Cardinals On a Moose Hunt?

abigmoose

The St. Louis Cardinals may be in the market for a third baseman, which would allow them to shift Matt Carpenter to first base on a permanent basis and move Jedd Gyorko into a heavy utility role.
The Cardinals have been linked to Josh Donaldson for some time, but on Monday he signed a one-year deal with the Braves. Plan B? Perhaps it’s Mike Moustakas, as Jon Heyman reports …
Jon Heyman

@JonHeyma #STLCards have Mike Moustakas on radar. The difference this year: no draft choice attachment. Rival Brewers, Moose’s most recent team, among others with possible interest

.Moustakas, who turned 30 in September, is coming off a 2018 season in which he batted .251/.315/.459 (108 OPS+) in a combined 152 games for the Royals and Brewers. For his career, Moustakas has an OPS+ of 98 with 147 home runs across parts of eight big-league seasons. Moustakas was not eligible for a qualifying offer this offseason, so he can be signed without his new team forfeiting a draft pick.

As for his merits, Moustakas certainly has power from the left side, as he’s tallied 66 home runs over the past two seasons. However, he’s also lugging around a career on-base percentage of .307, which isn’t acceptable for a corner defender. That pop is good, but the Cardinals have to ask whether Moustakas going into his age-30 season is really an adequate solution for a team that aspires to contend in the same division as the Brewers and Cubs.

Source: Dayn Perry

 

More On Goldschmidt & Greinke

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According to  Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cards have talked to the D-backs about a trade for Goldschimdt. As Goold explores in great detail, the slugger checks several boxes — the Cards prefer to trade for a bat rather than sign one and are especially interested in corner infielders — but there are question marks as well. He’d only add to a deluge of right-handed bats in the St. Louis lineup, for example, and there is of course no guarantee he’d be willing to sign an extension — something the Cards would be likely to pursue.
While Goldschmidt is the best player the D-backs could move this winter, he’s hardly the only high-profile candidate to change hands. Zack Greinke, too, has emerged as a potential trade candidate, though circumstances surrounding the two are quite different. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that while the D-backs want young players or prospects back in any Goldschmidt deal — hence the mention of Eflin in Stark’s report — the primary motivation in trading Greinke would be to escape the burden of the three years and $104.5MM remaining on his contract (which includes his annual salaries and a trio of $3MM payouts as part of an $18MM signing bonus that was spread out evenly over the duration of the contract). Greinke’s six-year, $206.5MM contract is the largest ever in terms of average annual value and was signed by the previous front-office regime in Arizona. At 35 years of age, the right-hander is still a highly effective pitcher, but it’s understandable that as payroll has risen beyond the organization’s comfort level, the new-look front office is hoping to unload some of that financial burden.
It’s natural to suggest that the D-backs could try to kill two birds with one stone by trading Goldschmidt and Greinke in one franchise-altering blockbuster. Attaching a player of Goldschmidt’s caliber to Greinke’s contract would hold appeal for an acquiring team, but The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported this morning (subscription required) that the D-backs aren’t interested in watering down a return on Goldschmidt by packaging him with Greinke. Rosenthal, in fact, notes that Cardinals already had internal discussions about attempting a trade to acquire both, but they’re cognizant of the fact that they’re on Greinke’s 15-team no-trade list. Goold tweets that the Cardinals’ inclusion on Greinke’s no-trade list is tied to geographic preferences.

