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***Official 2015 St. Louis Cardinals Thread***

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On the heels of a pretty big trade, let's get this started:

Braves, Cardinals Trade Jason Heyward For Shelby Miller

The Cardinals have acquired right fielder Jason Heyward and right-hander Jordan Walden from the Braves in exchange for righty Shelby Miller and pitching prospect Tyrell Jenkins, the teams announced.

A blockbuster in every sense of the word, the Cardinals will acquire one of the game’s most valuable outfielders in Heyward and an excellent setup man in Walden. Heyward just turned 25 in August yet already has five full Major League seasons under his belt. His offensive game hasn’t developed to the superstar level that many had expected, though he still owns a lifetime .262/.351/.429 batting line. His .269/.335/.479 batting line and 27 homers in 2012 give an idea of the power upside that Heyward brings to the table, however.

Where Heyward truly shines, however, is with the glove, as evidenced by career UZR and DRS marks of +74.1 and +97, respectively (UZR/150 pegs him at +17.6). That excellent glove paired with a solid bat has led Heyward to be valued at 4.3 fWAR and 4.9 rWAR per season throughout his career. There’s little doubt that Heyward is an MVP-caliber talent, although to realize that potential he would likely need to return to his 2012 form at the plate while maintaining his stellar defensive work.

Heyward is only under control for one more season and will earn $7.8MM in 2015, but Walden is a bit more of a long-term asset for the Cardinals, as he can be controlled through the 2016 season. Projected to earn $3MM in 2015, the 27-year-old Walden posted a 2.88 ERA with 11.2 K/9, 4.9 BB/9 and a 45.2 percent ground-ball rate for the Braves last season. Armed with a fastball that averages roughly 96 mph, he should give manager Mike Matheny yet another hard-throwing option to pair with the likes of Trevor Rosenthal at the end of the St. Louis bullpen.

It will be interesting to see what the Cards do with Heyward after this next season, but this is potentially a very big move and I'm liking it so far.

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Welp. Trading for Heyward is one way to erase the hole in the 40-man left by Taveras' passing.



Getting Walden back in this trade was important as well, having him as a late inning option makes it much easier to stretch Martinez out as a SP without feeling like you lost something.


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Still need to re-sign Neshek. Then make the play for Scherzer.

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Still need to re-sign Neshek. Then make the play for Scherzer.

Neshek will command more than he's likely worth.

No, no, no Scherzer. There's no reason to take that contract on right now. They have 7-8 quality SP options for 5 spots as it is.

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Still need to re-sign Neshek. Then make the play for Scherzer.

Neshek will command more than he's likely worth.

No, no, no Scherzer. There's no reason to take that contract on right now. They have 7-8 quality SP options for 5 spots as it is.

Wainwright

Lynn

Lackey

Wacha

Martinez

Gonzalez

Garcia

I count 6.5. Who am I missing?

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Still need to re-sign Neshek. Then make the play for Scherzer.

Neshek will command more than he's likely worth.

No, no, no Scherzer. There's no reason to take that contract on right now. They have 7-8 quality SP options for 5 spots as it is.

Wainwright

Lynn

Lackey

Wacha

Martinez

Gonzalez

Garcia

I count 6.5. Who am I missing?

I count Tyler Lyons as the 8th. He's a capable No. 5 starter.

Also, while unlikely, there is also the option of stretching Rosenthal back out this off-season. He is on record that he prefers starting, his 9th innings are often a roller coaster, and the addition of Walden gives them some flexibility.

All that to say-- The contract that Max is going to require doesn't seem like a necessary risk.

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I agree that overpaying Scherzer is neither likely nor necessary. I was just curious who you were counting as the additional quality SPs.

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I think Garcia's days as a starter about done. Guy is peanut brittle in human form. A starting 5 of Waino/Lynn/Lackey/Wacha/Martinez with Gonzalez and Lyons to pick up the slack is pretty nifty.

I also found it concerning that a big fireballing Texan barely struck out more batters than the likes of Jeremy Guthrie last season.

Good move, especially if Heyward is locked up. So what if he only hits 15-20 HRs a year? His defense and OBP will make up for it. He was a 6.2 WAR player, which is better than All-Star level.

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I think Garcia's days as a starter about done. Guy is peanut brittle in human form. A starting 5 of Waino/Lynn/Lackey/Wacha/Martinez with Gonzalez and Lyons to pick up the slack is pretty nifty.

I also found it concerning that a big fireballing Texan barely struck out more batters than the likes of Jeremy Guthrie last season.

