The GM meetings start today in Florida, and Derrick Gould has a good primer on them and the off-season activity that may get started at those meetings.
The biggest name tied at all to the Cardinals is former World Series MVP Curt Schilling. Owner of three rings and one of the top pitchers in the game, at least in his prime, a team that was hurting so much for pitching last year has to be in contact with a guy like that.
I’m not seeing the attraction. Well, to be more accurate, I don’t share in the attraction. Don’t get me wrong. Schilling still has some left in the tank, as evidenced by his 9 win, 3.87 ERA season in a very tough division. Schilling could move to the NL Central and probably post 10 wins and a 3.60 ERA. So that’s not the problem.
The problem is, without a fairly serious makeover, the Cardinals aren’t going to be that competitive in 2008. Sure, there’s hope that Rolen will rebound from the surgery (and I do think his numbers will improve over last year’s) and Pujols shouldn’t have that slow start again, but you can’t count on Edmonds to be better and this team was deep on the wrong side of the run differential issue last year. It’s not that one pitcher will get us over the hump. Make the team better, sure, but is it worth $12-$13 million to finish over .500?
I’d much rather see them save up some of that money and go after some of the stud younger pitchers that are going to be on the market after 2008. To be able to invest in a top pitcher to go along with Wainwright and Carpenter, plus some of the young talent that is starting to work its way to St. Louis would be a much better idea, even if 2008 has to be sacrificed.
Speaking of young talent, over at FR the guys have ranked their top prospects, and of course Mr. Rasmus comes in at #1. The raves, though, are even more exciting. For some time, I’ve been interested in Rasmus, but was wondering if he was just the best of a bad lot, a guy that’d be a solid player but not a superstar. That doesn’t seem to be the case to the FR crew, and they know their minors quite well.
Someone over at VEB tossed out the idea that Rasmus start 2008 in St. Louis instead of working in Memphis. I was interested to see that not only was that idea not really shot down but embraced. Of course, it would mean that someone, most likely Duncan (because Edmonds isn’t real tradable and the organization has too much invested in Ankiel to have him blossom elsewhere) would have to be traded, because he’d need regular playing time, but with ’08 already possibly a lost cause, it’d be interesting to see him learn on the job.
I’m sure nothing would be determined until spring training (though he is hitting .286 with 4 doubles for Team USA this winter, which may get the big brass thinking), but with a strong spring or a possibility of getting a young ace for Duncan, he could start out as a Cardinal next year and give us fans even more to follow during the summer.