December Doldrums

My apologizes for missing a day of posting yesterday. (I’m assuming at least SOMEONE noticed!) It’s just that there is so little to talk about right now. I’m sure that Mozeliak and company are doing wonderful things behind the scenes, laying groundwork, perhaps getting close to a signing or trade. But for us outside the loop, well, it’s a lot of rehashing and bottom scraping.

Mozeliak has been on the job six weeks now, and with all the caveats of small sample size, too soon to make any judgments, etc., I’m starting to wonder just how good of a GM he’s going to be.

On the pro side, he did get Barton in the Rule V draft. While it took some luck (the teams before the Cardinals had to skip over him), he did take the best player available, which is more than we can say for the amateur draft back in June. He also has wisely committed to not commit to David Eckstein for a long period of time and is determined not to give away Scott Rolen for free. And, as far as we know, he has really put Colby Rasmus far out of reach for other teams.

On the down side, we have the Cesar Izturis signing, which can’t be considered a good thing overall. (Perhaps neutral, maybe, but it’s not really an improvement on the team.) We have the fact that they aren’t even offering arbitration to Eckstein, though with the shortstop jobs drying up, that may turn out OK, even though I think a year of Eckstein wouldn’t be a terrible thing, and that’s the worst you get with offering him arbitration, the best is, of course, the draft pick from the other team that signs him. (Wow, that’s a terribly long sentence!) Also, it seems the team is reluctant to trade Chris Duncan and Rick Ankiel. I agree, you probably should keep one, but you have to move one of the other for pitching. There are no prospects you want to move and no other players people want. If you are going to make a trade, something that you’ve stated you are going to try to do, Duncan or Ankiel is your best, maybe only, trade chip.

As Larry says today at VEB, today’s deadline to offer arbitration could tell us some more about the front office, especially when it comes to Aaron Miles. If Miles is offered arbitration, it’s the same old same old, with LaRussa firmly in charge. If he’s not, there’s a chance for some rational thought in the organization. It’ll be interesting to see which way it goes, but I would think Miles would be let go.

Other than that, not a lot going in the world of baseball.


3 Responses to “December Doldrums”

  1. Richard Says:

    I don’t think Izturis is a horrible downside. Yes, he’s not great, he can’t hit, his fielding has declined a little, probably not a good choice to leadoff. However he is only signed on a 1 yr deal and the free agent market for SS was pretty bare. Potentially there was more to be had via trade but given that our farm system still looks like my cupboard the day after Thanksgiving compared to most other teams I think the right decision was made.

    My hope is that this will mean that Brendan Ryan will get a large amount of playing time at SS (more than if we had signed a better SS for 2/3 years) and we will be able to find out this year if he is capable of being at least an average MLB SS. If so we can move one with Ryan as the starting SS, if not we can address the need for a 2/3 period next winter. If this is the way the Cards management is thinking then I have no problem with the signing.

  2. cardinal70 Says:

    I really agree. The Izturis signing was, well, eh. There’s really not a whole lot of upside, but it is a contained damage type of situation.

    I’m sure Ryan will get a lot of play–TLR loves to make moves, as you know–but I doubt he’ll be a regular SS option even after ’08. They’ll have to find one somewhere–not really sure where.

  3. Says:

    I did notice you missed but so did I. This massive ice storm has been playing havoc on my schedule.

    I, too, hope we non tender Miles. That would be the only reason we signed the IZman.
    Doldrums is a good word to use right now.

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