November 05, 2014

#Cardinals start look at offseason possibilities in #HotStoveLeague

Andrew Miller
Via Hardball Talk, Derrick Gould says the Cardinals are seriously looking at Orioles reliever Andrew Miller.

My thought? Ain't gonna happen. Miller's agent will surely pitch him as a closer, and the Cards have a much cheaper one in Trevor Rosenthal. Also, until recently, Miller was not a high-K guy.

He'd be nice as a non-LOOGY lefty upgrade over Randy Choate, but he's not going to be available at that price range of $5M per year, max.

(Update, Nov. 13: That's especially true if he wants a four-year deal for top-level closer money, as is now being reported.

Update Nov. 17: With the four-player trade, discussed here, with the Braves bringing back Jordan Walden as well as Jason Heyward, I think Andrew Miller is probably off the Cardinal map.)

Besides, Marco Gonzales has arguably already shown himself to at least be worthy of future consideration as a potential non-LOOGY lefty middle-relief guy/spot starter.

The Cards have other, more pressing needs, anyway.

They include:
1. Looking for an upgrade over Tony Cruz at backup catcher;
2. Deciding on their long-term plans for Jon Jay and what to pay him;
3. Even more, megadittos on that with Lance Lynn (I've already said buy out his three arb years plus first free agency year for 4/$50M);
4. What to do in the right field area with the tragic death of Oscar Taveras;
5. A right-handed power bat to back up Matt Adams at 1B (a right-handed power-hitting backup catcher could fill both this and Need No. 1).

Dave Schoenfield of ESPN offers some thoughts on Point No. 4. Rather than wait to see what Randal Grichuk's potential is, he suggests the Cards trade for Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzales, mentioning Carlos Martinez as part of any trade package. He says that Michael Cuddyer getting a QO from the Rockies may be a signal that CarGo is up for sale. Ken Rosenthal confirms that CarGo is on the block.

Carlos Gonzales
I'm kind of lukewarm on the idea. That's a lot of extra salary, especially with his contract taking a $5.5M jump for 2015, $1M for 2016, and $3M for 2017 to top out at $20M. For someone who has more than 130 games/550 PAs just once in the last four years, and had definite injury problems and decline this year, I'm wary.

That said, if the Rockies ate $10M total of the $53M they're paying him, I'd consider it.

Or, run this one by your eyeballs.

Matt Holliday has the same per-year, roughly, and one less year total on his contract. And, he's six year's older.

Now, he'd have to waive his 5-and-10 no-trade rights, but, if he would, would the Rockies accept a straight-up trade? (Interestingly, the two were part of a trade for each other back in 2008.)

I'd make that trade and even throw a small amount of money back Colorado's way. I know that readers of Hardball Talk don't like this idea. Whether it's more Rockies fans, more Cards fans, or more people just not liking me posting a blog link, I don't know. Anyway, I think it's a win-win.

Cardinals would be gambling, yes. But, given Holliday's age-related declining, it's not that big of a gamble. Rockies get out from one year of CarGo's contract, or equivalent. Holliday moves to a power park where he's played before and gets a chance to fluff his numbers.

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