Are the Cardinals Buyers or Sellers? The Answer: They’re Both

It won’t be long before trade-deadline pressure moves into the heads of baseball’s general managers. So many questions. So little time.

Buy or sell?

Disengage and trade players away for prospects?

Or trade prospects to load up on instant help?

Are you in, or out for 2017?

What should the Cardinals do?

For many weeks now, we’ve been chattering like crazy people about the Cardinals’ options. Throwing down opinions. Throwing out opinions. Coming up with wacko fantasy-GM trade proposals. Searching and conniving and plotting to land that elusive middle-lineup thunder bat that will transform the 2017 Cardinals.

Cardinals loyalists are dreaming of Giancarlo Stanton … you know, kind of like how every baseball fan everywhere dreams of adding Giancarlo Stanton to their favorite team.  Saying that Stanton would be a good fit for the Cardinals is the kind of thing that makes the kids say “Duh.”  It’s among the most obvious, unoriginal, and universally shared thought in the history of Western Civilization.

Wouldn’t it would be great to put Giancarlo in the St. Louis lineup?

You betcha.

It would also be great to to put Warren Buffett’s fortune in my personal bank account.

Others who care deeply about the Cardinals’ fortunes  have developed an unhealthy fixation on Josh Donaldson. This is based on thick, billowing, unsubstantiated rumor smoke that’s causing lightheadedness and serious respiratory problems.

A very good player,  Donaldson.  But the last time I looked, the Cardinals had good third baseman. Goes by the name Jedd Gyorko. Yeah, you can acquire Donaldson from the Blue Jays and also keep the versatile Gyorko in the lineup. But you’d have to move other players out of the way to do that.

Which sort of leads me to my point, if I can remember it.

(Sorry, I was distracted by a trade-based hallucination. I think Manny Machado would look good in a Cardinal uniform! That’s an original idea that no one else has thought of yet!)

I don’t think the Cardinals — at this moment — are buyers.

I don’t think they are sellers, either.

I think they’re BOTH.

Buyers and sellers.

Cards GM Michael Girsch was talking about this the other day on the Bernie Show. He said that the Cardinals’ improved organizational depth has gotten to the point where it’s possible for the team to make baseball trades. What did he mean by that? Girsch doesn’t see a need to jump into a “buyer” or “seller” box.

It is possible to just make a good baseball trade, or two, or three.

The kind of trade where a GM taps into a surplus at a position, or is willing to deal from a healthy pool of prospects, and move some parts to strengthen weaker areas that will make his team better — right now and for at least a few seasons after that.

The kind of trade where a GM has available talent that matches another team’s list of needs — and can be bartered to fill his own team’s holes. The classic “baseball trade” where two GMs partner to  get something done that will help both sides.

That’s what Girsch means by making a baseball trade.

A classic and traditional baseball trade.

A trade that isn’t like this:

A trade that signifies,  “We Are Giving Up On the Season. Please Deal For Our Pending Free Agents So We Can Evacuate 2017 And Get Started On A Massive Rebuilding Project That Will Make The Construction of The Egyptian Pyramids Look Like The Stacking Of A House Made Out Of Lincoln Logs By Comparison.”

A trade that that shouts,  “We’re Going All In, And Are Willing To Be Completely Unhinged Lunatics, Feverish To Get This One Player That We Must Have Or We Will Keel Over — Hey, Even If It Means Bankrupting Our Entire Player Development System And Living So Recklessly That We Could Face 23 Years Of Losing And Possible Franchise Extinction If The Trade For The Savior Goes Boom And Puts Us In the Flames Of Hell.”

So please … forget this All or Nothing framing of the Cardinals’ potential path to the trade deadline.

The Cardinals do not have to make deals that gather prospects and announce intentions to rebuild. And they do not have to make the kind of deal or transactions that deliver short-term gain in exchange for long-term pain.

The Cardinals have too many pieces at certain positions. They have personnel congestion forming in the infield, the outfield, starting pitching and even the bullpen. Some of this clogged traffic can be seen right now. Other areas of overcrowding will surface soon enough.