Good move, especially if Heyward is locked up. So what if he only hits 15-20 HRs a year? His defense and OBP will make up for it. He was a 6.2 WAR player, which is better than All-Star level.

Will be interesting to see how that develops. I assume they'll want to get him indoctrinated into "The Way" before making an offer. Soften him up for the below market offer.

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IN

put me down as pro-Heyward. Even if Miller goes on to have a long career, adding a 6.x WAR player in RF with a Gold Glove is a really good return for him.

Walden will hopefully be a reliable bullpen option. Wouldn't mind auditioning him as the closer if it means Rosenthal gets his groove back pitching the 8th again.

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Sugar Shane Robinson released

Keith Butler outrighted to Memphis

AA catcher Cody Stanley added to 40-man roster

Jim Bowden says the Cardinals are in pursuit on Jon Lester. He's welcome to join the team of course, but I can't imagine this is anything more than trying to drive his price up for the Cubs and Red Sox.

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It would be hilarious if the Cardinals paid $20M to Lester and $550K for Lackey. The fried chicken would be on Lester every night.

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Still need to re-sign Neshek. Then make the play for Scherzer.

Neshek will command more than he's likely worth.

No, no, no Scherzer. There's no reason to take that contract on right now. They have 7-8 quality SP options for 5 spots as it is.

Wainwright

Lynn

Lackey

Wacha

Martinez

Gonzalez

Garcia

I count 6.5. Who am I missing?

I count Tyler Lyons as the 8th. He's a capable No. 5 starter.

Also, while unlikely, there is also the option of stretching Rosenthal back out this off-season. He is on record that he prefers starting, his 9th innings are often a roller coaster, and the addition of Walden gives them some flexibility.

All that to say-- The contract that Max is going to require doesn't seem like a necessary risk.

Agreed - but being a Mizzou guy - is it so terrible to dream of Scherzer and Kinsler in bird on bat?

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OK, dream a little. Scherzer or Lester?

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I hate you guys

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Cards sign Matt Belisle to a 1-yr deal worth 3.5 mil.

The retooling of the bullpen continues.

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Cards sign Matt Belisle to a 1-yr deal worth 3.5 mil.

The retooling of the bullpen continues.

I get the feeling Cards fans will be using "Belisle" as a curse word by the end of the year.

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Cards sign Matt Belisle to a 1-yr deal worth 3.5 mil.

The retooling of the bullpen continues.

I get the feeling Cards fans will be using "Belisle" as a curse word by the end of the year.

I was surprised to read that he ranked 3rd in WAR among qualifying relievers from 2010-2013. He was certainly underwhelming in 2014.

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Cards sign Matt Belisle to a 1-yr deal worth 3.5 mil.

The retooling of the bullpen continues.

I get the feeling Cards fans will be using "Belisle" as a curse word by the end of the year.

I was surprised to read that he ranked 3rd in WAR among qualifying relievers from 2010-2013. He was certainly underwhelming in 2014.

Not everyone can be a Neshek and have a dead cat bounce in their mid 30s.

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Definitely potential to be a steaming pile of Choate.

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well we lose Neshek to Astros but replace him with Belisle? Good lord that is a horrible switch.

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well we lose Neshek to Astros but replace him with Belisle? Good lord that is a horrible switch.

Saw a rumor that the Cards had interest in Rickie Weeks and Mark Reynolds, too. Weeks is ungodly awful while Scruggs would be a more economical and possibly better bench option than Reynolds.

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well we lose Neshek to Astros but replace him with Belisle? Good lord that is a horrible switch.

Saw a rumor that the Cards had interest in Rickie Weeks and Mark Reynolds, too. Weeks is ungodly awful while Scruggs would be a more economical and possibly better bench option than Reynolds.

Weeks is actually quite good against LHP. Would be a great platoon option at 1B/2B with Wong and Adams having their ups and downs against southpaws.

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1 year, $2 mil plus playing time incentives for Mark Reynolds.

Meh.

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Isn't Reynolds a windmill? He holds the single season strikeout record. How does that fit into the Cardinal way? Disappointed with that signing.

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FOX Sports Midwest is showing a marathon of five 2014 Cardinals games today.

Waino's one-hitter against the Diamondbacks

Taveras hits his first MLB HR against the Giants

Peralta drives in winning run in extra innings against the Reds

Team comes back from five runs down to beat the Cubs

Big win over the Brewers during the pennant race

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Well the clock is ticking. My second youngest starts high school ball this year and has informed me that he will get drafted by the Cardinals, but don't worry he will make sure part of his signing bonus will include guarantees for full payment of college tuition when he is done playing for the Redbirds. I reminded him he has to make a high school team first.

