2018 St. Louis Cardinals

#1
2018 Cardinals Caravan schedule released today: https://www.mlb.com/cardinals/community/caravan?partnerId=ed-12121251-1042232973

Players appearing in Champaign at noon and Peoria at 6:00 PM on January 12th and in Bloomington on January 13th at 4:30 PM include Paul DeJong, Oscar Mercado, Andrew Knizner, Randy Flores, and Alan Benes with Rick Horton emceeing the festivities. The Champaign stop will take place at the Hilton Garden Inn with The Peoria stop taking place at the Embassy Suites and the Bloomington stop taking place at the Parke Regency.

Players appearing in Springfield at 6:00 PM on January 14th include Luke Voit, Alex Reyes, Sam Tuivailala, Dakota Hudson, and Ray king with Chris Hrabe emceeing the event. The Springfield stop will take place at the Bank of Springfield Center.
 
#2
Reading Hummel's chat didn't make me feel very optimistic. The Cardinals claim to being aggressive with money to spend has turned in to the conservative approach we've become accustomed to from Mo and Dewitt. Cards show no inclination to overpay for pieces they need to catch the Cubs.

Hummel says he doesn't see us going 4 years for Holland or giving up to much for Colome. Holland could get a 3 year deal from anyone. Hopefully Colome is still in play as the Cards usually feel more comfortable trading.

I love Ozuna but it wasn't a bold move. Most any team would have made that deal.
 
#3
Reading Hummel's chat didn't make me feel very optimistic. The Cardinals claim to being aggressive with money to spend has turned in to the conservative approach we've become accustomed to from Mo and Dewitt. Cards show no inclination to overpay for pieces they need to catch the Cubs.

Hummel says he doesn't see us going 4 years for Holland or giving up to much for Colome. Holland could get a 3 year deal from anyone. Hopefully Colome is still in play as the Cards usually feel more comfortable trading.

I love Ozuna but it wasn't a bold move. Most any team would have made that deal.
Please don't trade for Colome. Closers not named Chapman or Jansen are usually not worth trading for, in my opinion. Furthermore, why do the Cards have to make a bold move? A good move is a good move whether it is bold or not.
 
#4
I do agree that if Holland is looking for 4 years, the Cards should give it to him. That only costs money, which the Cards have plenty to spend, and an extra year won't become an albatross of a contract.
 
#5
Bold moves because I don't think incremental moves will put us in contention. Our roster's WAR compared to Cubs won't be narrowed without a few more All Star quality players.

Additionally, I don't really believe our starting rotation is as strong as the front office is trying to sell the fan base. I hope Carlos can get better mechanically so that he can be a top number 1. He's not there yet. I have him more of a 2. Waino is a huge question mark. Others are unproven.

Everyone was united in November that the Cards needed and would have a huge off season. Ozuna was great but not addressing the rotation and closer leaves me meh.
 
#6
A poster on a Cubs website I'm on joked that free agent closers should be lining up to kick Mark Melancon in the nuts.

I think teams are looking at the 4 year, $60M contract the Giants gave him and blanching. (Chapman's relatively rough - for him - first season back with the Yankees probably didn't help, too.) Wade Davis got fewer years and less guaranteed money than Melancon (albeit more money per year) despite having pretty similar recent track records heading into free agency.

So guys like Holland and Reed who were hoping for some big bucks after 2017's free agent closer bonanza are going to be pretty disappointed.
 
#7
Bold moves because I don't think incremental moves will put us in contention. Our roster's WAR compared to Cubs won't be narrowed without a few more All Star quality players.

Additionally, I don't really believe our starting rotation is as strong as the front office is trying to sell the fan base. I hope Carlos can get better mechanically so that he can be a top number 1. He's not there yet. I have him more of a 2. Waino is a huge question mark. Others are unproven.

Everyone was united in November that the Cards needed and would have a huge off season. Ozuna was great but not addressing the rotation and closer leaves me meh.
Yeah, I agree with all that. It's just what you said that the Ozuna trade wasn't bold. That every team would have made that trade. As if that is a bad thing. If we made several more moves of the same quality as the Ozuna trade, they may not be bold, but I would be ecstatic.

I just don't like making bold moves for boldness sake. They still need to be smart moves. I do, however, like being aggressive when you identify a smart move. So I do agree that the Cards need to start being more aggressive with their moves. For instance, offering 4 years to Holland if that is what it's gonna take. But I don't want them to raid the farm for Colome. Closers are too volatile to give up too many good prospects. And everyone seems to think it's gonna take a few to get him.
 
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#8
Yeah, I agree with all that. It's just what you said that the Ozuna trade wasn't bold. That every team would have made that trade. As if that is a bad thing. If we made several more moves of the same quality as the Ozuna trade, they may not be bold, but I would be ecstatic.

