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The Final Question

Posted on October 28, 2008 at 8:42 AM
Filed Under: Baseball | St. Louis Cardinals | United Cardinal Bloggers
The month-long United Cardinal Bloggers roundtable finishes up today.  It almost spanned the entire offseason, starting with The Cardinal Virtue back on October 6 and wrapping up with Redbirds Fun, Stan Musial's Stance and my entry.

Before we get to the question and answers, I just want to say thanks to everyone that participated.  This not only closes the roundtable but also the first year of the UCB, which has gone over much better than I expected due to the quality of individuals participating.  Looking forward to another year of projects!

Speaking of, check out the first United Cardinal Bloggers talk show!  And yes, that incredibly goofy second caller is me.

OK, today's question:

We've seen a lot of young talent come up around the league in the last year or so.  The Rays are a fine example of that, making it to the Series on the backs of a lot of younger players.  So what player with less than three years of experience would you most like to see on the Cardinals?  You can factor in whatever you like (position scarcity, giving depth for trades, etc.)

Answers after the jump!

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Pitchers Hit Eighth: Assuming that Rasmus isn’t the answer you’re looking for here…I’ll piggy-back onto one of my prior diatribes.  I would go with David Price from the Tampa Bay Rays.
Cheap, cost-controlled pitching is going to be/should be the name of the game for the Cardinals going forward.  They cannot continue to try and pluck guys from the scrap heap in the hopes that they will forget how badly they stunk everywhere else or that they will miraculously be able to right their blown out elbow.  Even big deals for pitchers we thought were known commodities (Carpenter – c’mon admit that you were willing to ignore all of his past arm troubles when he was winning a Cy Young) have become risky propositions. 

Getting a young pitcher like Price, allowing him a season of adjustment to the big leagues – then you buy out his arbitration years at a reasonable cost, a la Wainwright even, just like the Rays did with Longoria.  Young players are having a far larger impact on the league far earlier in their careers now, so it makes sense to try and get a guy locked up for 5-6 years at a locked cost.  Think about what Longoria could be pulling in 4 years from now if he were going to arbitration each off-season.

Here, I’ll stick with the stud young starting pitcher.

Redbirds Fun: It's safe to say that the Price is Right...although, I am pulling for the Phillies over the series.

The Rundown: Give me Longoria. Too young and too good to pass up; plus, even young pitchers get hurt, so I'll stick with a position player.

Redbird Ramblings: I think I have to go with hanley ramirez. he has exactly three years experience (those two at bats in 2005 don't really count). the man can do it all; he can hit for average, power and make pretty good contact. he also swipes a lot of bases. his only problem is that he is inconsistant defensively. if he gets the right coaching (the secret weapon) and the right state of mind (the cardinal organization), then I think he could be better than he already is. oh, by the way, he collects plenty if rbis also. so, yeah, hanley would be my pick.

Cardinal Nation Globe: You're right, the Rays definitely have a lot of good young players that I would like to see on the Cards. For me, number 1 would be Longoria because of his position and his approach to the game (he certainly doesn't act like a rookie). Number 2 would be B.J. Upton - he has had some hustle issues, but he'll grow out of it, I think. He has so many tools. I would love to see him patrolling the outfield at Busch Stadium.

Several people have mentioned David Price, but I'd like to go to another team, the Cincinnati Reds, and tap Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto from their pitching staff!

C70: I just want to clarify, it doesn't have to be from the Rays, just any youngster in baseball.  I realize I didn't necessarily phrase that clearly.

Rundown: Oh, I don't think any of us thought it did have to be. But hey, you want young talent, chances are it's going to come from the Rays right now.

Stan Musial's Stance: I'd go with Alexei Ramirez, the de facto second baseman for the White

In his first full year, he hit .289 with 21 HR and 77 RBI.  He
also set a rookie record with 4 grand slams. Fielding percentage of .981 is a little low when compared to the league
average, but he's young and you can teach defense.  AND he solves our
hitting woes at that position.

That's my vote.

The Cardinal Virtue: I'm definitely of the opinion that starting pitching is the way to build your club so I'd vote for either Tim Lincecum of the Giants or Liriano of the Twins (I'm pretty sure both have less than 3 years of time in the majors).  I'd give the slight edge to Lincecum if forced to pick between the two because he hasn't had arm surgery like Liriano.

CardinalsGM: It has to be a pitcher first and of course everyone loves Tim Lincecum. That would be a great get for any team. Evan Longoria would be a position player that would fit the bill.
I am going to say Clayton Kershaw might be one as a lefty that i would covet as much as anyone;

PHE: Oooh – Lincecum is a good one.  I worry just a bit about his arm, but mostly because of his funky delivery.  I’m sure he may well never have issues. 

Price still really does it for me though, I think if for no other reason than him being a lefty.  I realize that it means virtually nothing as long as you’re winning, but I’d really like to see a lefty back in the Cardinal rotation sometime soon.

BertFlex: I'll take Hanley Ramirez for the win.

Mike On The Cards: Tough question, but I think I'll have to agree with thought about good, young pitching.  There are several arms that come to mind, but Price or Lincecum get my vote.  Also, just my opinion, but Hanley Ramirez would be lucky to crack my top ten.

Great choices by everyone.  I'm usually a pitching guy, so I love the ideas of Liriano, Price, or Lincecum.  Longoria or Ramirez would be great to have on the left side of the infield.  A guy like Jay Bruce would be nice as well, though obviously the outfield is not exactly a pressing need at the moment.

I'd probably select Lincecum, but an intriguing name could be Yovani Gallardo.  I know he's coming off of injury, but he seems healthy now and has been pretty dominant in his career.

Thanks again to all for participating!


1 Comment | Leave a comment

Just a clarification - my pick was based on adding someone to the current Cardinals roster for long term benefit. If I was building a team from scratch, I'd go with Longoria hands-down.

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