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View Full Version : Game changer for NL central?



jojo
12-25-2010, 09:29 AM
We've seen the Brewers go all in this off season by making moves to dramatically upgrade their rotation to compete now.

Without crunching numbers yet, it looks like the NL central could be an exciting 3 way race between the Reds, Cards, and Brewers.

Would a surprise move by the Cards to sign Beltre make them the favorites? Its one move, I'd hate to see happen....

What other logical but surprising (i.e. Most wouldnt expect the cards to sign beltre because of payroll and pujols etc) moves might shift power or dramatically shake things up?

camisadelgolf
12-25-2010, 09:38 AM
Not that it would make them the favorites, but if the Astros were to sign Beltre, it could be a huge swing in momentum. A big year from Brett Myers, Wandy Rodriguez, or J.A. Happ could really put them in the mix. What if Brett Wallace or Jason Castro has a breakout year? And say what you want about the Cubs, but I don't think you can completely count them out. The switch in leagues could really help Carlos Pena. Starlin Castro could improve. Aramis Ramirez will perform much better if healthy. Alfonso Soriano is capable of more than what he did this year. Carlos Zambrano could always rebound. There are some young, intriguing arms in the bullpen that could break out. I think anyone in the division besides the Pirates has a chance. 2011 should be an exciting year in the NL Central.

Scrap Irony
12-25-2010, 10:10 AM
If both Soriano and Beltre sign with St. Louis, they have to be considered the favorite. A lineup of Rasmus, Theriot, Pujols, Holliday, Beltre, Berkman would put the fear of the redbird in every pitcher out there and could actually average an 900 OPS between them. They'd certainly challenge the Brewers for best 1-6 in the NL.

Soriano, meanwhile, would make that pen stronger, moving Franklin to a set-up or middle relief spot. There'd be many fewer late-inning collapses (remember Colorado?) and LaRussa has proven he knows what to do with a dominant closer and pen.

Soriano to Milwaukee, along with Pavano, would also shift the power, as it'd make Milwaukee's top five much stronger. Soriano would solidify their pen and give the Brew Crew a much stronger option at the back-end. Axford would then set up, which should trickle down to a solid, solid bullpen.

The Reds could sign a Manny, Damon, or a Vlad for LF and that might move them above the other two, depending on how much is left in each tank. No starter now on the market offers the upside of current Red starters. Rafael Soriano would strengthen an already solid Red pen; if they were to sign him, Cordero would then become flotsam to deal (not that he isn't already).

hebroncougar
12-25-2010, 10:48 AM
Yeah, but would signing Beltre mean that couldn't sign Pujols long term? I think the Cards are about tapped out.

TRF
12-25-2010, 11:37 AM
I think the Cards are looking at Freese as the solution at 3B and that's the right move.

buckeyenut
12-25-2010, 12:02 PM
I completely forgot Manny was on the market. Given how quiet things are, I'd love to see if he would sign a 1 year 5M deal.

TheNext44
12-25-2010, 12:05 PM
Belte turned down a 5 year $70M offer from the Angels. The Cards can't afford anything close to that. But if they did somehow sign him, they'd be the favorites.

I really can't see any moves, that are within the realm of reason, even by the Reds, that would change the NL Central dynamic that much. I think every team besides the Pirates is in the mix, with the Astros, Cubs and Brewers depending on more luck than the Reds and Cards. But it's a pretty wide open division, IMO.

Strikes Out Looking
12-25-2010, 12:08 PM
Belte turned down a 5 year $70M offer from the Angels. The Cards can't afford anything close to that. But if they did somehow sign him, they'd be the favorites.

I really can't see any moves, that are within the realm of reason, even by the Reds, that would change the NL Central dynamic that much. I think every team besides the Pirates is in the mix, with the Astros, Cubs and Brewers depending on more luck than the Reds and Cards. But it's a pretty wide open division, IMO.

Only if they give Beltre a one year contract. If it's for five, he'll be average for the first year. I'd be surprised if the Cardinals sign him or anyone else -- Albert seems to be holding them hostage at the moment.

PuffyPig
12-25-2010, 04:56 PM
A lineup of Rasmus, Theriot, Pujols, Holliday, Beltre, Berkman would put the fear of the redbird in every pitcher out there and could actually average an 900 OPS between them.

Theriot?????