I just don't like making bold moves for boldness sake. They still need to be smart moves. I do, however, like being aggressive when you identify a smart move.
Ozuna was a great trade and I'm glad we have him. You don't even hear me screaming for more thump in the lineup even though we could use it. I like Carp, Fowler, Ozuna, Pham, DeJong at the top of our order. I like Gyroko when he's not tired. Voit might be a star someday.

However, Ozuna wasn't enough of a stretch on its own to call the Cards' off season as aggressive or showing a willingness to spend $$$$. That was my point. Sorry if my use of "bold" did not communicate well. Certainly, Ozuna is the All Star quality we need to add. The move also left money to do more.
 
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#9
I do agree that if Holland is looking for 4 years, the Cards should give it to him. That only costs money, which the Cards have plenty to spend, and an extra year won't become an albatross of a contract.

I think 4 years is ok too. As long as they do not include a NTC. You could always trade him in year 3 or 4, if it made sense at the time. With it only costing money and a draft pick (right?), it is better than trading away talent to Tampa. Also, I would look at Reed. Either would be an upgrade to the bullpen and add experience.


Regarding the starting rotation, I would welcome back Lynn. Again, 4 years, and avoid the NTC. He could always be traded later, as teams are always looking to add a pitcher at the trade deadline. Even if it is only for a couple of prospects, since it didn't cost talent to get him this time, it would be fine. When not having TJ surgery, he is good for 180+ innings and takes the pressure off the kids. If the kids are fantastic, you could trade Lynn, again, only money.
 
#10
Ozuna was a great trade and I'm glad we have him. You don't even hear me screaming for more thump in the lineup even though we could use it. I like Carp, Fowler, Ozuna, Pham, DeJong at the top of our order. I like Gyroko when he's not tired. Voit might be a star someday.

However, Ozuna wasn't enough of a stretch on its own to call the Cards' off season as aggressive or showing a willingness to spend $$$$. That was my point. Sorry if my use of "bold" did not communicate well. Certainly, Ozuna is the All Star quality we need to add. The move also left money to do more.
I think I just read the term "bold" as something different than how you meant it. My bad. I think we both agree that they definitely need to make some more big moves.
 
#11
I think 4 years is ok too. As long as they do not include a NTC. You could always trade him in year 3 or 4, if it made sense at the time. With it only costing money and a draft pick (right?), it is better than trading away talent to Tampa. Also, I would look at Reed. Either would be an upgrade to the bullpen and add experience.


Regarding the starting rotation, I would welcome back Lynn. Again, 4 years, and avoid the NTC. He could always be traded later, as teams are always looking to add a pitcher at the trade deadline. Even if it is only for a couple of prospects, since it didn't cost talent to get him this time, it would be fine. When not having TJ surgery, he is good for 180+ innings and takes the pressure off the kids. If the kids are fantastic, you could trade Lynn, again, only money.
Yeah, I don't have a problem with bringin Lynn back. The only issue is I think his agent is Boras. So is he looking for a deal that would go beyond just being aggressive and into the territory of a bad deal?
 
#13
Bold moves because I don't think incremental moves will put us in contention.
Paying too much for bullpen help is the definition of incremental moves. The Cardinals have so many young pitchers with 1 or 2 good pitches, one of them could easily turn into a Colome level pitcher, and Derek Holland is not going to be worth his contract.

Additionally, I don't really believe our starting rotation is as strong as the front office is trying to sell the fan base. I hope Carlos can get better mechanically so that he can be a top number 1. He's not there yet. I have him more of a 2. Waino is a huge question mark. Others are unproven.
Carlos Martinez is a top 15 pitcher in the game right now, with tremendous upside. Wacha, Weaver, Mikolas and Wainwright/Reyes already project better than the Cubs rotation in 2018 and that's still with Flaherty (top 100 prospect) and Hicks and Hudson in AA ready for the majors sometime in 2018. Their starting pitching is a huge strength, top 5 maybe top 3 in the NL.

Everyone was united in November that the Cards needed and would have a huge off season. Ozuna was great but not addressing the rotation and closer leaves me meh.
Piscotty (who Ozuna is replacing) was worth 0.2 fWAR last year, Ozuna was worth 4.8. That's 4 more wins, which would have got the Cardinals in the playoffs last year. That's a HUGE upgrade.

The only real way to meaningfully upgrade the team is to go get a Donaldson, Machado, or Archer level talent. Which they've tried, and are still in the position to do midway through the season.
 
