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View Full Version : Cards shift the Power in the NL Central Once Again...



Hondo
12-14-2010, 09:24 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=5920464

ST. LOUIS -- Free-agent catcher Gerald Laird and the St. Louis Cardinals have reached agreement on a $1 million, one-year contract.

The 31-year-old Laird hit .207 with five home runs and 25 RBIs last season in a part-time role with Detroit.


This is obviously a sign of the Cardinals taking on the 2011 NL Central Race by storm....

Adding a back up catcher who hits .207 while knocking 5 Homers and driving in 25 runs is just another piece to their indestructible force of Off Season acquisitions...

I just don't know how the Reds will over come this move alone...

;)

DocRed
12-14-2010, 09:29 PM
Dude made $4million as a scrub catcher in 2010...yeesh

MikeThierry
12-14-2010, 09:30 PM
I know I'm going to be called a Cardinals homer because I don't see anything wrong with the deal. He is only going to see 10-15 games. He is at least comparable to LaRue which served as a decent backup to the best defensive catcher in the game.

I would much rather see him back up yadi rather than Anderson or Pagnozi. Those players need valuable time in AAA for development rather than being sent to the majors only to sit on the bench for the whole season.

Not a great move but certainly not a bad move either.

MikeThierry
12-14-2010, 09:32 PM
By the way, Jason LaRue made $950,000 last year so they are only increasing the backup catcher position salary by 50k. Won't break the bank.

757690
12-14-2010, 09:41 PM
Laird is very nice signing. He's a solid backup and at the right price.

At one point, he was considered worth trading for to start for the Reds, at least on Redszone.

Hondo
12-14-2010, 10:18 PM
Laird is very nice signing. He's a solid backup and at the right price.

At one point, he was considered worth trading for to start for the Reds, at least on Redszone.

Yeah but those were Jeff Keppinger Homers who wanted that trade to go down... Not me. No way.

Razzle
12-15-2010, 12:08 AM
I know I'm going to be called a Cardinals homer because I don't see anything wrong with the deal. He is only going to see 10-15 games. He is at least comparable to LaRue which served as a decent backup to the best defensive catcher in the game.
I hope we are done seeing this from the team. There is no way that Yadi should be starting 145+ games a year. Him playing as much, especially throughout the summer heat in St. Louis, had to take a toll on him as the season wore on last year. I'd rather he play ~125 games or so and stay fresh throughout the season.


I would much rather see him back up yadi rather than Anderson or Pagnozi. Those players need valuable time in AAA for development rather than being sent to the majors only to sit on the bench for the whole season.

Not a great move but certainly not a bad move either.

I'd probably rather have Laird than Anderson and surely over Pagnozzi. I don't think much of Anderson's defense and that is pretty critical if you are going to be a catcher under TLR. His offense would've been solid though. Pagnozzi is in the Rockies organization now, but I didn't care much for him either way. He's an older minor league guy who has never hit and his defense wasn't good enough to be a major leaguer, imo.

I don't care much either way about this deal, though it would be nice if the Cardinals could fill the backup catcher position from within the organization. It'd save anywhere from a half a million to a million a year, which could go to something more beneficial to the team.

Vottomatic
12-15-2010, 12:27 AM
I think the Cardinals definitely should be the favorites to win the NL Central.

They've strengthened their already great starting rotation by adding Westbrook. Lohse was a huge disappointment, and Penny couldn't stay healthy.

They have a solid bullpen.

Other than Pujols and Holliday, I question their position players though. Molina is solid.

The problems for the Cardinals lie in their contracts. They have little, if nothing, coming from their farm system. Molina is has 2 more years and becomes a free agent. Most of their young relievers are arbitration eligible after '11.

The Cards and the Phils are headed toward being pitching dominant teams with weak offenses. Teams are going to pitch around Pujols and Holliday and take their chances with the other hitters.

I really see this as a last ditch effort to win it all before Albert leaves, and the contracts mess up the Cards overall payroll.

Razzle
12-15-2010, 06:16 AM
I think the Cardinals definitely should be the favorites to win the NL Central.

They've strengthened their already great starting rotation by adding Westbrook. Lohse was a huge disappointment, and Penny couldn't stay healthy.

They have a solid bullpen.

Other than Pujols and Holliday, I question their position players though. Molina is solid.

The problems for the Cardinals lie in their contracts. They have little, if nothing, coming from their farm system. Molina is has 2 more years and becomes a free agent. Most of their young relievers are arbitration eligible after '11.

The Cards and the Phils are headed toward being pitching dominant teams with weak offenses. Teams are going to pitch around Pujols and Holliday and take their chances with the other hitters.

