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Old 01-25-2013, 05:27 PM  
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***OFFICIAL*** 2013 STL Cardinals Thread

From Bernie's column:

People have asked me why we’re not more emotional,” Matheny said in his office after Sunday’s game. “They say that we look subdued, always intense. That our actions are methodical, robotic at times. That’s what got us here. This isn’t the time to change it.”

It’s hard to argue with the manager’s assessment. The Cardinals finished with 97 victories, most by a Cards team since 2005, and tied with Boston for No. 1 in the majors this year.


Their 54-27 showing at Busch Stadium matches the 1985 team for the best single-season home winning percentage (.667) by the Cardinals since 1944.

A postseason theme has emerged, and it echoes the mantra that surfaced before the start of 2013: remember the fall of 2012. Remember falling to San Francisco in the NLCS.


The Cardinals’ veterans still haven’t forgotten. They still aren’t over it. It’s why Matheny resists GM John Mozeliak’s urgings to smile and put on a happier face.


Here's the most impressive aspect of the Cardinals' division championship: they prevailed over two other outstanding teams, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.



The 97-win Cardinals were better this year (regular season) than they were in 2011, when they won 90 games, and 2012, when they won 88.
Here are a few numbers that help put the Cardinals' Central title and No. 1 NL seed in perspective:



* Since MLB switched to a three-division format in each league in 1994, this was only the sixth time that a division had three 90-plus win teams. St. Louis won 97, Pittsburgh 94, and Cincinnati 90.
* Since the format change, this was only the second time that an NL division had three 90-win teams. In 2002 the NL West had Arizona (98 wins), San Francisco (95) and Los Angeles (92).
* The 2013 Cardinals faced more esteemed and difficult competition at the top of the division than any of the division-winning teams managed by Tony La Russa.

The Pirates were hardly pushovers; the Cardinals had to work like mad and kick in with a strong finish to put the division away, and didn't clinch until Game No. 160.



The Cardinals went 9-10 against Pittsburgh this season and were 11-8 vs. Cincinnati.


The Cardinals won only three of 10 games at PNC Park in Pittsburgh and split the 10 games at Cincinnati. The Cardinals were 6-3 against both teams at Busch Stadium.


The Cardinals (1st), Pirates (3rd) and Reds (5th) ranked among the top five in wins in the NL. The three teams were among the top 11 in wins in MLB. All three teams finished in the top five in the majors for best overall ERA, and each were in the top five MLB for best starting-pitching ERA.


The original purpose to this piece was to point out that the Cardinals managed to finish with the league's best record while competing in a division that had three 90-win teams for only the second time in the last 19 years of National League baseball.



The Cardinals really earned this.
Thanks for reading ...
— Bernie

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Old 02-10-2013, 08:19 AM   #76
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Did anyone catch what Jonathon Mayo said about Trevor Rosenthal? He said that some scouts told him that he was as good of a RHP prospect as they'd seen in the last 10 years.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:57 AM   #77
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Did anyone catch what Jonathon Mayo said about Trevor Rosenthal? He said that some scouts told him that he was as good of a RHP prospect as they'd seen in the last 10 years.
This one about pitching atop a starting rotation for a long time?
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:59 AM   #78
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Just what the hell would we have done with $25 million of Pujols salary on the payroll?

Providing some payroll perspective


Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com
With Friday’s announcement that the Cardinals have reached a one-year agreement with third baseman David Freese on a 2013 salary, the Cardinals have wrapped up negotiations with all five of their arbitration players. It doesn’t exactly solidify all the contracts for this season (we’ll get to that in a minute), but the rest will be smooth sailing from here.

With Freese’s deal — which likely values around the midpoint of the $2.4 million the Cardinals offered and the $3.75 million Freese sought — the organization has established 2013 salaries for 16 of the players on its 40-man roster. Here is a rundown of those base salary commitments, which total approximately $108 million*.