Some examples:

— Kolten Wong was the starter at second base — and having his best season — until injuries and two stints on the DL caused him to miss 36 of the team’s final 42 games in the first half. But Wong will be back on the roster by the time the Cardinals open the second half of the season Friday in Pittsburgh. How will the pieces mesh?

— The Cardinals have been playing rookie Luke Voit at first base. He’s performed wonderfully so far, and certainly deserves an extensive look, because his power and plate discipline can make a positive difference. But to fit Voit at first, manager Mike Matheny had to slide Matt Carpenter from first base to second base … and with Wong returning, how does Matheny give plenty of action to both Voit and Wong? With Carpenter at second base when Voit starts, and Wong about to be reinstalled, there isn’t much flexibility. 

— Yeah, Carpenter can be used at third base  — but why do that when Gyorko has come through with a superb combination of offensive production and superior defense? What, are you going to go with a Wong-Gyorko platoon at second base? What would be the point of that? Look, if Wong relapses and slumps and plays poorly, then we can take another look at the puzzle and reevaluate. 

— Again, on Josh Donaldson. Would be an upgrade in several ways … but acquiring him without making related moves to trade current Cardinals away would lead to more lineup clutter and result in having some of your better players on the bench, or restricted to time-sharing arrangements.

— Rookie Paul DeJong has flashed solid defense at shortstop, and his power is abundantly evident. OK, so where does that leave Aledmys Diaz? If the Cardinals commit to DeJong at shortstop, can Diaz reinvent himself and become a third baseman or second baseman or left fielder? If you said “Yes” to that, I would respond with this: you can move Diaz to another position … but all three positions we’ve mentioned currently are crowded or soon will be. So yeah, move the pieces around. But they still won’t fit, they won’t ease congestion and they won’t necessarily make you better. Perhaps Diaz has trade value. The Cardinals have a bunch of middle infielders in development down in the system including Edmundo Sosa, and, down the road, Delvin Perez. They aren’t staying there forever. The point is: the Cardinals will have to move some of these infielders. There isn’t enough room for all of them in the show.

— Trade Carpenter seems to be the latest short-attention span idea spurting from the minds of at least some of the BFIB. Here’s my philosophy: The Prez, John Mozeliak and GM Girsch should try to discover the potential trade value of nearly every player on this team. And if the the trade exchange makes you better this year, and over the next few years, then you have to seriously consider it. But this notion of dealing Carpenter just because he’s a goofy base runner, and because people are having fits over his low batting average that’s down because of awful batted-ball luck … nah, sorry. Fans that want to deal Carpenter because they’re having a little Carpenter tantrum — not a good reason. Trading Carpenter OR ANY CARDINAL — because you can make a helluva trade that strengthens your team … that’s a perfectly good reason.

— LH reliever Kevin Siegrist is set to return from the DL. Another lefty reliever, Zach Duke, isn’t far from making it back after a relatively fast rehab process following elbow surgery. The Cards already have two LHP in the pen right now, Brett Cecil and Lyons. The Cardinals can’t have four lefties in the pen. Surplus. 

—  The Cardinals also have outfield prospects moving up quickly including Harrison Bader, Adolis Garcia, Mags Sierra, Randy Arozarena, Oscar Mercado and several others. And then there’s Randal Grichuk; does he have much trade value at this point? Tommy Pham is doing a great job in left field, in center field, and he’s been hitting up a story since being promoted from Memphis on May 5.  I’m not saying TRADE PHAM NOW! But he’s 29, has a history of injuries and his potential trade value has never been higher. Just saying. 

— There are multiple starting pitchers in Memphis who could help right now if needed: Luke Weaver, Marco Gonzales, John Gant, Jack Flaherty. Alexander Reyes should be ready to roll next season after missing this year to rehab from elbow surgery. There are other appealing pitching prospects at lower levels of the system including Sandy Alcantara, Dakota Hudson, Jordan Hicks, Junior Fernandez. Plus others; I don’t want to type any more names. This would help with some trade packaging, yes? 

— The Cards have two pending free-agents pitchers, starter Lance Lynn and reliever Seung Hwan Oh. They could be trade chips. But the value may not be as good as hoped.

