Cardinals Claim Ryan Meisinger

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  v Baltimore Orioles

The Cardinals have claimed righty reliever Ryan Meisinger off waivers from the Orioles, the Baltimore club announced.
Meisinger, 24, cracked the bigs last year for the first time and surrendered six long balls in 21 innings. Still, he has turned in some intriguing numbers at times in the minors. Last year, for instance, he worked to a 3.13 ERA in 46 innings in the upper minors, with 10.8 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9.

Fastball/Slider reliever, high ¾ release and an arm stab that keeps the ball hidden adds deception. FB 92-94, arm-side run when he is sharp. Average SL, 82-84, throws it a lot, can command it at times. He started the season looking good, he had above average command, run on the FB. As the season progressed he started falling off more and more to the 1B side due to an unbalanced landing position, this seemed to kill the movement on his fastball and negatively affected his command. He kept getting people out, but he stopped missing bats. Middle relief profile.

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Lee Smith Voted Into Hall of Fame

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I am so happy to announce that Lee Smith has finally been voted into The Class of 2019 Hall of Fame.  Lee Arthur Smith spent 1990 to 1993 as the Cardinals reliever and amassed 206 Saves with the Cardinals.  He also been in three All-Star Games  1991-93 with the Cardinals but been in seven All-Star Games in his eighteen tear career. His overall saves total is 478.  Lee Smith is third in most all time saves.  I still remember the 1991 Cardinals season. I recall going to many games watching Ozzie Smith, Rex Hudler, Ray Lankford and Todd Zeile  but it was Lee Smith throwing fire striking out our opponents. What a fun season but it all came to an end in 1993 when we traded him to the Yankees for Rich Batchelor……Joe McBrayer

In a vote of the Hall’s Today’s Game Era committee, Smith was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday along with Harold Baines. Both players received at least 12 votes from a 16-person panel that met Sunday at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on the first day of the winter meetings. Smith was a unanimous selection.

Smith retired with 478 saves, and only two players in history have had more — Trevor Hoffman, who was inducted to the Hall this past summer, and Mariano Rivera, who is eligible for election this winter. He spent four seasons with the Cardinals and until Jason Isringhausen came along more than 10 years later, Smith’s 160 saves for the Cardinals was the franchise record.

The committee that elected both players Sunday included Hall of Fame managers Tony La Russa and Joe Torre, both of whom managed the Cardinals, and Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith, a teammate of Lee Smith’s in St. Louis. The modern eyes on the committee may have helped both players who are products of the modern game: a pitcher specialized for the end of games and a player who rarely needed a glove.
Smith and Baines are the first members of the Hall’s Class of 2019. The other members will be revealed later in January after voting is complete from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America……..Derrick Goold

Cardinals Ready for Winter Meetings

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With the Winter Meetings on the verge of beginning, Goold has the latest on where the 2019-minded Cards could attempt to upgrade next:
While the Cardinals have been connected to outfielder Bryce Harper, arguably the best free agent available, Goold hears their interest may hinge on the length of his next contract. If Harper’s desired length on his forthcoming deal drops to fewer than 10 years, St. Louis would be more inclined to get seriously involved, Goold indicates.
With left-handed relief help high on the Cards’ list, they “remain engaged” on free agents Zach Britton and Andrew Miller, Goold reports. And though Mozeliak has expressed confidence in flamethrower Jordan Hicks’ potential to serve as the Cardinals’ primary closer in 2019, the team could offer the ninth inning to Britton or Miller, Goold writes. Both the 30-year-old Britton and Miller, 33, come with plenty of game-ending experience, having combined for 195 saves. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes, Steve Adams and Jeff Todd forecast both hurlers to sign three-year deals in the $30MM range.
The Cardinals are also seeking a lefty-swinging utility infielder, which could lead to a reunion with ex-Redbird Daniel Descalso. The club has had talks with Descalso’s agent, according to Goold. A third-round pick of the Cardinals in 2007, Descalso played for the team from 2010-14, during which he was part of its most recent World Series winner (2011). The 32-year-old generally hasn’t been much of an offensive threat during his career, but he found another gear last season in Arizona, where he hit far more line drives and fly balls and far fewer grounders. The changes helped Descalso bat an above-average .238/.353/.436 (111 wRC+) with career highs in home runs (13), walk rate (15.1 percent) and isolated power (.198).