I really see this as a last ditch effort to win it all before Albert leaves, and the contracts mess up the Cards overall payroll.
I'm not so sure I'd consider the Cards the favorites. The rotation is strong, but there are too many holes offensively and this is probably one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Combine this with the lack of depth everywhere and I just don't see it. Any major injuries or even several smaller ones and this Cards team is in trouble.

As for the Pujols situation, I came into this offseason thinking he'd be signed, but the bump in payroll combined with not hearing much about negotiations with him has me bracing for him leaving. I hope it's not the case, but I just have a bad feeling that a deal won't get done.

MikeThierry
12-15-2010, 07:10 AM
Votto, you bring up a decent point about their minor league system. They are rebuilding it due to the trades in 09. Though I have to say, the Cards have done a decent job in bringing up minor league talent in the past couple of years. Rasmus was developed in the minors and Garcia has been a very, very good addition. Kyle McClellan is a very good reliever along with Motte. Lets not forget about a David Freese who looks to be a solid offensive 3rd baseman. According to experts who cover the draft, the Cards did have a very good draft last year, taking chances on players that could have been a risk signing. The depleted farm system is also another reason why I'm not that down on the Brendan Ryan trade. I can see the farm system being rebuild slowly, but its going to take time to rebuild it after adding players to the MLB roster from the farm system and trading key components within the system for major league talent. Fortunatelly, the Cards do have players on their 25 man roster that will be mainstays for years to come so its not completely urgent to build this thing back together by tomorrow.

At the top of my head, the areas that lack real depth in the organization are SS, 2B, and 3B. 3rd base has been completely depleated the past couple of years due to Brett Wallace being traded and David Freese coming up to the bigs. In the last draft, the Cards did draft one of the best hitters in that draft and he projects to be a 3rd baseman. However there is talk to move him to 2nd. I don't think this is a bad move considering that Freese will continue to see time at 3rd in the big leagues.

It also has to be noted that one of the reasons why Jocketty was fired from St. Louis was in part due to the lack of depth in the minor league system. The Cards minor league system has essentially been used as a trading post for the past decade or so and never really had that strong of an actual farm system. People still moan and whine about the Haren for Mulder trade.

MikeThierry
12-15-2010, 07:19 AM
Razzle, to be fair, if any team loses key players they will be in trouble. I don't think any organization can sustain a loss of someone like Holliday or Pujols. I don't think the Reds could sustain the loss of a Votto. The talent gap between what is in the minors and what is at the major leagues is just too great in some areas.

MikeThierry
12-15-2010, 07:45 AM
Sorry to triple post but I had to add this about the Cards draft last year. The Bleacher Report gave the Cards the 6th best draft of last year. Here is their breakdown:

"You could easily say the Cardinals were simply lucky. Arkansas third baseman Zack Cox was a top-10 pick on many draft boards but fell to No. 25.

He was a star in college baseball's best conference. The fact that he slipped is a head-scratcher.

Then there's Tyrell Jenkins. He's the pitching Cox, a highly regarded pitcher and a great athlete who surprisingly kept slipping. The Cards got him at No. 50.

They also got Arizona State pitcher Seth Blair at No. 46.

All three picks were great value and perfect to fill needs."

The reason why Zack Cox fell is because teams felt that he would be difficult to sign due to wanting too much money. Tyrell Jenkins fell, from what I understand, because he was committed to Baylor to play football as their top QB recruit and teams felt he was going to go down that route. The Cardinals were able to sign both of their top picks. One draft won't rebuild a system I realize that however the organization is putting an effort into this issue and I could easily see the Cards having an adequate system within a year or two.

DaytonFlyer
12-15-2010, 09:17 AM
Oooh, the #6 draft! They are unstoppable!

Hondo
12-15-2010, 05:04 PM
Sorry to triple post but I had to add this about the Cards draft last year. The Bleacher Report gave the Cards the 6th best draft of last year. Here is their breakdown:

"You could easily say the Cardinals were simply lucky. Arkansas third baseman Zack Cox was a top-10 pick on many draft boards but fell to No. 25.

He was a star in college baseball's best conference. The fact that he slipped is a head-scratcher.

Then there's Tyrell Jenkins. He's the pitching Cox, a highly regarded pitcher and a great athlete who surprisingly kept slipping. The Cards got him at No. 50.

They also got Arizona State pitcher Seth Blair at No. 46.

All three picks were great value and perfect to fill needs."