Is that the same guy who OPS'ed .633 last year with 19 exrtabase hits in 640 PA's?

Mario-Rijo
12-26-2010, 10:05 AM
Nelson Cruz to the Reds
B.J. Upton & Matt Garza to the Rangers
Alonso, Bailey, Joseph, Borbon, Profar & Teagarden to the Rays

The Rays get to stock up on young usable players at positions of need who are cheap for the next several seasons. 3 of which can help them right away and 2 younger but fairly quick comers plus a former promising catching prospect. They lose 2 guys they seem to want to part with that are due for significant raises so they save lots of dollars and continue fielding a solid young team for the near future.

The Rangers get their CF so they can move Hamilton to a corner spot and they get an innings eater upper-middle rotation guy. They get to keep their coveted young arms in the system and really only lose a very good middle of the order bat which they can solidify by re-signing Vlad with the savings from not signing a big top of the rotation type.

The Reds trade 2 largely blocked but still promising young players and a young back of the pen lefty. They gain thee most critical piece they need for this team (protection for Votto) without adding any significant payroll.

Nelson Cruz to the Reds is a major impact move that is both logical and unlikely/surprising.

mth123
12-26-2010, 10:30 AM
Nelson Cruz to the Reds
B.J. Upton & Matt Garza to the Rangers
Alonso, Bailey, Joseph, Borbon, Profar & Teagarden to the Rays

The Rays get to stock up on young usable players at positions of need who are cheap for the next several seasons. 3 of which can help them right away and 2 younger but fairly quick comers plus a former promising catching prospect. They lose 2 guys they seem to want to part with that are due for significant raises so they save lots of dollars and continue fielding a solid young team for the near future.

The Rangers get their CF so they can move Hamilton to a corner spot and they get an innings eater upper-middle rotation guy. They get to keep their coveted young arms in the system and really only lose a very good middle of the order bat which they can solidify by re-signing Vlad with the savings from not signing a big top of the rotation type.

The Reds trade 2 largely blocked but still promising young players and a young back of the pen lefty. They gain thee most critical piece they need for this team (protection for Votto) without adding any significant payroll.

Nelson Cruz to the Reds is a major impact move that is both logical and unlikely/surprising.


Not bad. I'd probably sub Heisey for Bailey, and have the Rangers sub an arm for Borbon and Profar, but not bad at all. The Rays probably would rather have some one farther from arb than Bailey since they have the starters that they need and with Brignac and Beckham may not be as interested in Profar.

Mario-Rijo
12-26-2010, 10:56 AM
Not bad. I'd probably sub Heisey for Bailey, and have the Rangers sub an arm for Borbon and Profar, but not bad at all. The Rays probably would rather have some one farther from arb than Bailey since they have the starters that they need and with Brignac and Beckham may not be as interested in Profar.

Yeah the 'spects can be shuffled a bit but between the Reds and Rangers I figure a good enough package of them can be thrown together. I actually had Heisey for Bailey in there at one point but I figured Tampa would rather have the potential value Bailey holds over the more position of need Heisey would provide. I also had Scheppers in there from Texas at one point but trying to find the actual balance for all teams is a bit tricky. Ultimately I figured the Rays would want position players in the OF, 1B and really anywhere frankly as 8 of their top 10 prospects are pitchers. Brignac might be ready to move by the time Profar and/or Beckham are ready and Beckham has been anything but a sure thing since drafted.

I'm guessing what Tampa would shoot for would be more something like...

Wood, Mes, Alonso, Profar, Scheppers but hoping they would be more willing to accept lesser to cut that salary. Also unsure if the Rangers would really want to come off of Cruz even if they get Upton & Garza but it's worth a shot. The beauty of this deal is I am not sure any two of the teams could work something so a 3 way is a near must.

HokieRed
12-26-2010, 09:22 PM
I'll say the potential difference maker is on one of the clubs and I hope we don't trade him away: Bailey.

TRF
12-26-2010, 10:55 PM
There is zero chance the rangers are looking to deal nelson cruz.

Mario-Rijo
12-27-2010, 08:13 AM
There is zero chance the rangers are looking to deal nelson cruz.

I'm pretty positive they aren't, doesn't mean they won't. I think this is the type of deal that would interest them. Is it good enough to get them to pull the trigger, probably not, but again worth a shot.