January 09, 2016

The #Cardinals take three called strikes on outfield help

Denard Span: Sadly,
not a Cardinal
After their failure (maybe not bad) to resign Jason Wayward, papered over by inking a contract with a B-grade John Lackey in Mike Leake, I was afraid that "that was all" from John Mozeliak, while hoping it might not be.

One player I was eyeing, who can play either center or right, was Washington outfielder Denard Span. Given last year's injury history, I figured he might be relatively cheap, but at the same time, noted his rehab was reportedly going well.

I figured he could either play center with Randal Grichuk in right, or the two would flop, with Stephen Piscotty serving as fourth OF plus 1B platoon with Matt Adams. If his defense continued to decline, he could have been slid over to left after the 2017 or 2018 departure of Matt Holliday.

Well, Span WAS relatively cheap. For the Giants. Just $31M guaranteed over three years, with $5M in incentives and a fourth option year at $12M.

And, Mo refused to meet or beat that? Fuck em. Apparently, per Span himself, it was the length, him noting that the Giants gave him the third guaranteed year. That said, the Cards, if they were interested in him at all, weren't the only team to want to only give him one year. His agent, Scott Boras, said 11 teams offered just the 1-year pillow.

If the Cards fall behind the Cubs, let alone the Pirates, I will hammer them hard on social media.

The first called strike was on mishandling Wayward pre-trade, up to his walking. Mo clearly, whether rightly or wrongly in his actual worth, but quite wrongly in his trade worth, misvalued Shelby Miller as well as not getting more of a semi-commitment from Wayward about staying on. I'd love to cut out last year's trade and have Ender Inciarte patrolling center in Busch.

The second was Mo saying no "dynamic deals."

The third was now proving it. And, as a small bit of additional insult to injury, Mo missed out on picking up outfielder Ben Revere from Toronto for whatever St. Louis' equivalent of Drew Storen would have been. (Not Trevor Rosenthal, but maybe Jordan Walden plus some other part.) Yes, he might not be any better than Peter Bourjos, but he's always been healthy, and arguably has a better arm. And, I'm speaking a bit in frustration over Mo not landing Span, I'll admit.

That said, Bernie Miklasz, moved from the Post-Dispatch to ESPN Radio, very much agrees that the Cards need OF help.

Besides Holliday's age, he notes Grichuk has a history of injuries, that we still have a small sample size with Piscotty, that Tommy Pham will be 28, and that Brandon Moss may well NOT be part of the answer at 1B.

Some Cards fans may engage in handwaving, or think that span is over the hill. Erm, wrong.

First, the Giants normally are pretty smart in the free-agent market.

Second, per a video clip Span posted on Twitter, his rehab seems to be going quite nicely. And, pre-injury, even with a bit of defensive slip in 2014, Span was a three-WAR player. The Cards don't have proven outfielders who are better than that.

Brass tacks? If a team, now specifically the Giants, gets 80 percent of 2014-era Span, that's a 2.5 WAR player, at $12M a year if he hits his performance incentives. I'd buy.

And, the Cards do not have four proven outfielders who are better than that. Grichuk is not proven. Piscotty certainly isn't, and may be playing 1B more than OF this year anyway, if both Moss and Adams spit the bit. Pham? See Bernie's cautionary note about not drinking the Kool-Aid on him. From last year? That leaves Matt Holliday. His last full year, in 2014? 3.3 WAR. I think we'll see him at 2.5 WAR this year.

So, the Cards have ONE, not four, OFs known to be equal to the likely 2016 Span, and none better.

As for commenters mentioning Gerardo Parra? He wants a three-year deal. If you'd give him one, but wouldn't want to give Span one, I've got beachfront property in Wyoming to sell you.

And, the Rockies must be wanting for beachfront property in Wyoming. They're actually paying almost as much for Parra than the Giants paid as a base contract for Span. And, except for what looks more and more like a fluke year in 2013, Parra simply isn't the same player.

4 comments:

Unknown said...

First the pitching market wasn't set so high last off season. The return Atlanta got may sting now but that wasn't going to happen last year. I'd rather have parra than span and why trade for revere when we have Tilson. Much less how storen and Walden have the same value. I get the negative feelings this offseason but there's no reason to make negative value signings ala Mike Leake.

Unknown said...

First the pitching market wasn't set so high last off season. The return Atlanta got may sting now but that wasn't going to happen last year. I'd rather have parra than span and why trade for revere when we have Tilson. Much less how storen and Walden have the same value. I get the negative feelings this offseason but there's no reason to make negative value signings ala Mike Leake.

Jason said...

The season doesn't end in April. It's absolutely retarded to acquire someone like Span at this point and potentially block Piscotty. Let's see how he's doing in June and into July before making rash decisions to sign players that don't really help the team that much? Same with Grichuk, these two could end up being major pieces of the Cards future, how's about we let them play instead of stifling their growth? Just an idea

Gadfly said...

Jason, Parra? Maybe on a 1-yr pillow, no more. Except for a lucky 2013, he's not been a great defender, and he's been below average offensively until last year.

Grichuk and Piscotty MAY be all sorts of shit. "May" isn't "is," and you missed what I said about short sample size on both, and injuries on Grichuk. Again, I'm not alone on this, and I'd rather be safe than sorry. And, as for "not help the team that much," Span would have helped a lot more than Parra.

You also didn't note that I said Piscotty may play 1B more than OF, out of necessity.