The reason why Zack Cox fell is because teams felt that he would be difficult to sign due to wanting too much money. Tyrell Jenkins fell, from what I understand, because he was committed to Baylor to play football as their top QB recruit and teams felt he was going to go down that route. The Cardinals were able to sign both of their top picks. One draft won't rebuild a system I realize that however the organization is putting an effort into this issue and I could easily see the Cards having an adequate system within a year or two.

I actually like Zack Cox more than Grandal...

Call me whatever but I still don't like the Reds last 2 First Round Draft Picks.

Vottomatic
12-15-2010, 10:44 PM
Razzle, to be fair, if any team loses key players they will be in trouble. I don't think any organization can sustain a loss of someone like Holliday or Pujols. I don't think the Reds could sustain the loss of a Votto. The talent gap between what is in the minors and what is at the major leagues is just too great in some areas.

I think the Reds depth is why they won the Central last year.

The Reds starting pitching depth really can't be matched by any major league team. When they have a guy go down, they have several guys with major league experience that could be starting for other teams in the cupboard.

If the Cards lose 2 of their better starting pitchers, they sign an old guy off the scrap heap.

Pete4prez
12-15-2010, 11:22 PM
A good sign for the Cards, inexpensive, solid.

OGB
12-16-2010, 01:24 AM
At one point, he was considered worth trading for to start for the Reds, at least on Redszone.

I was going to mention the same thing. I didn't belong to Redszone at the time, but plenty of people were clamoring for the Reds to trade for him or Saltalamacchia a few years ago

Kingspoint
12-19-2010, 06:12 PM
Brewers are now a powerhouse in the Central.

Eric the Red
12-19-2010, 07:24 PM
The NL Central division race appears to be up for grabs as of December 19th. A lot will happen from now til September 2011. Hopefully the Reds will be in contention come September. I'm excited to see the progress of the younger players come 2011. While we all get excited or frustrated by the moves or lack of moves in the offseason, for the most part it's really the strides made during the season that will make or break the season. For example, Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs really progressed in 2010 and as a Reds fan I hope they continue that rise in 2011.

And since this topic originated by a backup catcher signing, look for Devin Mesoraco to make a major splash in 2011 in the bug leagues. His development is more crucial in my opinion than any trade or lack of trade or free agent signing the front office made in the offseason. Anyone remember hearing about Buster Posey last offseason?

Kingspoint
12-20-2010, 07:21 PM
T I'm excited to see the progress of the younger players come 2011. While we all get excited or frustrated by the moves or lack of moves in the offseason, for the most part it's really the strides made during the season that will make or break the season.

Players have a Bell Curve in their career production. A majority of the talent on this team is on the upswing of that curve. That alone ensures that this team will contend in September even if Walt does absolutely nothing during the Winter. There's very little that needs to be done to make this club better. Shortstop is the obvious, and a Veteran ACE is always welcome. There's absolutely zero need for a Left Fielder, contrary to several people's opinions.

gedred69
12-22-2010, 12:22 AM
Players have a Bell Curve in their career production. A majority of the talent on this team is on the upswing of that curve. That alone ensures that this team will contend in September even if Walt does absolutely nothing during the Winter. There's very little that needs to be done to make this club better. Shortstop is the obvious, and a Veteran ACE is always welcome. There's absolutely zero need for a Left Fielder, contrary to several people's opinions.

I lean towards near total agreement. I want to see what Sappelt can do if given the chanc to lead off and play LF, say about mid-May if his #'s warrant. (If not sooner). Don't know about the need for a vet Ace though.

Jr's Boy
12-22-2010, 02:37 AM
The Bleacher Report gave the Cards the 6th best draft of last year.

With all due respect Mike,find another source of stats.The Bleacher report is written by fans,and wannabe sports writers.Anyone can write for the bleacher report.Maybe you wrote the story you are quoting.During the college football season a lot of us on SB Nation Sports blogs laugh so hard at the content in the bleacher report that it's a running joke.
What I'm saying is there is no credibility in the Bleacher Report crew.

BAKER12
12-23-2010, 02:12 AM
Just cut him in my APBA league. Only thing he can do is catch and is not a base clogger (although) he never gets on base. Gives LaRussa more of a reason to bat the pitcher
8th and prove why he is the smartest manager in the history of the world, just ask him.

MikeThierry
01-05-2011, 01:53 AM
Jr, here are some sights that give a good breakdown on how well the Cards draft was in 2010:

http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2010/06/10/mlb-draft-analysis-winners-and-losers/

http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/MLB_Draft/tag/173747/2010_draft_grades

http://www.sbnation.com/2010/6/8/1507062/2010-mlb-draft-grades-cubs-yankees-mets-day-one