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Closing Down 2008

Posted on December 31, 2008 at 1:48 PM
Filed Under: St. Louis Cardinals
If you've not read it, here's the link to the main post today.  Some great picks on the other sites.

But, as sometimes happens with these big UCB projects, real news that demands--well, suggests, at least--a response happens.  And it looks like that has happened today, with reports indicating that the Angels have finally come to terms with Brian Fuentes.

There are going to be a number of people that complain about the Cardinals not getting him, especially if the contract details are accurate and they are paying him $17.5 over two years.  (Long way from that reported $33 over 3, isn't it?)  And I will say that this contract level should have been in the Cardinals' budget, if they wanted to do it.  (Assuming he'd have taken the same amount to come to St. Louis, since he'd made it known his preference was California.)

That said, I'm glad that they didn't.  It just doesn't make much sense, in my mind, to pay $8 million for something that you can get at least 80% of at $500K (or whatever the rookie minimum is these days).  Jason Motte and Chris Perez may not be as proven as Fuentes, but there's a strong chance that, at the end of the year, they'll be at least within 1 win of Fuentes' value.  The marginal cost just isn't worth it, in my mind.

If the only guy out in that bullpen to take over for Jason Isringhausen was Ryan Franklin, then I'd be right up there wanting Fuentes in St. Louis.  But there are cheap, in-house options that will do the job almost as well, with the potential to be even better.  There is no reason to spend money like that--especially in uncertain economic times--for the return you'd get.

Hopefully John Mozeliak will take that money and use it on a starter.  (Ben Sheets should be what all my regular readers are expecting right here.)  There are still holes to fill.  The first week of January would be a great time to get that done.

On a different note, another Cardinal has lost his way and must put on the punishment of blue pinstripes.  Mr. Grit, Aaron Miles, has signed with the Cubbies.  Maybe they are counting on the ex-Cardinal factor to push them to actually winning a post-season series?

So enjoy your long weekend, Mo.  And get cracking come Monday.  Happy new year to all!

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3 Comments | Leave a comment

The Fuentes signing is what I expected... but I'm sorry to see Miles sign with the Cubs.

What if they're saving money for Manny? ;)

Some years, that'd be great. If there wasn't that much of a logjam in the outfield, I'd say give it a shot, terrible defense and all. But with the way the team sits now, that's not exactly the brightest move they could do, in my opinion.

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