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Winter Meetings In Spring Temperatures

Posted on December 3, 2012 at 7:00 AM
Filed Under: St. Louis Cardinals
The general manager meetings start in Nashville today.  If the climate in Nashville is similar to what it is here--and it should be--it might be less meetings and more pickup softball games.  I know that we don't often have white Christmases here (well, depends on if frost on Christmas morning counts) but I shouldn't be checking Fox Sports Midwest for the pre-game show on December 2.

Anyway, there's a nice piece at the Post-Dispatch about John Mozeliak and what his winter meetings this time will be like compared to last year's intensity.  Basically, Mo's just going to hang out.  He doesn't have any pressing needs, just a couple of shopping items that need to be taken care of before the season, but aren't so dire that things have to be done this week.  Signing a lefty reliever or some middle infield depth won't be the focus point of the marketing or sell a lot of extra tickets, so Mo can be patient.

With all the caveats of what it means when Joe Strauss says something, he indicated on Twitter that he thought Mo would make a move at these meetings.  There's no doubt that teams will be coveting some of those pitching arms and there's a case for moving someone like Lance Lynn or Joe Kelly, less of one for moving anyone else.  Mo's not going to be giving these things away and, given the limited needs of the organization, I find it a bit difficult to think that something will get done.  Now, if a team has a shortstop prospect that's close to the majors and looks like a sure star, Mo might be intrigued, but I don't know who would fit that bill.

There is another option, though.  Oscar Taveras is playing Dominican ball this winter and, as he did during the season, is tearing it up.  That in and of itself isn't interesting, but a paragraph in that story by Derrick Goold struck my eye.  The Cards have asked that he play center field down there and his manager plans to let him out there a couple of times a week.  Taveras played center in Springfield as well, but with the team's instance on this point, could Jon Jay be a tradable commodity?

Tara and I talked about this last night on Gateway to Baseball Heaven.  We basically agreed that  we weren't completely comfortable with Taveras being the one and only in the outfield, counting on him to come out blazing in his rookie season.  That doesn't mean Jay is completely safe, though.  If a cheap veteran centerfielder (Reed Johnson?  Grady Sizemore?  The return of Rick Ankiel?) could be gotten as some insurance, Mo might decide to go that way.  It seems much more likely that Taveras will start out in Memphis next season or, at the very least, force the Cards into a spring training trade to move Jay.  It'd be pretty surprising if Jay was gone at all, much less before the end of the week.

St. Louis has also been in on Sean Burnett, one of eight teams to do so.  Burnett came out and said he wanted four years, though he backed up on that soon afterwards.  There's no reliever out there that's going to get four years from a smart organization and I like to think the Cardinals count in that number.  Sample sizes are just too small to really know what you are getting, plus if the Redbirds are going to use him more as a LOOGY, why would you ever commit long-term to a pitcher like that?  I'd honestly be surprised if the Cards did more than two years plus a team option for him and that might not be enough to get him in this kind of market.  Even so, I don't see the Cardinals over-extending to sign another lefthander.

Rumor has it that the Cards are also taking a look at Stephen Drew, which we've talked about before.  I like the idea of Drew in St. Louis, though if there are five teams interested in him (and the fact that he's a Scott Boras client means you always have to watch for the "mystery team") he may get out of their price range fairly quickly.  After all, it looks like (at least until he takes the field) Rafael Furcal is going to be healthy, so if you pay Drew starter money, where does he start?  Does that take care of your second base quandary?  Perhaps, though I'd have to think playing shortstop would be important to Drew.  You could move Furcal, but I think Furcal has the better glove.  It'd be a good problem to have and I honestly expect the Cardinals will be in on him pretty strong unless they can find that infield prospect I was talking about earlier.

After the jump, I'm attaching the press release information for the next Fan Cave opportunity.  This will be the third season MLB has run this and they added the social media aspect last season to mixed reviews.  We'll see if they tone that down some as they modify and adjust going forward.  If you are up for trying it, click the link and find out about it!   

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Located in Greenwich Village in New York City, the MLB Fan Cave is a unique event space mixing baseball with music, popular culture, media, technology and art. Supported by MLB Advanced Media, it also provides baseball fans with a constant flow of online video and conversation via social media. The MLB Fan Cave features products and services provided by nearly 50 companies, led by Pepsi, MLB Authentic Collection licensees New Era and Majestic, State Farm, Budweiser, Scotts and Sony, along with design partners Resource Furniture and Lillian August. 

