Schwarber isn’t going anywhere. Theo Epstein, today, on Schwarber’s struggles: “If people are selling their stock on Kyle Schwarber……we’re buying.”
You don’t trade a guy away for having a bad month in baseball.
If anyone goes, it’ll be Baez, which I’m all for.
He’s been up here for years and still hasn’t proven himself to be a consistent or clutch hitter. Also, strikes out far too much.
The future will be Happ at second, Almora in center, and Schwarber WILL be in left field.
Baez isn’t clutch? You didn’t watch the playoff run last year or the World Series huh? Baez isn’t going anywhere either. Theo and company are in love with the kid.
Has he learned what a curve ball is yet?
he hasn’t learned to lay off an eye-level fastball yet
No, he’s isn’t clutch. A few anecdotal experiences (or a few good games) don’t change that fact.
I agree on the Lackey trade. I was upset about it too. It shows what I know!!!! Craig and Kelley both flopped. Lackey was a good middle of the rotation starter for 2 years. Plus, he saved the club money by pitching for the minimal salary on his second year
2015 he was a beast for them when Wainwright went out
I wouldn’t call Kelly a bust. He has really come into his own this season in a relief role. But nevertheless, I still like it for St. Louis.
Kelly has 10 strikeouts and 9 walks in 19 innings this season…I’d say you’re being pretty generous with “come into his own.” Maybe he will at some point, but until then that trade has to be considered a disaster for Boston.
ghost of harambe
1.83 era is good
That WHIP means he’s due for some nasty ERA regression.
Was the thing about Happ written yesterday? While not incorrect, by any means, it seems odd to mention his first 2 games and not his first 3. Not that it actually matters all that much because of sss and what not, but he went deep again last night.
Oops, guess B-Ref hadn’t updated yet when I looked this a.m.
The Cubs really don’t have an ideal lead off hitter.
Just from the top of my head, in the 1980s, the Red Sox used Dwight Evens and the Angels used Brian Downing. Casey Stengel changed his lineup regularly but, he generally liked Hank Bauer batting #1.
Happ needs to stay on the major league club, for good.
He’s been nothing but consistent throughout his entire minor league career, and he’s showing the same unwavering confidence in the major leagues.
The guy is flat out good, and he hits well under pressure.
If I’m Theo, Happ pretty much marks the end of the Javy Baez experiment.
I like Baez. He seems like a good guy, and a clubhouse guy, but he has just never shown himself to be consistent, or hit well under any sort of pressure. Also, far too many strikeouts.
Back in the off-season I suggested a trade that would make a ton of sense for the Cubs was a deal centered around Baez for Robbie Ray. Cubs fans went insane about how terrible of a suggestion it was. That trade would look pretty great for them right now.
What’s so special about Robbie Ray?
His 30% strikeout rate is 5th in baseball. He walks too many guys to be good per se, but he’s a cheap, overall average MLB SP, with arguably more upside than most. That’s pretty valuable
Just a thought, Angel Pagan is sitting out there as a free agent. Take a look at his stats over the last 5 seasons. Decent #’s for a leadoff batter and was a World Series champion with the Giants. Would be a reunion back with the Cubs where he began his career. Don’t know what his cost would be, but I would think he would be affordable. Food for thought.
A little late now, but I believe Pagan said during the WBC that he planned to sit out all of 2017.
I remember at the time of the Lackey trade not know what to think of it, cuz the players they traded were struggling at the time, but were big losses for the clubhouse as stated. But it turned out great
The cardinals/sox trade benefited the cards in terms of talent. But truly made it lopsided was that Lackey pitched for practically no salary due to the clause in his contract, while also getting off the hook on Craig’s deal. Add in the qo pick and the slight chance Littrell could pan out as a lefty reliever still it was a fleecing.
Cubs we need scwhaber lower in the order look at Zoo at that leadoff every plan don’t work cause Maddon had a dream get this offensive going maybe Heyward still hot perfit leadoff man– Rickett talk to Theo Theo talk to Maddon . Mad Maddon don’t get stuck stay fresh with your ideals.
Cubs still need to add a great starting pitcher. The Braves would probably do Julio Teheran and Jaime Garcia for: 1. IF/OF Ian Happ, 3B Jeimer Candelario, 3. RHP Trevor Clifton, 4. C/1B Victor Caratini, and 5. OF Mark Zagunis. Teheran on a team friendly contract will be heating up in the second half an be a dominent pitcher. Garcia is warming up with the weather as well.
How about a deal where the Braves send Jaime Garcia and Jim Johnson (top two pitchers) to the Cubs for Jeimer Candelaria and Victor Caratini.