— Do the Cardinals dare offer top catching prospect Carson Kelly around, to see what he’d bring in? I hope not, but Yadier Molina is signed through 2020, so ….

It seems to me that Mozeliak and GM Mike Girsch have several ways to go here. 

Not only with the talent on hand and talent that’s recently emerged — but the talent that is in the pipeline and on the way. There are many moving parts here. There are too many pieces that cannot be properly aligned unless slots are cleared . That could lead to multiple deals between now and the trade deadline.

The Cardinals are in a potentially good position of being buyers and sellers … having it both ways … and making old-style baseball trades that don’t sentence your team to rebuilding, or put your future at risk.

Thanks for reading …


The 2017 Cardinals Were  Already Transitioning and Now They’re Doing It Again

  • M W

    The regression of Grichuk and Piscotty really hurts this team. Luckily they aren’t tied into Grichuk but the are in a bind with Piscotty. If he continues to regress, they are going to have a very tough decision. He can’t play like crap and block prospects that the team is high on.

    • JDinSTL

      It’s not simply the regression of Grichuk and Piscotty. It’s the regression of EVERY SINGLE CARDINAL YOUNGSTER the last 5-6 years.

      The last hitter this organization developed (who continued to hit) was Allen Craig. Nothing since.

      • JeremyR

        That’s because the organization has a philosophy of drafting position players with low ceilings, in the belief that if they have a low ceiling, they also have a higher floor

        But you end up with a lot of average players who are below average in an off year

        • JDinSTL

          Quite clearly, the guy who implemented that program deserves a promotion!

      • LawrenceKScardsfan

        Also Grichuk wasn’t in our organization. He and Bourjos came to the Cardinals as a result of a trade for David Freese and Fernando Salas.

        • JDinSTL

          So, the Cardinals aren’t responsible for his continued struggles? Yeah, I’ll blame the Angels. Novel approach.

          • LawrenceKScardsfan

            No – you misunderstood. You said Grichuk was a “cardinal youngster” and later used the wording “the last hitter this organization developed….” I was simply pointing out that Grichuk was “developed” in the Angels system.

            He came to the Cardinals in 2014 and played at the major league level in both the regular (116 PAs) and post season (17 PAs) that year for the Cardinals. That suggests he was developed by the Angels. I’ll let you place blame where you want.

            Agree that Piscotty was a Cardinal product and the “system” is to blame in this case.

          • JDinSTL

            How about Wong? How about Adams? I remember Moe saying he “didn’t want to block Adams” when he finally settled for Cleveland cast-off Brandon Moss. Did he really think that highly of Adams? Or – as I suspect – does he not know who can play and who can’t?

            The extended auditions for these young players until they’re next to worthless is really hurting the organization.

            Someone has to make the call.

          • LawrenceKScardsfan

            I agree. It’s a tough situation – will a prospect emerge or simply be a poor investment. It’s up to MO to make this determination. I also think it makes sense to structure shorter deals (shorter than 5 years for example). That way you have more of an option to let someone go earlier than later.

  • JeremyR

    So basically, more dumpster diving like every other year of the Mo tenure.

    Meanwhile the minor leaguers are stacker up and rot in the minors

    • James Berry

      I read nothing that alluded to that direction in Bernie’s column.

  • rightthinker4

    Trading Carpenter resolves a lot of issues. Keeps Voit at 1B, Wong at 2B, DeJong at SS, and Gyorko at 3B. This is the best defensive infield at this point.

    • I agree, but according to Bernie you are having a “tantrum.” Except for Gyorko these are young guys who need to play in order to develop, and not in the minors but in the majors. I don’t know how they’ll turn out, but they deserve a shot because we aren’t playing .600 ball or anything close to it.

    • Larry Davis

      No! Carpenter has the bat and can fill all the infield slots just in case of an unexpected injury. Carpenter will remain with the Cardinals *

      • James Berry

        Carpenter fills no “infield slot”.