Winter Warm Up Tickets Sale Friday

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Cardinals Care, the charitable foundation of the St. Louis Cardinals, has announced that admission tickets for the 23rd annual Winter Warm-Up will go on sale Friday, November 23, at 10:00 a.m. CT. The largest fundraising effort organized by Cardinals Care, the 2019 Winter Warm-Up will take place Saturday, January 19, through Monday, January 21 (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day), at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch. Event times are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday.
Beginning Friday morning, fans can purchase admission tickets for the three-day Winter Warm-Up online at cardinals.com/WWU. Fans can also purchase tickets at the Busch Stadium Box Office starting Monday, November 26. Those who order online by noon on January 10 will receive their tickets in the mail. Fans who order after January 10 can pick up their admission tickets at the Busch Stadium Box Office during regular box office hours, weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., from Thursday, January 10 through Thursday, January 17 (box office closed on weekends). Winter Warm-Up Will Call opens on Friday, January 18, at the Hyatt Regency at 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.
The prices for admission tickets, which are valid for all three days of the Warm-Up, will remain the same as previous years; $40 for fans age 16 and over, $10 for children age 5 to 15. Kids under 5 years old are admitted free of charge. Members of the military, police and fire departments with an active ID can receive one free adult admission ticket which must be obtained in person at the Busch Stadium Box Office, during regular box office hours, from November 26-January 17 or at the event. Please note the Busch Stadium Box Office will be closed November 23, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and on weekends.
Winter Warm-Up provides fans with countless unique opportunities while raising money for Cardinals Care, the team’s charitable fund whose mission is caring for kids in the Cardinals community. Fans can meet their favorite players at autograph sessions, play interactive games, share memories with Hall of Famers, take photos with Fredbird, find collectible memorabilia, bid on one-of-a-kind items at live and silent auctions, experience live presentations and ask tough questions of players, owners, scouts, broadcasters and officials at Q&A sessions.
“The Winter Warm-Up is the kick off to the 2019 season,” said Michael Hall, Executive Director of Cardinals Care and Vice President of Community Relations. “It’s the perfect opportunity for our passionate fans to meet their favorite players and hear from our front office leadership about the upcoming season, all while helping kids here in our community.”
Many popular alumni autographs are free with an admission ticket, while current players require an autograph ticket available through a specific additional donation. All autograph tickets will be sold online and at the Busch Stadium Box Office beginning Monday, December 10 at 12:00 p.m. CT through Thursday, January 17 at 12:00 p.m. CT. Fans can visit cardinals.com/WWU for the latest details, including player autograph dates, times and, if required, additional donation amounts. #CardsWarmUp

Mystery Free Agent on Cardinals Table

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As Tyler Kepner of the New York Times writes, in a general encapsulation of the state of play in the current free agent market, there’s still not much clarity regarding superstars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. Perhaps, as Kepner suggests, with the two belles of the ball still waiting to find a dance partner, the rest of the participants are still milling about, afraid to commit.
Of course, the market is also operating in the shadow of last winter’s dud of a dance, so the factors influencing the secondary tiers of free agency could reflect broader changes mostly unrelated to Machado and Harper. Whether the matchmaking process will be as slow as it was last year remains to be seen; the more interesting question, though, is simply whether there’ll be more money out there for the good-but-not-great players available. As for Machado and Harper, there’s every reason to believe they’ll be paid handsomely.
It’s interesting, though perhaps not surprising, that the conversation thus far has mostly focused on Harper. As Kepner notes, Harper’s gunslinging agent Scott Boras is selling Harper to suitors as an “iconic” and uniquely marketable player. The ever-visible Boras is, of course, also making that same pitch in very public fashion to and through the media. Machado’s agent, Dan Lozano, has negotiated some monster deals of his own, so he’s no amateur. Clearly, though, he is not pursuing the sort of media strategy that Boras is.
The differences in the agents’ approaches are perhaps in some part reflections of genuine personality differences in their respective clients. While he hardly carries any kind of reputation for off-field antics, Harper seems to be enjoying his time in the spotlight, playfully dropping hints on social media and an assuredly unscripted TMZ spot. (Did you know: Harper’s dog is still named Wrigley and he quite likes deep dish!)
Machado, meanwhile, has been more or less off the radar entirely — leaving many to hem and haw over the generally distasteful impression he left during the World Series. In an interview published this morning by MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, Machado has perhaps launched his effort at shifting the narrative somewhat. The 26-year-old casts himself as a humble, hard-working player who shows up every day and cares about winning — which, generally, was his reputation both in and out of baseball circles prior to the recent shift.
Of course, the change in public perception — one that was likely not fully embraced by those that have known him in person for years — was a self-inflicted wound caused by Machado’s cringeworthy comments on hustling as well as some highly questionable on-field actions. Machado says he accepts the blame for how his words came across, but explains: “I was trying to talk about how I’m not the guy who is eye wash. There’s a difference between fake hustle for show and being someone who tries hard to win. I’ve always been the guy who does whatever he can to win for his team.”
Machado unsurprisingly declines to divulge any details about his thinking on an ultimate destination. Generally, he suggests to Feinsand that he’s open to any and all suitors. And he says he won’t do anything to make the process a more-publicized one than it already promises to be. “When the time comes,” Machado says, “there will probably be a few of the teams that I will sit down with in person, but it’s not something I plan on being very public about.” There’s plenty more to digest from his chat with Feinsand, which is a must-read piece, though Machado surely will still have plenty to answer to when he sits down with team owners who are considering committing hundreds of millions of dollars to employ him.
Generally, the final dollar tallies these two excellent young players will command will be the result of an auction process, the course of which will be determined by the quantity and intensity of team owners waving bidding paddles from the gallery. We don’t yet have a firm sense of the field of Machado bidders, but the rough contours of Harper’s market are beginning to emerge. Notably, it seems he may have two more interesting potential suitors.
It won’t surprise anyone to hear the Cardinals and Braves mentioned as possibilities, as they’ve both long been discussed as teams to keep an eye on. But it’s still notable to see some increasing evidence of real involvement. The owner of the St. Louis franchise, Bill DeWitt III, tells Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Twitter link) that a move for a top-tier free agent is on the table — though he doesn’t necessarily do so in terms that suggest it’s the likeliest outcome. “We could do it, sure,” says DeWitt. “It’s about (considering) putting all our eggs in one basket. We have the payroll room.”
As for the Atlanta organization, which is owned by a corporate entity (Liberty Media) that is theoretically less likely to be swayed by emotion, it remains a bit difficult to gauge the true level of interest. But David O’Brien of The Athletic tweets that he’s getting signs the Braves will be “players in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes.” Whether or not the club will turn into a front-runner, let alone land Harper, is obviously still unclear. But it seems fair to presume that the involvement of multiple, serious suitors increases the likelihood that Boras (or, for Machado, Lozano) will be able to convince one team to enter a new contract stratosphere of the kind MLBTR predicted in its ranking of the top fifty free agents.