Fans can begin applying at to be a "Cave Dweller" and vie to watch all 2,430 games inside the MLB Fan Cave next year, while meeting current and retired baseball greats, popular recording artists and entertainers. With more than 1.2 million combined followers on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, the MLB Fan Cave has built a large community of baseball fans that the Cave Dwellers will have a chance to interact with during the 2013 season. 

More than 22,000 fans applied to be a Cave Dweller for 2012, and the MLB Fan Cave began the season with a group of nine winners who each chronicled their experience through videos, blogs and social media. Along the way, six were eliminated based on a combination of a fan vote and a panel of MLB judges, with the three final Cave Dwellers - Ashley Chavez, Ricardo Marquez and Kyle Thompson - winning a trip to the 2012 World Series, where Chavez was crowned the ultimate winner for 2012.

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Matt Holliday (4)
Jon Jay (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
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Jaime Garcia (3)
Pete Kozma (3)
Shelby Miller (3)
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Edward Mujica (2)
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David Freese (1)
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Seth Maness (1)
Trevor Rosenthal (1)
Michael Wacha (1)
Ty Wigginton (1)

2012 Top Hero: Matt Holliday (17)
2011 Top Hero: Lance Berkman (24)
2010 Top Heroes: Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols (24)
2009 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (28)
2008 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (25)

Jon Jay (6)
David Freese (5)
Mitchell Boggs (4)
Joe Kelly (4)
Pete Kozma (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Allen Craig (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Yadier Molina (3)
Matt Adams (2)
Carlos Beltran (2)
Matt Carpenter (2)
Matt Holliday (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Seth Maness (1)
Shane Robinson (1)
Fernando Salas (1)
Adam Wainwright (1)
Jake Westbrook (1)

2012 Top Goat: Rafael Furcal (11)
2011 Top Goat: Ryan Theriot (12)
2010 Top Goat: Brendan Ryan (14)
2009 Top Goats: Rick Ankiel and Todd Wellemeyer (13)
2008 Top Goat: Troy Glaus (13)

Cardinal Nation Approval Ratings (March 2013)
Yadier Molina 96.2% (up 8.8%)
Chris Carpenter 89.8% (down 0.3%)
Derrick Goold 89.1% (up 6.3%)
Matt Holliday 88.4% (up 0.9%)
Allen Craig 88.3%
Adam Wainwright 88.2% (down 3.7%)
Jose Oquendo 87.1% (up 2.4%)
Jason Motte 86.9%
John Mozeliak 86.5% (up 1.1%)
United Cardinal Bloggers 85.2% (up 6.3%)
Bill DeWitt 85.1% (up 5.3%)
Mike Shannon 85.1% (down 0.2%)
John Rooney 84.5% (up 3.0%)
Mike Matheny 84.4% (up 3.3%)
David Freese 82.9% (down 2.6%)
Jon Jay 81.8% (up 10.7%)
Lance Berkman 80.6% (down 8.0%)
Jenifer Langosch 79.5%
Lance Lynn 79.5%
Dan McLaughlin 76.0% (up 8.0%)
Jim Hayes 73.0% (up 1.1%)
Ricky Horton 65.5% (down 2.0%)
Jaime Garcia 64.1%
Albert Pujols 59.2% (up 4.3%)
Ballpark Village 58.3%
Joe Strauss 54.3% (down 13.4%)

Tony La Russa 88.2% (up 17.4%)
Mark McGwire 82.6% (up 20.1%)
Skip Schumaker 73.3% (up 9.2%)
B.J. Rains 69.5% (down 0.9%)
Kyle Lohse 68.9% (up 13.8%)
Al Hrabosky 66.4% (up 3.2%)
Colby Rasmus 46.5% (down 35.3%)

Dave Duncan 87.9% (up 0.9%)
Matthew Leach 85.5%
Pop Warner 76.7%
Ryan Franklin 72.8% (up 3.1%)
John Vuch 68.9%
Jeff Luhnow 66.4%
Dan Lozano 58.7%

Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%

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