(*That figure is approximate because it is not yet known how much Freese’s one-year deal is worth. For the sake of calculations, I used the midpoint figure of $3.075 million.)
  • Matt Holliday: $17 million
  • Yader Molina: $14 million
  • Carlos Beltran: $13 million
  • Chris Carpenter: $12.5 million (if he remains on the DL all season, the Cardinals will recoup some of this through an insurance policy)
  • Adam Wainwright: $12 million
  • Jake Westbrook: $8.75 million
  • Rafael Furcal: $7 million
  • Jaime Garcia: $5.75 million
  • Jason Motte: $4 million (plus a $1 million signing bonus, which was not factored into that $108 million figure)
  • Edward Mujica: $3.2 million
  • David Freese: $3.075 million (again, this is an educated approximation)
  • Ty Wigginton: $2.5 million
  • Randy Choate: $1.5 million
  • Mitchell Boggs: $1.475 million
  • Ronny Cedeno: $1.15 million
  • Marc Rzepczynski: $1.1 million
These will be the bulk of the Cardinals’ financial commitments, unless, of course, the organization makes a late play in the free-agent market. This does not, though, equal the final sum of commitments. All of the players on a team’s 40-man roster count against a club’s final payroll number (which won’t be known until after the season).

Players with less than three years of service time — and the Cardinals have 24 of those on their 40-man roster — have their contracts renewed much more quietly over the next few weeks. Teams control these salaries and most will be at the Major League minimum ($490,000 in 2013) or only slightly above.

Also, keep in mind that even though everyone on the 40-man roster will be assigned a Major League salary, a player will only earn it if he is on the Major League club. If he is sent to the Minors, he’ll earn a Minor League salary ($79,900 in 2013). A pro-rated salary will be paid accordingly to players who spend part of the year with the big league team and part of the year in the Minors.
All of these salary figures, as well as performances bonuses, pro-rated shares of signing bonuses, buyouts of unexercised options, cash transactions and other residual costs, will ultimately be used to determine a team’s final payroll — and again, those final numbers can’t be known until the end of the season.

But given the $108 million the Cardinals have already committed to 16 players, you can see why it’s been estimated that the organization’s 2013 payroll will come in around $115 million.

It would seem, too, that given these already-established commitments, the payroll actually has the chance of approaching the $120 million mark. That would be the case if the Cardinals choose to take on salary while making any in-season additions (i.e. Trade Deadline acquisitions).
Last year, the Cardinals had an Opening Day payroll of approximately $112 million (according to the Cot’s Contract database). The organization had an end-of-the-year payroll of about $115.5 million. The Cardinals first opened the season with a payroll of at least $100 million in 2010.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:02 AM   #79
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This one about pitching atop a starting rotation for a long time?
That was good, but I was talking about his comments on the Top 50 prospects show.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:54 PM   #80
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JUPITER, Fla. The Cardinals and Adam Wainwright’s representative engaged in preliminary talks about an extension for the righthander within the past week but as a result have decided to put negotiations on hold, both sides confirmed Tuesday.


Wainwright cautioned that “on hold” shouldn’t be misread as an end.
“It doesn’t mean that it’s over,” the Cardinals’ ace said after the team’s first official workout for pitchers and catchers Tuesday at their spring training complex. “The doors are still open. It just didn’t work out right now. … All that means is we couldn’t come to a number that worked for both sides as of yet.”


Wainwright, 31, is entering the final year of a contract that was worth $36 million over six seasons, and both the Cardinals and the pitcher have stated an interest in discussing an extension this spring, one that could carry Wainwright to the end of his career.


Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. reiterated Tuesday the organization’s interest in pursuing an extension with Wainwright before he reaches free agency. The pause in discussions doesn’t change the club’s optimism.
“He is a significant part of the organization, has been for many years, and is an important presence to have on a (pitching) staff,” DeWitt said. “We have been successful when it comes to retaining our core players. That is something that we have made an emphasis. Deals of this magnitude aren’t supposed to be easy to finalize.”


This is the third consecutive spring that the Cardinals have reached spring training with a core player entering his walk season. In 2011, three-time MVP Albert Pujols and the Cardinals couldn’t come to an agreement before spring and he announced that he would test free agency, a path that took him to the Los Angeles Angels. A year ago, catcher Yadier Molina and the club negotiated a five-year, $75 million extension during spring training that kept the Gold Glove Award-winner from becoming a free agent this past winter.


Molina did not want negotiations to carry over into the regular season, but he did not apply a deadline in the way Pujols did. A week before agreeing on the extension with the Cardinals, Molina’s agent described a “hold” in negotiations. Nine days after that pause in talks the Cardinals announced the deal.
Like Molina, Wainwright has not given the Cardinals a deadline.
He would like to establish some urgency.


