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Friday, November 11, 2005


Wishes & Possibilities: OF edition

Holy Jeebuz - are you sick of the hot stove yet? Me neither, what good is the web if you can't speculate about things for which you have absolutely no control, hence all the blogs on sports and politics. Anyway, I wanted to statistically run down some of the real possibilities that Cards' bloggers and others have bandied about as potential new outfielders for the 2006 season. The players below represent two free agent possibilities (Giles & Jones) and two trade possibilities (Huff & Wilkerson) that would not cost the Redbirds an arm and a leg, i.e. Anthony Reyes and the rest of our few blue chip prospects. Of course, these selections represent some personal bias. Huff and Wilkerson are young, talented outfielders, that I personally think are worth pursuing. Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Giles, clearly, has the best numbers. He's a thirtysomething on-base machine who can hit for a little power too. Can Giles enjoy that level of success moving into his late thirties? A law of diminishing returns surrounds whatever big money contract he receives. Aubrey Huff has put up some good numbers in the past, but saw his numbers slump in 2005. The D-Rays shuffled Huff all over the field in the last couple of seasons, possibly to the detriment of his plate performance last year. He is a free agent after the 2006 season, so there's extra incentive to put up numbers. At this point in time, the Mets seems to be trying to make a move for Huff. Wilkerson is another good, young player who slumped at the plate last year. He made just a hair over $3 million last year. His numbers might well have suffered due to being shuffled across the field and up and down the line up. He also played with a shoulder injury for much of the season as the Nats remained in contention much, much longer than expected. The Nationals have a plethora of outfielders, and a need for solid, relatively inexpensive pitchers. Trading Marquis for Wilke, I think, would be a great move. He's no superstar, but would be a solid and cheap(er) talent for the outfield. One catch, his agent is the reviled Scott Boras. Jones is clearly a stop gap solution. He made $5 million last year, but his status as a free agent makes his '06 salary anyone's guess. He is the least attractive of the bunch listed here, but beats Kevin Mench. Essentially, we have to make a FA signing for 2B, OF, or a SP, with the latter being the least pressing need, and trade for the other position(s). Signing Giles has become more palatable to me as I look around at the options. However, getting younger at one or both of the other positions would be reassuring and a wise thing to do.
More and more, I'm liking the idea of acquiring Wilkerson. The risk-side of Giles is just too high for me. Wilerson would be a more "safe bet" with a lower but more guaranteed return.

Alos, depending on where and how the Cardinals are doing in the standings by July-August 2005, the front office would have more financial flexibility to go out and add a a player at the deadline if they weren't saddled by a Giles contract.
i think wilkerson has huge upside and is the kind of player that could really benefit from a setting like STL and the Cards.

it's a tough, tough call, but supposedly the cards will be among the busiest in signings and trades.
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