        • Larry Davis

          No one has mentioned Aledmys Diaz …. he was thrown under the bus as well .They can trade him along with some other farm hands to get the player needed to power the middle of the line up. So people out there please refrain from the superficial comments unless YOU yourself can fill the role then lets just wait and see because the real decision will be the Cardinals not you ‘alls speculations. Stop hating on Carpenter James Berry …. He’s got game !

          • James Berry

            Can YOU fill the role? Quit telling others to not give their opinion(s). You sure do want to keep players around that either can’t play the game anymore(AC), has no position on the diamond(Carpenter) or who needed to be sent down(Diaz).

            I’m pretty sure you have a blown up photo of Carpenter on your wall that you kiss each night before bed.

          • Larry Davis

            I bet I could out play you brother I play baseball so don’t even try and go there you just have an opinion and some insight so stop hating on Carpenter. I got skills brother Major League is just an orgsnization . There are plenty hard ball baseball players out there that you don’t even know about so just refrain from your conjecture and hate about Carpenter

          • James Berry

            Please, don’t call me brother. You’d be an embarrassment for my family.

            Carpenter sucks. That’s as much refraining as i can do.

          • Larry Davis

            it’ll be cry baby then . Carpenter must’ve dissed you at Busch when you wanted to get an autograph or something ….. nevertheless why don’t you just become a Flub fan because you don’t seem to be worthy of even being with our legacy…. whining about Carpenter needs to be traded wa wa wa … just go back and play with your play station and your fantasy of Star Wars. You Probably can’t even hit a baseball let alone catch one and you want to rant about what you want the Cardinals to do. They could care less about what James Berry wants…especially Carpenter. So just change teams to root for then. YOU, Wrigley field and the Flubs would be a good fit, yeah let’s trade a cry baby Cardinal fan to the Flubs for a fan to be named later -lol !

          • James Berry

            Aww, you poor child. I’ve never wanted an autograph from any athlete or celebrity. You see, i don’t idolize them like you seem to.

            You seem to think the Cards care more about what you want than they do me. I’ll be honest with you, Lawrence, they don’t care what either of us think.

            Telling other fans to go root for another team because you don’t like their opinions is Stupid 101 Did you take that class in college or high school?

            You seem to also believe you are a baseball player. Is T-Ball your cup of tea?

    • LawrenceKScardsfan

      I like a move of Diaz to 3rd provided he can reestablish his swing in the minors. Then Gyorko becomes your super utility guy – he plays at all four positions and gives guys needed rest. In essence you have a five man infield.

  • James Berry

    There are only 2 reasons to build a solid minor league system with desirable prospects. To play and/or trade them. They are commodities and should be used for the best return. The best return would be at lest 1 controllable big bat for the middle of the lineup.

    Donaldson & Machado do not meet the controllable criteria. Yes, they each have 2018 that can be controlled, but both would be insane not to test the FA market. Harper will set the market and those two will reap the rewards from the contract Harper gets.

    Stanton has 3 more years, at minimum, of control left. Going after him is only a pipe dream if the Marlins have no intentions of trying to move him. Stanton would also have to agree to any trade, so that makes it more difficult to acquire him.

    Yelich has a very friendly team contract, and while he’s a good all around hitter and defender, the chances of him becoming a 30+ home run guy are not overly high, imo.

    Ozuna is a big bat…1 year…then not so much the next. He has 2 more years of arb after this season and he’ll be 29 after 2019. I’d say, given so many big time elite hitters will hit FA after 2018, Ozuna could well be considered at, or near, the top of FA hitters if he continues to establish himself.

    Of those 5, i’d rather have Yelich, but the team would have to make corresponding moves to clear logjams and even add 1 more big bat. Yelich alone doesn’t solve our biggest needs. That might be where FA after 2018 comes in to play.

    I would think Yelich will cost more in prospects than those other 4, because of controllable years and money. Miami will not want to eat any of Stanton’s money, so the prospect list drops in return. I also think that if Yelich is traded, Ozuna absolutely is as well. I would think Sierra and Alcantara both would have to be included in the package. Since i believe Ozuna would be moved as well, Grichuk could be a ML ready player that would hold onto their roster until the rebuild takes hold. Both Junior Fernandez and Edmundo Sosa could be floated around in the talks.