“I think, especially from my side of it, there needs to be some urgency just so this thing doesn’t drag on,” Wainwright said. “If you want to do a deal, then let’s get it done. That type of thing. It’s not a peace of mind in the sense of going out to the mound wondering if this is the day it’s going to happen or not. It’s more like this: Are we going to do it or not do it?”
Said Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak: “There is still a lot of time. There are no deadlines in place. There’s still plenty of room and lots of opportunity for something to happen. Both sides remain open to discussions, and they could continue at any time.”


There has been an escalating market for frontline starters, especially in the past year. Seattle ace Felix Hernandez and the Mariners reportedly agreed to a deal Tuesday that will pay the righty as much as $175 million over seven seasons. That would make him the highest-paid pitcher in the history of the game. Since 2008, Hernandez is the sixth pitcher to sign a contract worth more than $125 million in guaranteed salary. Zack Greinke was the oldest of the six when he signed, at 29. Hernandez will be 33 when his deal expires.
Wainwright will be 32 at the end of this season.
Wainwright’s age, especially when compared to the younger standouts like Matt Cain or Cole Hamels, will dictate the length of the contract. But in the above deals the per-season salary (or, annual average value) for an elite starter has been established at greater than $20 million. For example, Cliff Lee was 32 when he signed a five-year, $120 million contract as a free agent with the Phillies.
Lee had won a Cy Young Award two seasons earlier. Wainwright has two top-three finishes for the league’s top pitching award. He is a full season removed from the elbow surgery that kept him from pitching in 2011.
Wainwright’s ERA since 2008 is 2.99, and that ranks fifth-lowest among pitchers with at least 750 innings pitched. Hernandez is fourth with a 2.92 ERA. Lee’s 2.89 ERA is third.


The Cardinals acknowledge that to finalize a deal with Wainwright it will probably take the highest average annual salary the club has ever paid a pitcher.


The most recent talks did not reveal a meeting point, so both sides stepped back. No further discussions are scheduled, but they are expected.


“No hard feelings and it’s not over,” Wainwright said. “Isn’t that part of the negotiating process? If you come out and get a deal done within the first 10 minutes of negotiating, that’s pretty weird. I don’t think there is reason for alarm.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:58 PM   #81
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If he's looking for Cain money or anywhere close to it, he's going to have to earn it in 2013.

Either get him at a discount or make him pitch 2013 to prove he's back to where he was 2 years ago. The WW we got last year is worth about what Kyle Lohse is worth, if that. His fastball was sitting at 90, his curveball was gopher-prone and his stamina came and went. He was a #3 caliber starter last season.

Unless they can get him to sign a deal that pays him like a 2 or 3 for the next 4 years, make him pitch in 2013 and prove that he should get paid like a #1. If worst comes to worst, we have a lot of starting pitching depth and will certainly offer him arb next year. That would be the third straight year we'd find ourselves holding an extra pick in the first round and the extra slot money that would come with it. The trick will be not wasting said pick on the James Ramsey's of the world.
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:05 PM   #82
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Just what the hell would we have done with $25 million of Pujols salary on the payroll?
We would've put Craig in RF, Kelly in the rotation and let Westbrook and Beltran walk. We probably would've used Gast or Freeman as a LOOGY and would've had to figure out how to survive with Randy Choate - {gasp}

And yeah, ownership would've had to chip in a little money as well.

We'd have been just fine for the immediate future. Things would start to get a little murky in 2014 and 2015, but baseball's revenue trend is going to make that $25 million look a hell of a lot less onerous by then.

And who knows - maybe Albert would've made a difference in those three games last October when Craig was busy getting busted inside and rolling everything over. We missed winning the pennant by just one key hit here and there over that last few days - perhaps Albert gets one of them?

Then again, Beltran was a man on fire in October and from a lineup standpoint, Albert's bat would replace Beltran's, not Craig's, so it's a hard call. I think it's fair to say that Albert would've made a difference towards the end, but it is hard to say how much.
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:05 PM   #83
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I'm in no hurry to sign him now. See what he does this year, he was nothing special in 2012 coming off the injury.
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:27 PM   #84
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We would've put Craig in RF, Kelly in the rotation and let Westbrook and Beltran walk. We probably would've used Gast or Freeman as a LOOGY and would've had to figure out how to survive with Randy Choate - {gasp}

And yeah, ownership would've had to chip in a little money as well.