Source: Connor Byrne

Carddinals Winter Warm Up 2019

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Autograph tickets for the 23rd annual Cardinals Care Winter Warm-Up will go on sale Monday, December 10 at 12:00 p.m. CT at cardinals.com/WWU and the Busch Stadium Box Office. A Winter Warm-Up admission ticket is required to obtain autographs at the event.
The 2019 Winter Warm-Up event will be held January 19-21 at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch. Newly signed first baseman, Paul Goldshmidt, as well as returning members of the St. Louis Cardinals, including Yadier Molina, Carlos Martínez, Matt Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas, Harrison Bader, Paul DeJong, Kolten Wong, Jack Flaherty, Jordan Hicks, Michael Wacha, Jedd Gyorko, José Martínez, Tyler O’Neill, John Brebbia, John Gant, Austin Gomber, Dominic Leone, Mike Mayers, Yairo Muñoz, Chasen Shreve, and Tyler Webb are scheduled to appear at the event. Top prospects Alex Reyes, Dakota Hudson, Adolis García, Andrew Knizner, Daniel Ponce de Leon, Patrick Wisdom, Ryan Helsley, Max Schrock, Lane Thomas, and Justin Williams are also scheduled to attend along with Manager Mike Shildt and First Base Coach Stubby Clapp. In total, more than 50 players, coaches and alumni will be on hand for the event. Autograph schedule is subject to change.
“We are thrilled to be celebrating the 23rd year of Winter Warm-Up to launch the 2019 baseball season,” said Michael Hall, Executive Director of Cardinals Care and Vice President of Community Relations. “The autograph sessions are the perfect opportunity for fans to meet their favorite past, present and future Cardinals players all while helping kids in our community.”
Player autograph sessions are one of the most popular attractions of the Warm-Up. While some autograph tickets are available to obtain for free, other autograph tickets require a specific additional donation. Every dollar donated for autograph tickets—as well as all proceeds from the Winter Warm-Up weekend—will benefit Redbird Rookies and charitable grants to other non-profit organizations that help kids.
A limited supply of free autograph tickets will be available online and at the Busch Stadium Box Office on a first-come, first-served basis. Fans can obtain up to two free autograph tickets per signee and up to five free autograph tickets per transaction. A full list and schedule of free autograph signing dates can be found at cardinals.com/WWU.
All autograph tickets will be sold online through Thursday, January 17 at 12:00 p.m. CT. Remaining autograph tickets not sold online will be available at the Winter Warm-Up. Those who order their autograph tickets online by noon on January 10 will receive their tickets in the mail. Fans who order after January 10 can pick up their autograph tickets at the Busch Stadium Box Office during regular box office hours or at the Ticket Booth and autograph ticket kiosks at the Winter Warm-Up. Autograph tickets are the sole responsibility of the ticket purchaser and cannot be reissued, reprinted or refunded. Free autograph tickets are not for resale.
For complete up-to-date details about autograph dates, signing times, donation amounts and frequently asked questions, or to purchase admission or autograph tickets, visit cardinals.com/WWU.

St. Louis Cardinals

 

Molina to have Knee Surgery

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina will undergo a minor clean-up surgery on his knee next week, according to reports first brought to light by Primera Hora, which cited Molina’s agent Melvin Roman.
The reports did not specify which knee will be operated on, but Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak confirmed to St. Louis Baseball Weekly that Molina will undergo a “very small procedure” that shouldn’t sideline the nine-time All-Star for anything more than a few days. The team fully expects Molina to be ready by Spring Training.
To public knowledge, Molina hasn’t previously dealt with anything in his knees beyond some soreness in 2013. The backstop claimed his ninth Rawlings Gold Glove Award this offseason after spending 1,017 2/3 innings behind the plate for St. Louis in ’18. Molina’s bat remained potent, too, as he hit 20 home runs while compiling a .750 OPS.
St. Louis traded Minor League catcher Carson Kelly — long seen as Molina’s heir apparent — this past week in a trade that netted the team superstar first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, further signaling the Cardinals’ belief in Molina in the next handful of years.

Source: Matt Kelly

The Cardinals Struck Gold..Paul Goldschmidt

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It finally happened the Cardinals traded Carson Kelly, Andy Young and Luke Weaver for the bat they needed…..Paul Goldschmidt.

The Cards landed Goldschmidt without losing anyone they were counting on for 2019. Kelly, who was ranked the No. 46 overall prospect by MLB.com before last season, figured to be a possible heir to Yadier Molina. But Molina’s age-35 season looked more than enough like the ones that came before it—a .750 OPS, 120 starts behind the plate—to trust him to carry the load in 2019. As for Weaver, whom the Cards picked No. 27 overall in 2014, it’s hard to know whether he can hold down a rotation spot on a playoff contender. He finished last year in the bullpen, thanks to the 4.66 ERA he posted as a starter, and he had been surpassed by fellow 2014 first-rounder Jack Flaherty and fourth-round lefty Austin Gomber. Young, meanwhile, spent his 2018 split between High-A and Double-A; St. Louis was unlikely to call on him as more than a bench part next year.

If the Cardinals can manage to sign Goldschmidt long-term, the prospect price they paid will seem trivial. And if they can’t, and the team struggles, well, they’ll presumably be able to replace Weaver, Kelly, and Young by trading Goldschmidt this summer. Right now, it’s hard not to think of St. Louis as having every bit as viable a shot at the NL Central title as the Cubs and Brewers do. This was a good day in Bird Land .next year.

Source: Jack Dickey

 

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