#14
Paying too much for bullpen help is the definition of incremental moves. The Cardinals have so many young pitchers with 1 or 2 good pitches, one of them could easily turn into a Colome level pitcher, and Derek Holland is not going to be worth his contract.



Carlos Martinez is a top 15 pitcher in the game right now, with tremendous upside. Wacha, Weaver, Mikolas and Wainwright/Reyes already project better than the Cubs rotation in 2018 and that's still with Flaherty (top 100 prospect) and Hicks and Hudson in AA ready for the majors sometime in 2018. Their starting pitching is a huge strength, top 5 maybe top 3 in the NL.






Piscotty (who Ozuna is replacing) was worth 0.2 fWAR last year, Ozuna was worth 4.8. That's 4 more wins, which would have got the Cardinals in the playoffs last year. That's a HUGE upgrade.

The only real way to meaningfully upgrade the team is to go get a Donaldson, Machado, or Archer level talent. Which they've tried, and are still in the position to do midway through the season.
Wow, I want some of that Red Kool-Aid! I hope you are right about the starting staff. I would still like Reed to add depth to the BP.
 
#15
To be fair, I said catch the Cubs not make the playoffs. I thought we play for WS Championships.

I’ve been super impressed with Cashman and the Yanks. Getting Stanton and resetting their luxury tax by getting under the cap. Manny looks to be in pin stripes next year.

The Dodgers also shedded payroll and reset. They will be able to re-sign Kershaw and/or play hard for Harper next year.

Astros look good again but it’s hard to repeat.

Cards aren’t poised to make a real run in ‘18 much more than last year.

I do like that Oquendo is back. Might be interim manager by the break.
 
#16
Wow, I want some of that Red Kool-Aid! I hope you are right about the starting staff. I would still like Reed to add depth to the BP.
I mean they were the 4th best rotation by FIP last year and aren't getting any worse, Mikolas is just as good as Leake was in the 1st half last year and full year of Weaver is better than Lynn. I'm assuming Wainwright is either back to form (not cy young form, but better) by May or he's replaced by Reyes.

I always discount bullpen additions, because it really doesn't matter until you get to the playoffs (unless they're reaaaallly bad), and the playoffs aren't much more than a coin flip (after the wild card 1 off). But the Cardinals had the 2nd best bullpen in NL last year and I like the moves they've made so far.
 
#17
To be fair, I said catch the Cubs not make the playoffs. I thought we play for WS Championships.

I’ve been super impressed with Cashman and the Yanks. Getting Stanton and resetting their luxury tax by getting under the cap. Manny looks to be in pin stripes next year.

The Dodgers also shedded payroll and reset. They will be able to re-sign Kershaw and/or play hard for Harper next year.

Astros look good again but it’s hard to repeat.

Cards aren’t poised to make a real run in ‘18 much more than last year.

I do like that Oquendo is back. Might be interim manager by the break.
The team with the best record doesn't win the world series with any more regularity than the 88 win team that sneaks in. Just have to beat the Cubs to avoid the wild card game, which on paper even before any more moves, they're very close to doing.
 
#18
So the front office that was basically upset with their team all last season, promised to be aggressive and spend money, and talked about upgrades at all positions being in play has replaced Piscotty for Ozuna and we are all suppose to be chill with it all.
 
#19
So the front office that was basically upset with their team all last season, promised to be aggressive and spend money, and talked about upgrades at all positions being in play has replaced Piscotty for Ozuna and we are all suppose to be chill with it all.
Beers will still be $10 and hot dogs for $6.00 and the crowds will continue to pack the place. Dewitt continues to rake it in and not invest nearly enough to go after titles. He's effectively given up pursuit of NL Central to the northsiders.
 
#20
Beers will still be $10 and hot dogs for $6.00 and the crowds will continue to pack the place. Dewitt continues to rake it in and not invest nearly enough to go after titles. He's effectively given up pursuit of NL Central to the northsiders.
So the front office that was basically upset with their team all last season, promised to be aggressive and spend money, and talked about upgrades at all positions being in play has replaced Piscotty for Ozuna and we are all suppose to be chill with it all.
You guys are high. They offered Heyward $200MM, Price $200MM, and were gonna pay Stantons $300MM, they're not exactly cheaping out.

The Cubs project for 92 win next year and the Cardinals project for 88. The only way to bridge that gap on paper is with a Donaldson, Archer, Machado level trade, like I said earlier. There's a reason they've been competitive for 15 straight years, and its not because they over pay for marginal bullpen upgrades. The Cubs are 1 starting rotation injury away from being behind the Cardinals, they don't have the depth or foresight that the Cardinals do.
 
#21
You guys are high. They offered Heyward $200MM, Price $200MM, and were gonna pay Stantons $300MM, they're not exactly cheaping out.