Source: Steve Adams

Cards Talking Goldschmidt

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This morning Ken Rosenthal reported that the Cardinals are talking to the Diamondbacks about Goldschmidt but no traction at this time. He did mention that the Diamondbacks will be interested in the Cardinals young pitchers.

Rosenthal of The Athletic also tweets, the Astros and Cardinals “have had the most meaningful discussions” of any organizations in baseball. But that’s just relative to their peers, not an indication that either club is particularly likely (let alone close) to striking a deal for one of the game’s best and steadiest offensive performers. Of course, it’s also still entirely unclear just what the D-Backs will look to do with such a key player. An extension still does not appear to be out of the question, though there have been no hints that one is in the works. Even in a trade scenario, the team will have to decide whether to try to use Goldschmidt as a vehicle to shed salary (by attaching another contract) or recoup talent.

Cardinals Add Non-Roster Invitees

bostontommy

The Cardinals announced a slate of minor league signings, including right-hander Mike Hauschild, left-hander Hunter Cervenka, catcher Joe Hudson, catcher Jose Godoy and first baseman/outfielder Rangel Ravelo. Each received an invitation to Major League Spring Training. St. Louis also announced previously reported Spring Training invites for Tommy Layne and Williams Perez, as well as minor league deals without Spring Training invites for righties Harold Arauz and Ramon Santos. Hauschild, 29 in January, has been hit hard in 16 1/3 MLB innings but has a career 4.02 ERA with 7.9 K/9 against 3.4 BB/9 in 437 Triple-A innings (all as a starter). Cervenka posted a 3.53 ERA in 43 1/3 innings between the Braves and Marlins back in 2016 but showed serious control problems along the way and has scarcely pitched in the Majors since. Hudson,27, made a brief big league debut with the Angels in September after a quality showing between their Double-A and Triple-A affiliates. The 24-year-old Godoy and 26-year-old Ravelo are returning to the Cardinals organization. Godoy showed some solid OBP skills in High-A, while Ravelo raked at a .308/.392/.487 pace in 399 PAs with Memphis in his first season with the organization.