    That’s a lot to give up for one player, but Miami is likely to receive this level of package and perhaps much better.

    • LawrenceKScardsfan

      Like trading for a front line pitcher or a closer instead of a bopper. We lose games late. Voit and Pham, if played, look like they could provide the bop we’ve needed for a while.

      • James Berry

        Who are these front line starter and/or closer you’d trade for? It’s real easy to say “get this or that” but unless you have names and the cost for those names, then it means nothing.

        • LawrenceKScardsfan

          Yep – I usually look at what’s available. But no – I haven’t done that yet this season. I’ll begin looking at “trade rumors” in earnest this week. I’ll get back to you with some suggestions.

          • geoff

            The Cubs just traded their top two prospects for Quintana, who is not having a great year. Next year the Cubs will still need pitching and they have pretty much cashed in their chips between this and last year. I would have liked to see the Cards go get a left-handed starter but without moving Lynn, who is better than Quintana, or Wacha whose value can’t be very high because of his shoulder problems, they have no room. Maybe they could manufacture a lefty starter by piggy-backing two of their possibly four left handers from heavy left pen. The Cards are too heavy to the right in the positions players and now they may end up with a lack of balance in the pen the other way. I believe the Cards could be a force with their pitching, if they could simply abandon that stupid saber metric lift bullcrap and start spraying line drives all over the field. A lead-off double puts more pressure on a pitcher than a solo home run does.

    • James Berry

      Well, Quintana is gone. Time to revise my wish list.

  • Tarzan

    I wish we could trade a few young minor-leaguers and maybe a couple big-leaguers and get ONE Bonafide Difference maker to bat cleanup and put some fear in opposing pitchers. What would it take to pry Marcell Ozuna away from the Marlins? Trading Pham somewhere (while his value is high) would open up left field for Ozuna. His 26 years of age and 70 RBIs would look good wearing the Birds on the Bat.

    We’ve got multiple decent players in the minors that probably won’t get a sniff of the big leagues due to the big logjam up here. We need to make a deal and move some before they “rot on the vine”, but MO and co. seem too reluctant to part with their Faberge Eggs. Mo almost seems to be afraid that he’ll trade away the next Pujols. Despite what Larussa said about them promoting Albert anyway, Albert was promoted from the minors when Bobby Bonilla got hurt. Is Mo too paralyzed to trade some of them? I agree he shouldn’t empty the cupboard of the top talents down there, but you have to give up something to get something – other than low-hanging fruit.

    • LawrenceKScardsfan

      I’d rather see them get a top flight pitcher or a closer instead of bonafide bopper – especially with Lynn on the free agent train.

      • Tarzan

        We have Reyes coming back next year. Also, we have several very good pitchers in the minors who should be ready to move up to the big-leagues very soon.

        On the other hand, I don’t see a legitimate power hitter ready to come up from the minors. I feel we need a masher to bat cleanup. Enough of these “need 3-hits to score 1 run” guys. Hopefully, DeJong and Voit will continue to help in the power department, Gyorko, too.

        (IMO, our pitching prospects in the minors are way ahead of the hitters down there.)

        • LawrenceKScardsfan

          Reyes after Tommy John. And the likely loss of Lynn. So what to do? On the other hand, I would prefer a top closer over an SP if, IF, we have someone in the minors that can take over once Lynn is gone.

  • Chris Moeller

    Allen Cordoba. That’s a key name. A 21 year old lost to the Padres because there was no room for him on the 40-man. If some of these guys don’t get packaged together in exchange for an elite hitter, they’ll be lost anyway.