The Cubs project for 92 win next year and the Cardinals project for 88. The only way to bridge that gap on paper is with a Donaldson, Archer, Machado level trade, like I said earlier. There's a reason they've been competitive for 15 straight years, and its not because they over pay for marginal bullpen upgrades. The Cubs are 1 starting rotation injury away from being behind the Cardinals, they don't have the depth or foresight that the Cardinals do.
Nice to give Mo and DeWitt credit for deals they didn't get done. Yes, they tried.

Yes we project to be in the wild card race. Of course we might catch up if the Cubs stumble but likely Carp misses time with back issues and Gyrokos numbers fall if he plays every day.

You're minimizing the importance off the bullpen while it's role is becoming more important as saber metrics show starters really fall off the third time through.

You also minimize what Theo and Co have done in relatively short order. I hate the Cubs but respect the heck out of what they've done.
 
#22
Nice to give Mo and DeWitt credit for deals they didn't get done. Yes, they tried.

Yes we project to be in the wild card race. Of course we might catch up if the Cubs stumble but likely Carp misses time with back issues and Gyrokos numbers fall if he plays every day.

You're minimizing the importance off the bullpen while it's role is becoming more important as saber metrics show starters really fall off the third time through.

You also minimize what Theo and Co have done in relatively short order. I hate the Cubs but respect the heck out of what they've done.
They can't force people to sign contracts, but I think those deals show they're not exactly unwilling to spend money and just sit on profits, they're just not dumb about it. That's how you don't turn into the Angels or Tigers (or the Cubs of the late 00s) with a bunch of old players on bad contracts and not winning.

Yes, they project to be good enough to be in the playoffs, which should be goal. They manage to be in that position every year without having to tank or get lucky, it's all by design. If a bullpen options available would actually improve the team, then i'd be all for it. But throwing a bunch of money/ prospects at a 0.5 win upgrade is dumb, and also easy to do during the season .

The Cubs were garbage for years, they tanked to 90-100 losses for 5 seasons. I'd much rather be in the position to win every year than go through that, and it's not even guaranteed to work. Sure it looks genius when Houston and the Cubs amass good teams through losing, but they're in the biggest markets and have access to money that the Cardinals just never will. The Cubs, in particular, got pretty dang lucky on the trade front, basically stealing Rizzo and Addison Russell and lucking out on Arietta. Bryant and Baez are the only "tanking" additions they got through the draft, maybe Schwarber (but he's a bust if you ask me), and even Bryant was lucky due to Houston being dumb.
 
#23
They can't force people to sign contracts, but I think those deals show they're not exactly unwilling to spend money and just sit on profits, they're just not dumb about it. That's how you don't turn into the Angels or Tigers (or the Cubs of the late 00s) with a bunch of old players on bad contracts and not winning.

Yes, they project to be good enough to be in the playoffs, which should be goal. They manage to be in that position every year without having to tank or get lucky, it's all by design. If a bullpen options available would actually improve the team, then i'd be all for it. But throwing a bunch of money/ prospects at a 0.5 win upgrade is dumb, and also easy to do during the season .

The Cubs were garbage for years, they tanked to 90-100 losses for 5 seasons. I'd much rather be in the position to win every year than go through that, and it's not even guaranteed to work. Sure it looks genius when Houston and the Cubs amass good teams through losing, but they're in the biggest markets and have access to money that the Cardinals just never will. The Cubs, in particular, got pretty dang lucky on the trade front, basically stealing Rizzo and Addison Russell and lucking out on Arietta. Bryant and Baez are the only "tanking" additions they got through the draft, maybe Schwarber (but he's a bust if you ask me), and even Bryant was lucky due to Houston being dumb.
I wish Cubs fans like you would just stay off the Cardinals thread. 😀
 
#24
I wish Cubs fans like you would just stay off the Cardinals thread. 😀
Haha, it's easy to be optimistic about next year when you're like me and assume the Cardinals, as currently constructed, are good enough to beat the Cubs for the division.

I think the Cubs outfield is bad (or, at least not good enough) with Schwarber basically being Matt Adams, Almora a defense only avg. player, and this current version of Heyward with Happ only able to play the corners (he should probably platoon with Schwarbs this year against lefties) and Zobrist is like 70.

Their rotation is OK, but thin. Quintana and Lester are very good, but I don't believe in Hendricks (much worse last year than 2016) and behind those 3 it's pretty shakey. They're 1 injury away from 20 Eddie Butler starts, which is why I think they'll sign Arietta or Darvish.

The Cubs are the better offense, but not by as much as most people think, especially if Ozuna and Pham repeat or 90% repeat their 2017s. The Cardinals have significantly better pitching on the whole, and much better depth.