We'd have been just fine for the immediate future. Things would start to get a little murky in 2014 and 2015, but baseball's revenue trend is going to make that $25 million look a hell of a lot less onerous by then.

And who knows - maybe Albert would've made a difference in those three games last October when Craig was busy getting busted inside and rolling everything over. We missed winning the pennant by just one key hit here and there over that last few days - perhaps Albert gets one of them?

Then again, Beltran was a man on fire in October and from a lineup standpoint, Albert's bat would replace Beltran's, not Craig's, so it's a hard call. I think it's fair to say that Albert would've made a difference towards the end, but it is hard to say how much.
Yep...great post.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:15 PM   #85
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I'm in no hurry to sign him now. See what he does this year, he was nothing special in 2012 coming off the injury.
Don't pitchers usually take a year to fully recover? I still think he'll be much better this year than last.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:37 PM   #86
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Don't pitchers usually take a year to fully recover? I still think he'll be much better this year than last.
I'm not saying I don't want to see him back, but I would like to see him a year after surgery to justify paying him ~$100 mil.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:42 PM   #87
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Side note re: taking the James Ramsey's of the world...

I was just talking to a buddy about this today. Isn't taking a James Ramsey WORTH it if you can sign the pick below slot value and use the extra cash elsewhere?
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:48 PM   #88
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Side note re: taking the James Ramsey's of the world...

I was just talking to a buddy about this today. Isn't taking a James Ramsey WORTH it if you can sign the pick below slot value and use the extra cash elsewhere?
Aye - there's the rub.

Not only did we over-draft a senior with no contract leverage, we also paid him slot.

I agree with you, in theory. Taking a guy like Ramsey; a draft eligible senior that has nowhere to go and was taken a round too early, is a good idea if you're going to offer him 1/2 of slot and use the 'found' money on a premium prospect you took in the teens or even in the 2nd or 3rd rounds due to signability concerns.

But to the Cardinals didn't do that. They reached for him and then didn't even use his senior status to their advantage and gave him slot. In the end, it didn't help them at all.

The Ramsey mess still irritates the hell out of me. The Red Sox took Deven Marrerro with the very next pick and he's already one of their top 10 prospects. The Cardinals system is freakin' barren at middle infield and loaded w/ fast LHers with no power and good bat control. And instead of taking the premium SS that fell about 8 spots, we took a freakin' Skip Schumaker clone and paid him slot.

Ugh. !@#$ you, Mozeliak.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:50 PM   #89
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Don't pitchers usually take a year to fully recover? I still think he'll be much better this year than last.
As do I.

But there's no sense in giving him Matt Cain money if he doesn't prove to be Matt Cain quality first. Build in some upside to the deal or at least prove that you've removed the downside and then I'll give you your long-term deal, Adam.

But I wouldn't even consider giving him the kind of money his representation is no doubt looking for before making him prove he'll earn it. Getting his velocity back to the 94 mph range with snap on his curveball would be a nice start.
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2013 Adopt-A-Chief: AJ Jenkins, WR #13
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:12 PM   #90
BigRedChief BigRedChief is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ's left nut View Post
Aye - there's the rub.

Not only did we over-draft a senior with no contract leverage, we also paid him slot.

I agree with you, in theory. Taking a guy like Ramsey; a draft eligible senior that has nowhere to go and was taken a round too early, is a good idea if you're going to offer him 1/2 of slot and use the 'found' money on a premium prospect you took in the teens or even in the 2nd or 3rd rounds due to signability concerns.

But to the Cardinals didn't do that. They reached for him and then didn't even use his senior status to their advantage and gave him slot. In the end, it didn't help them at all.

The Ramsey mess still irritates the hell out of me. The Red Sox took Deven Marrerro with the very next pick and he's already one of their top 10 prospects. The Cardinals system is freakin' barren at middle infield and loaded w/ fast LHers with no power and good bat control. And instead of taking the premium SS that fell about 8 spots, we took a freakin' Skip Schumaker clone and paid him slot.

Ugh. !@#$ you, Mozeliak.
Baseball America, mlb.com and basically every baseball blogger and publication has named the Cardinals as the best farm system in baseball. Yet you still pass out !@#$%'s?

I realize that you feel that if your team doesn't win the World series every year that season is a failure but a FU to our farm system? COME ON MAN!
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