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Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Now What?

Okay, so now we have to move on from the Burnett scenarios that shaped our expectations of the 2006 roster. In a cursory analysis, I think the rotation as is still allows us to be competitive; however, the secondary value of acquiring Burnett allowed us to trade Marquis to fill our outfield or second base needs. The lineup, as it now stands, most seriously impacts our ability to compete. Sure, with Eckstein, Pujols, Edmonds and Rolen, it’s still quite potent, but of those four, the only two we can really depend on for 150 games are Pujols and Eck. With Rolen back, the lineup is automatically better than last year’s mix and match version that rarely (ever?) included a healthy and fully productive Walker, Sanders, or Rolen in it. So we need to sign a free agent starting pitcher in order to free up another starting pitcher as a trade chip to improve the lineup – damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Signing Giles might not have been such a bad idea after all, huh? Now what? The first question is whether or not to continue along this prescribed path of events. The best of the remaining free agent pitchers is Millwood, whose agent Scott Boras wants a five year deal, and given the deals for Byrd and Loaiza, you can just assume that Millwood costs around $10M per year. Reportedly, Seattle is close to signing him anyway. Jeff Weaver, also represented by Boras, is available, but you’d have to be smoking crack to sign him at the price he will demand. Washburn would be a good option, and a lefty, but he also calls Boras “daddy.” Ken Rosenthal thinks the Cards will be going after Vazquez, which would involve a trade with Arizona. Vazquez is also just 29 years old, and has two years and $24M left on his contract. Vazquez brings a nice 4.17 K/BB rate, 8.01 K/9, and a G/F ratio or 1.19 from Phoenix last year. Just what are they likely to trade for him? Assume Marquis or Suppan is part of that deal. My preference would be to keep the reliable Suppan. Supe is a $7M pitcher in the current market, and we have him signed for $4M. Who else? Wainwright maybe? Vazquez would be a better option than keeping Morris, who is now worth at least $8M per season and three or four years. Vazquez. Great. Now all of our trade chips are spent, leaving us with Taguchi and Rodriguez surrounding Edmonds in the OF, and a bench, solid with those two on it, featuring only poor depth. Oh, and who’s on second? Kind of getting depressing to think about all this, huh? I know it never made it past the speculation stage, but the idea of trading Edmonds to the Yankees for Cano and Wang (he he) sounds much better now. It fills our need at second, with quality for years to come, and gives us another starting pitcher, thus the depth to deal again. So the Cards make that trade, Cano slots in at number two in the batting order and they can trade Marquis (or whoever out of Jason, Supe, or Wang that brings the most return) for Wilkerson or another outfielder. They also still have cash to make free agent signings for the bullpen and/or the other corner outfield spots. Saying farewell to Jimmy would be tough, but there’s nothing like a winning a team to heal the pain of a broken heart.
Unfortunately you may be right on the Jed trade need. I'm not sold on Wang though, maybe we could squeeze another prospect out of the Yanks on top of those two.
yeah, afraid the front office isn't taking many suggestions from bloggers (nor fielding requests for interviews from them either)
Sorry Ryan...The Jed trade makes no sense, especially now. Instead of having 2 holes in the OF you'll make 3 holes...

Jed trade not a viable option, it just causes more holes
I know Jimmy had a bad year, but am I reading that right? Right now we have Jim Edmonds in center, and Jason Marquis/Jeff Suppan at the back of the rotation, and possibly Grudz back at 3 mil per at 2nd base. The two trades would give us Brad Wilkerson in center, Chen Wang at the back of the rotation and Robbie Cano at 2nd...I don't see that as a major upgrade. It looks like at best a push, without the upside of a great center fielder like Jimmy...
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