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  • No, Bernie, we’re not having fits over Carpenter’s low batting average. I DID read your column the other day. I DID read what Whitey said about him. The Cardinals shouldn’t just give him away. That’s implicit in any trade advocacy this side of Carlos Zambrano, or (I say sadly) Alan Craig. Why insult people’s intelligence by playing the straw man card, Bernie? You regularly construe theories you disagree with in the worst possible way. I have no idea how many Cardinals fans are having “tantrums” over Carpenter. So if Girsch trades him, is it because he had a tantrum? Carpenter is still a good player, but he isn’t Mike Trout and he’s 15th in WAR for first basemen. One of the reasons for trading Carpenter is he has value. Another reason is to let Voit play. I by no means am sure that Voit is the Answer, but the way this season is going NOW is the time to find out. Actually, Carpenter affects the playing time of all the young infielders–DeJong, Wong, and Voit–and they need to just play. We have bottlenecks in the infield and outfield, but these are the “bottlenecks” of a .500 ball club, not the Dodgers or the Astros, for crying out loud. At this point, WHO OTHER THAN CARPENTER in the infield do you look to trade? If, as you say, you can trade ANYBODY if the trade strengthens the team, well duh.

    • Larry Davis

      Trading Carpenter would be a big mistake. He is just having an off season so far …. Don’t make the same Allen Craig mistake. Of course as we know it Carpenter is not injured nor playing limp!

      • James Berry

        Trading AC was a mistake?

        • Larry Davis

          Yeah with all he did for the team and his massive hitting with two outs RBI performances , they just didn’t give hin time to heal his injuries… and then after a successful championship in 2011 and near repeat in 2012 … they just throw him under the bus!

          • James Berry

            Do you know what he has done since the trade? Do you know where he is now? Trading AC was one of the smartest and shrewdest moves Mo ever did.

          • Larry Davis

            I already know he’s faded away in the Red Sox farm system probably disappointed of getting thrown under the bus like you want them to do with Carpenter. Btw that move did not produce an RBI hitting machine like Allen Craig ever since last time I checked

          • James Berry

            No…he was released. He was so bad that they were willing to eat most of the $12 million owed him.

            I want Carpenter gone because he has no defensive position and can only hit out of one spot. Not much value in a player like that.

          • Larry Davis

            Yeah what’s this grudge you have for Carp? You wanting him gone doesn’t mean they will so deal with it! Maybe he hasn’t had a good season but he is a key player for this team. Unless you have accolades and pull for that to happen it won’t! I respect whatever the Dewitts want not what YOU claim. Personally They should send Fowler back to the flubs and Cecil back to the Jays… that’s what I would want such as your rants ….I guess you can’t keep it real though especially by peeping your Star Wars icon lol !

          • James Berry

            What’s your love affair with Carpenter? They should trade him, so deal with it.

            So you only want what the DeWitts want, but you insist it would be suicide to trade Carpenter? Plus, he obviously wanted Fowler and Cecil, but you want them gone. Hypocrite much?

            So because i have this icon i can’t keep things real?

      • LawrenceKScardsfan

        Look at Carp’s numbers historically. A long downward trend stretching over three seasons. The guy can hit no doubt but he’s been a disappointment. And he plays only adequate defense and doesn’t give you the baserunning you need from a leadoff hitter.

    • Tom Collins

      Bernie is a bit of a hysteric himself, and he projects that onto people he disagrees with. I enjoy his columns otherwise — but the strawman arguments do get old. … As for Carpenter, he’s a leadoff hitter playing a position where you typically need a middle-of-the-lineup bat. Bernie thought he could produce in the middle … but Bernie was wrong. Carpenter is an asset, but he’s also a weird fit for this team. Thinking about trading him isn’t a tantrum — it’s a rational and viable option.

  • Larry Davis

    Tony Bautista will serve the power bat …put him in right field and trade for a pitcher then send three of our players to Blue Jays … One position player , Outfielder and pitching prospect from our farm system ….No not Carpenter that would be suicide !

    • James Berry

      I’m betting you mean Jose Bautista.

      Why would we want to send 3 players to the Jays for an almost 37 year old low average hitter who plays a poor RF? Who are these 3 players? Who is the pitcher you want? How does getting rid of a positionless player who can only hit lead off be suicide?

      • Larry Davis

        Stop being such a million dollar couch potato with comments about my pick …. Anybody can make comments like yours signifying his age etc. Can YOU fill the job ? The logical thing is to get Bautista like I said. The young players Voit ,Dejong , are great future players for us, but still need some more time to mature fully in the bigs. Bautista had been in the post season and will be a perfect fit for a loaner to finish up our run. He will be gone from the Jays after this season anyway. Brett Cecil is expendable as well as Garcia and a prospect in the farm system to get some pitching from the Jays . I believe Jose Bautista will be considered instead of Josh Donaldson.

