Cardinal Fans are still hungry for another deal before spring training
starts. This past week, rumors surfaced again on the West Coast that the
Cardinals along with the New York Mets have been linked to possible negotiations
for free-agent starting pitcher Jeff Weaver.
It appears Weaver's price tag has dropped significantly as the countdown to spring training
draws to a close. He was initially seeking a four-year,
$45 million deal, then lowered his sights to a three-year, $27 million deal,
It’s unlikely that the Cardinals are interested in Weaver. This news sounds
more like Weaver's agent, Scott Boras, planting stories to try to get more money
for his player. The key to Boras' success has always been making teams think
that there is competition out there for his clients.
The California, Los Angeles, or Anaheim Angels, whoever they are, could be
close to signing a two year deal with an option for a third for the 29-year-old,
If they didn’t have to spend so much money buying new
stationery every time they changed their name, (have you bought stationery
lately?) they could have already signed both Weaver and this winter’s former top
free agent pitcher, A.J. Burnett, by now.
The Angels would like to sign Weaver to a one-year deal with an option for a
second, whereas Scott Boras is looking for a three to four-year deal. With
Weaver, the Angels would have a respectable rotation that would include Bartolo Colon, John Lackey, Kelvim Escobar and Ervin Santana.
Weaver could have been an option for St. Louis this winter, but after going
to arbitration with Jason Marquis and signing former Baltimore starting pitcher
Sidney Ponson to a guaranteed contract, that door has been closed.
Weaver is another one of those pitchers this year that will benefit from a
shallow free agent market and the demand for pitchers.
The 29-year-old right-hander is not nearly as good as some Cardinal fans are
thinking. I call it Dream Weaver, because to hear some people, you would
think Weaver was a front line starter with Cy Young stuff. He's more of a
middle or back of the rotation starter, at least for the St. Louis Cardinals. He may be a slight upgrade over Matt Morris and Jason Marquis. Here is look at their numbers from last season:
Weaver never developed into the number one starter that everyone expected him
to be. He is still under 30, so it's too early to give up on him
completely. He can be his own worst enemy, losing his head when
everything doesn’t go his way. He gave up 35 home runs last season, given all the homers
and allowing a bad pitch (He hit 18 batters last season) or bad play behind him to get him in trouble and you can see he is in trouble a lot on the mound.
He can be a steady pitcher when he can keep his head about him, but if he had
pitched in St. Louis last season like he did in Los Angeles, we would be running
out of town this year, instead of dreaming about him coming to St. Louis.
AUSTIN KEARNS - Conspiracy Theory
Next to the St. Louis Cardinals' Jason Marquis, no one has been linked to more trade rumors than Austin Kearns.
Reds interim GM Brad Kullman said this week that he's not in active talks with anyone
regarding the 25-year-old promising outfielder Austin Kearns.
"There's a chance," Kullman said. "But I don't want to trade Austin Kearns.
Kearns hit .240 last season, but set career highs with 18 homers and 67 RBI.
He hit 12 of his 18 homers after his return in mid-July from a five-week stint
in the minor leagues, where he went down to find his stroke.
Those three words “There’s a chance”, gave some Cardinal fans hope that
Cardinals General Manager Walt Jocketty might go out and make a deal for
Kearns, considered by many as a potential “impact outfielder.“
The problem is, the Cardinals already think they have an impact outfielder
in Juan Encarnacion. A deal for Kearns isn’t likely. A move for Kearns by the Cardinals
made more sense before Encarnacion signed his three-year deal with St. Louis.
It’s a huge stretch, but for conspiracy theory fans, if you want to believe
there is a big deal in the works, or if you have to have a new trade rumor every
Sunday night, you could have the Cardinals sign Jeff Weaver and then trade Jason
Marquis to the Reds for Austin Kearns.
Kearns has been linked to trade rumors with the Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox,
Cleveland Indians and fans will misinterpret this article and his name will now
be linked to the Cardinals.
Kearns signed a one-year, $1.85 million contract with the Reds last month. He
may still be traded before spring training starts, but I doubt it.
A deal with St. Louis in the works? It isn’t going to happen, but you try
coming up with something every Sunday night. J
MO TO THE REDS?
Assistant general manager John Mozeliak interviewed for the Reds' vacant
general manager position with the team's new majority owner, Bob Castellini. "It
was a very impressive experience," said Mozeliak. The Reds’ gain would be the
WHO’S ON FIRST?
Belleville, Ill., native Brian Daubach should get plenty of opportunity to
play first base in camp as a non-roster player. Albert Pujols will be gone much
of the time at the World Baseball Classic.
WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC
The aren't expected to have
more than three players gone for the WBC. That’s three too many. Besides Pujols,
catcher Yadier Molina is slated to play for Puerto Rico and LHP Ricardo Rincon
What is with all this moonlighting? Especially with the Cardinals everyday
catcher Yadier Molina. After playing in winter ball, Molina will have less than two weeks to report to spring training and then
he’s gone again before you know it, for the World Baseball Classic from
March 3 - 20.
Molina most likely will be a back up, even potentially the third string
catcher behind teammates, future Hall of Famer and Gold Glove catcher, Ivan Rodriguez and Yadier’s older brother, Bengie Molina.
I’m sorry, what is more important; Yadier Molina to be working out with the
new members of the Cardinals’ bullpen and Sidney Ponson in spring training, or
for him to sit on the bench in the WBC?
Here’s the bottom line, you sign a major league contract to play for the St.
Louis Cardinals, that should be a full time job. When spring training begins,
you should be there or the Cardinals should be compensated from Major League
Baseball for the loss of the services of Molina, Pujols and Rincon.
LHP Randy Flores (left elbow surgery) should be ready for spring training.
3B Scott Rolen is rehabilitating after a second shoulder surgery and should
be ready for spring training. It is possible, he could begin the season on the
DL, but know one is really going to know for sure what he can do until he
actually takes the field in Spring Training.
RHP Al Reyes probably will be re-signed as a free agent even though he isn't
able to pitch, might be back by August after off season Tommy John surgery.
ARRIVALS: RHP Sidney Ponson (free agent from Baltimore), 2B Junior Spivey
(free agent from Washington), RF Juan Encarnacion (free agent from Florida),