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Cards sign Lance Lynn to 3-year deal worth $22MM.

Doesn't change Lynn's FA eligibility, but does avoid a few arbitration hearings along the way.

I dig it. Lynn has been a workhorse, and the tough call on him is three years form now, anyway.

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I was reading about all the lopsided trades in MLB history, and it was noticeable how many times the Cardinals came out ahead.

Other than the Steve Carlton for Rawley Eastwick, and Keith Hernandez for Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey trades, the Cardinals have done very well.

Ernie Broglio for Lou Brock

Garry Templeton for Ozzie Smith

Blake Stein/TJ Mathews for Mark McGwire

Kent Bottenfeld/Adam Kennedy for Jim Edmonds

JD Drew/Eli Marrero for Adam Wainwright

Brett Wallace for Matt Holliday

That's a pretty good haul.

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I was reading about all the lopsided trades in MLB history, and it was noticeable how many times the Cardinals came out ahead.

Other than the Steve Carlton for Rawley Eastwick, and Keith Hernandez for Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey trades, the Cardinals have done very well.

Ernie Broglio for Lou Brock

Garry Templeton for Ozzie Smith

Blake Stein/TJ Mathews for Mark McGwire

Kent Bottenfeld/Adam Kennedy for Jim Edmonds

JD Drew/Eli Marrero for Adam Wainwright

Brett Wallace for Matt Holliday

That's a pretty good haul.

Dan Haren for Mark Mulder stings a bit.

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Templeton for Ozzie was actually defensible at the time. Templeton was a top-tier two-way SS and Ozzie couldn't hit at all. Fortunately, Ozzie learned how to hit.

Ken Reitz and Leon Durham for Bruce Sutter worked out pretty well.

Joggin' George Hendrick for John Tudor and Brian Harper won a pennant.

But my favorite Cardinals trade of my lifetime is trading lefty reliever Bob Sykes to the Yankees for a minor league outfielder named Willie McGee.

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Ray Sadecki for Orlando Cepeda

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Ozzie learned how to hit.

when?

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Ozzie learned how to hit.

when?
He was a .231 career hitter when the Padres traded him. As a Cardinal he hit .272. No one is accusing him of being Cal Ripken at the plate, but he was always tough to strike out and improved a ton from his early 20s to his 30s.

If I had to pinpoint a time, it was probably the winter after the 1984 season. He changed his swing to try to hit more line drives instead of pounding everything into the turf, and hired the conditioning coach who helped Michael Spinks move up from light heavyweight to heavyweight champ. With the new swing and added strength, he started hitting more balls to the outfield.

In 1987, he hit .303 with 40 doubles and won the SS Silver Slugger for a team that won the pennant.

His career counting numbers are high because he played so long, but his age 36 and 37 seasons he hit .285 and .295. Never slugged .400 over a full season ever, but was very good at moving runners over even when making outs and rarely have away at-bats.

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Smith always had added a good number of walks so his OBP was above average. A Gold Glove SS who gets on base 35% of the time is a very valuable asset. He also stole bases at a high percentage, didn't ground into many DPs and rarely struck out.

Smith-Templeton was a rare straight challenge trade involving young SS. Templeton was a consistent 4-5 WAR contributor who worked his way into Whitey's doghouse. He never was as good after the trade in part due to knee problems.

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Smith always had added a good number of walks so his OBP was above average. A Gold Glove SS who gets on base 35% of the time is a very valuable asset. He also stole bases at a high percentage, didn't ground into many DPs and rarely struck out.

Smith-Templeton was a rare straight challenge trade involving young SS. Templeton was a consistent 4-5 WAR contributor who worked his way into Whitey's doghouse. He never was as good after the trade in part due to knee problems.

The Cardinals were very fortunate to get a payer as good as 1981 Ozzie Smith in return for Templeton. #### between Tempy and Whitey got real when Tempelton flipped off some fans and Whitey pretty much wrestled him into the dugout.

The league learned their lesson when similar #### blew up between Whitey and Hernandez. There was that time Neil Allen won Pitcher of the Week, but the Cards got a bigger return for Ken Oberkfell a year later.

There was an additional cost to the Hernandez trade, the four players given up for Jack Clark to moved him in from RF and finally get some production out of 1B.

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Who among us hasn't occasionally wanted to flip off Cardinals fans? :shrug:

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Who among us hasn't occasionally wanted to flip off Cardinals fans? :shrug:

The Cardinal Way is running out ground balls. Templeton lolligagged it down to first. The fans were reminding him of the Cardinal Way. If he doesn't want to play like that... There's the door.

Edited by Bruce Dickinson

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