        • James Berry

          There is no logical reason to get Bautista or anyone like him. So his age doesn’t matter? His bad stats offensively don’t matter? His well below defense doesn’t matter? Who cares if he has been in the post season. Did the teams he went with win it all? Cecil has a full no-trade clause. Why would he OK a trade back to his former team that is in worse condition than the Cards? Greg Garcia is a career utility guy. He won’t headline any trade.

          Don’t like criticism of your “picks” or opinions, then don’t voice them.

          • Larry Davis

            Here we go with you hating on Carpenter again …
            Brett Cecil is not worth the money they wasted on him as well as Fowler …. If they had to move Cecil they could, whether a trade clause is in effect or not … Maybe you ought to do you some researching and stop dreaming so much like the Star Wars fantasies because it’s only a movie Brother it’s only a movie !

          • James Berry

            You know you love Carpenter. That’s the extent of your knowledge.

    • geoff

      Who is Tony Bautista….I am guessing you mean Joe. Yikes !!! That guy is old and he is on a downward slope. Hell, he couldn’t get anyone to sign him in free agency and had to capitulate to go back to Toronto.

  • geoff

    Chances are that Mo will make some sort of move, either good or bad. Not to flog a dead horse here but, when Mo made the panic trade of Miller for Heyward, Andrelton Simmons was available and went for less. This past off-season Mo panic signed Fowler and signed Piscotty long term when he knew he was chin deep in outfield prospects that were on the doorstep. I liked Carpenter when he was a line drive hitter, not as much fun to watch now that he has tried to become a power hitter.
    Bernie , we all know that you are a great interpreter of stats and certainly a believer in the saber metrics stuff. You say Carpenter is having terrible batted ball luck. I have heard quite a few of the stats guys talking about that lately. I wonder who came up with the algorithm that measures luck. I don’t know that ground outs into the teeth of the shift he can’t, or won’t, try to beat, or lazy looping cans of corn to left field for outs are not exactly the same as lashing line drives all over the field right at people. I think, in Carpenter’s case, the bad luck is that the other team has guys on the field playing defense. Carpenter is the lead off guy and lead off guy only, who can’t run worth a crap and who refuses to improve his luck by exploiting those teams who don’t feel the need to defend the left side of the infield. There are three players on the Card’s roster who, for various reasons, I would not consider trading away, or like Matt Adams, giving away. Wainwright, Molina, Martinez, would or should never even come up. Two of them should just finish up as Cardinals and the other just has so much promise. This roster is overloaded and two deep in mediocrity. If Mo trades for an outfielder that means Pham is off the field. If Mo trades for an infielder, it will be at the expense of someone whom the team likes. There was talk this past off-season about teams being interested in Wong. He is hard for me to like because there is always drama. Carpenter is really a terrible infielder but, he is getting better at first base as the season wears on. He is actually under control at a fairly reasonable amount for a player of his caliber but, as part of a trade, every other team will look at his numbers batting anywhere but lead off and pump the brakes because acquiring him would create the same dilemma for their team that the Cards have and that’s a base clogging lead off guy who cant go first to third on a line drive into the right field corner, who is only adequate in the field at first base. You can put him other places but not if you want to have a good defense. Tough spot for the Cards. I would guess that if Mo does make a deal, Sierra will be a part of it because he is the best center fielder in their entire system and he is blocked because of the contracts that Mo gave out, one prematurely and the other in a panic. Tough spot indeed. Bernie, it is something of a wonderment to me that you are so high on Mo and so down on Matheny. From what I have seen, both are culpable for the state this team is in right now. That said, the pen has been doing better, the rotation should be more than fine for the stretch, it is time to pare the lineup , probably time to give up on Grichuk (who I contend has a depth perception problem) probably move Wong to break the log jam in the infield for now, because I don’t see them trading Carpenter, which would break a log jam, but I would caution, be careful what you wish for. Carpenter, with all of his shortcomings is still a pretty good ball player.

