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Thursday, December 01, 2005


Abreu, Abreu, Abreu

Don't get too carried away by the Abreu-to-Cards rumors. Talk of a possible Abreu-for-Manny trade is gathering intensity, and there seems to be a fairly high level of seriousness around it (isn't there always). The latest today comes from Gotham Baseball, the folks who got the Edmonds trade talk heated up again early this morning. Of course, this all could just represent an effort to drive up the Mets' offering for Manny. Who the hell knows anymore? At this point, the only thing that wouldn't surprise me would be Jock making a trade or two that none of us even thought about. On the Edmonds trade talk, sometimes we have to be willing to part with our favorite superstars. St. Louis sports fans seem to get hung up on a star way more than in other cities, and are even willing to tolerate loosing teams with bright and/or colorful stars. Maybe I'm wrong, since I've never really been a fan of teams anywhere else (except for the Chiefs). Edmonds is 35, and eventhough he's coming off a slump (relative) last year, he could rebound into a good 2006. However, the laws of the game, aging and all those other things dictate that Jimmy's numbers will now start to decline over the coming years. His playing style also gives him a much higher chance of getting injured, always a problem with those defense at all costs guys, and to be honest, I would not be the least bit surprised to Jimmy play less than the 152 James predicts for him in the 2006 Handbook. We love Jim Edmonds, and to see him carry the torch of great Cardinal centerfielders a little longer would be fantastic. But, if a move like trading Edmonds can make the team better, allow us to seriously compete, then I can live with his departure. Trading Edmonds for Cano and Wang fills two Cardinal needs, and gives them some cash to replace Edmonds' power. Cano's a 22 year old stud at second base, and could man the keystone position for years to come. Wang has two downsides: I'd never be able to say his name without giggling, and watching him pitch is less exciting than listening to a Coldplay album. He also gives us a pitcher to trade should Jock sign Burnett too. Anyhow, I'm not endorsing this trade; I haven't really settled on one side or the other. My biggest hang-up with the theory that we make this one and go get Abreu is that it leaves the rest of our OF fairly weak at the plate and very so-so defensively in LF & CF.
Other than saving the Cards some money, I really hate the idea of that particular trade for the team. Wang and Cano simply aren't very good, relative to replacement level. They're not the kind of players that push a team towards a championship; Edmonds is. Anyway, if they trade Edmonds for those guys and free up some cash, they'll then need to sign or trade for THREE outfielders, including a centerfielder, and they'll have to replace the best CF in baseball on both offense and defense. The good free agent OF's are gone, and I hate the idea of them giving too many years and too much money to a scrub like Jacques Jones out of desperation. Plus Edmonds only has one more year on his contract, so I question how much cash would be saved long-term by trading him now. Say they trade Edmonds for Wang and Cano, then use the cash saved to sign Burnett and trade Marquis for an outfielder. Where does that put them financially in two, three, four, or five years? Up sh*t creek, that's where. No, I don't like it at all. Trade Edmonds if you must, but not for that offer. It's simply not enough value for a guy who contributes as much as Edmonds, even if he only contributes for one more year. Better to just re-sign Grudzy or some other not-too-expensive second baseman and maybe fill that 5th starter position with some NRI or bottom-tier free agent. As we've seen in the recent past, having a good 5th starter doesn't mean much at all in the postseason.
Omar Minaya is apparently planning on talking to the Sawx next week about Manny, so that could put Abreu back into play.
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