Source: Steve Adams

Cardinals Bring Back the Powder Blue Uniforms

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The St. Louis Cardinals today unveiled a new road alternate jersey that players will wear during select Saturday road games starting with the 2019 season. The uniforms are powder blue in color, similar to the “Victory Blue” uniforms that players wore from 1976 through 1984.
“We are very excited about the new powder blue “Saturday Road” uniform,” said Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III, who led the design efforts. “I know it will be popular with both players and fans — particularly those who remember the great teams of the 70s and 80s who wore this same color on the road.”
The Cardinals will be the 21st MLB team with at least two alternate jerseys. The road alternate uniform will debut on Saturday, March 30th at Milwaukee, and will be worn only on Saturday dates away from Busch Stadium. Similar to the team’s first Saturday alternate unveiled before the 2013 season, the front of the Power Blue jersey features “St. Louis” in script along with the player’s number. The jersey and matching pants have red piping and will be complimented with players wearing a red hat.
National Baseball and Cardinals Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith presented current Cardinals outfielder, Harrison Bader, with the new uniform at an event this morning at Ballpark Village. Bader will show off the club’s new threads when he drops the ceremonial first puck before tonight’s St. Louis Blues game at Enterprise Center.
Former Cardinals outfielder (2001-03), current professional scout and St. Louis-native, Kerry Robinson, who was also on hand for today’s event, has strongly advocated for resurrecting the powder blue jerseys. “I always loved the look and style of the powder blue uniforms,” said Robinson. As a kid, I dreamed of being just like Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee, so bringing them back is nostalgic for me.”
Fans may purchase the new road alternate jerseys exclusively at the Cardinals Official Team Store at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals Authentics Store and the Cardinals Majestic Store at Ballpark Village through November 26th. While supplies last, these outlets are offering fans a free Cardinals Timex watch with purchase of an adult-sized jersey, and a free hat with purchase of a kid-sized jersey.
The stores are open 10 AM – 6 PM seven days a week, except holidays. Beginning today, the Official Team Store will extend its hours (10 AM – 8 PM) through Saturday, November 24th and again Monday, November 26th through Saturday, November 30th. Fans can order the new road alternate jersey by calling (800) 421-3263. More details are available at cardinals.com/jersey.

Source: St. Louis Cardinals

Cardinals Making Moves

Pittsburgh Pirates v St Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals announced a series of roster moves today that leaves the team’s Major League roster at 38 players,
The team added recently re-signed free-agent pitcher Adam Wainwright to the 40-man roster in addition to four players who were reinstated from the 60-day disabled list. Those players included outfielder Dexter Fowler, and pitchers Luke Gregerson, Alex Reyes and Michael Wacha.

The Reds announced Friday that they’ve claimed right-handed reliever Matthew Bowman off waivers from the division-rival Cardinals. Additionally, infielder Dilson Herrera and outfielder Mason Williams have cleared waivers and been sent outright to Triple-A Louisville.
Bowman, 27, was a quality middle-relief option for the Cards from 2016-17, working to a 3.70 ERA with 7.0 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and 0.6 HR/9 in 126 1/3 innings. He stumbled in 2018 however, requiring multiple DL stints for ongoing blister issues and generally performing poorly when on the field. In 23 innings this past season, he posted a 6.26 ERA with a career-best 10.2 K/9 mark but also a career-worst 4.1 BB/9 mark. Bowman does have a minor league option remaining, so he could be a flexible ’pen option for the Reds in 2019.

he Cardinals also put catcher Francisco Pena through outright waivers, tweets Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Pena, unlike Garcia, cleared waivers (as also noted on the team’s transactions log) and will become a minor league free agent.
The 29-year-old Pena registered career-highs in games played (58) and plate appearances (142) this past season while filling in for the injured Yadier Molina. Long regarded as a glove-first option behind the plate, Pena managed just a .203/.239/.271 batting line in his time with the Cards. He’s a career .252/.296/.452 hitter in 1376 plate appearances at the Triple-A level, though, and he’s controlled the running game well in the minors even if he struggled to do so in his limited run with St. Louis. He’ll surely latch on somewhere this offseason on a minor league deal, as there’s never enough catching depth to go around in the Majors and he’s a viable third or fourth option to bring up to the big leagues in the event of injuries.

St. Louis Cardinals-Steve Adams

Goodbye Greg Garcia

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The Padres announced today that they have claimed infielder Greg Garcia off waivers from the Cardinals. He’ll head out west after spending his entire professional career in the St. Louis organization.
Garcia, a native of the San Diego area, has received significant MLB playing time in the past three campaigns. All told, he’s a .248/.356/.339 hitter in the big leagues. With just ten career home runs, there isn’t much pop, though Garcia has managed a 12.3% walk rate in the bigs.
Unfortunately, the 29-year-old oversaw a downturn at the plate last year, with his walk rate sinking into the single digits and his overall output falling along with it. Garcia managed only a 72 wRC+ on the year.
With experience playing all over the infield, Garcia could represent a utility option for the Pads. At the moment, the San Diego organization is largely unsettled on the left side of the dirt.

Jeff Todd