    • James Berry

      Carpenter should absolutely be moved immediately, if possible. His numbers aren’t going to improve going forward because he won’t allow change. He’s a CF-RF pull hitter now that goes to the plate looking to walk.

      You speak of drama from Wong, but there is even more drama with Carpenter. The drama in years past when he threw Wong under the bus and stated he was best suited to play 2nd. The drama of him either only wanting or able to hit lead off. We’ve been living with this drama for 3 seasons now. The current drama of him blocking a younger and better option at 1st. Wong’s drama comes from youth. Carpenter’s drama comes from his lack of skills. I’ll take the drama that can be brought under control, every time.

      • Larsen Scott

        James Berry – You said, Carpenter’s “numbers aren’t going to improve going forward”…! How about “going backward”; any chance there?

        • James Berry

          If you can go back in time, then get someone better than Carpenter.

          • Larsen Scott

            You missed the point!

    • LawrenceKScardsfan

      Carpenter would be an excellent DH for someone in the AL IMO.

      • Larry Davis

        It’s a few days later and see how that eanting aboyt Carpenter

        • LawrenceKScardsfan

          Let’s look at Carp’s numbers from 2013 onward in year order – 2013/2014/2015/2016/current

          BA: .318/.272/.272/.271/.241
          OBP: .392/.375/.365/.380/.378
          SLG: .481/.375/.505/.505/.447
          OPS+: 140/112/135/136/117
          OWAR: 63/33/50/40/13

          All stats from Baseball Reference. It should be evident to any objective
          perspective – the guy is at career lows in all offensive categories
          except OPS+ (and that is near a career low). And that’s what we want
          from Carp – offense. I’m not saying the guy’s not a reasonably good
          player. But I am saying that he’s not the answer. And I say this with
          the belief that the Cardinal infield would improve defensively without
          him. If he had returned to his 2013 form, we wouldn’t be having this
          discussion. But the handwriting is on the wall (and in the stats). The
          guy is a good hitter – but nothing special. And his base running argues
          against him batting leadoff.

  • LawrenceKScardsfan

    Bernie – I don’t see how ANY reasonable trade could put the Cardinal team at risk. The reason? As you pointed out – the Cards have surpluses at so many positions that they have great flexibility. Note I said reasonable – as in not trading the farm for a few high priced veterans that break down over the years and cost you your future. But I could see acquiring a top line pitcher or closer if that’s available for a reasonable move.

    I’ve said previously that my top trade chip would be MCarp. I’d also put Lynn and Grichuk on the block.

    You suggested Oh. I would consider him a possible trade chip too. The Cards didn’t follow my suggestions in the off season – acquiring Chapman and Turner. Oh was never meant to be the closer. He was acquired as a set up man. Asking a set up man to close for you is not ideal. But Oh did do a good job last year. I don’t have a lot of faith in Rosie. Just too erratic. Damn if he would establish some control he could be awesome.

    Of course much could be said of the 2017 Cardinals. They seem loaded with talent and the sum of their parts appears greater than the whole we’ve been experiencing. Is that a management issue? By bringing up and playing the kids plus Pham things have turned for the better. So fingers crossed that whatever they do – it’s not something like huge numbers for Price and Heyward. Those kind of moves do not improve the team IMO.

  • Brian Hudson Sr

    My reasoning for trading Carp (for a GOOD trade) is that he isn’t even an average fielder at any position. I really like his determination but you can’t hide him in the field and I sometimes question his baseball savvy. I believe for the good of improving the team he is a trading piece. JMO

    • Larry Davis

      How soon you forget Carpenter was the regular second baseman before Wong was established as the farm hand to inherit 2nd base. What the Cardinals did after Reyes never transpired as the one or two year shortstop fill due to injury , Then the club aquired Peralta and then moved Carp to third. Carpenter was very good at third and got the team into many post season runs. Now all of a sudden people want to throw him inder the bus? Carpenter is the best hitter on the Cardinals last time I checked beside Yadi and Gyroko ! Are we watching the same club or are you in the box with Carpenter feeling dissed ?