In reading some of the posts in the last few days/weeks, I have seen a number of people suggesting that this guy should be fired, this guy should be traded, this guy should be DFA'd, this guy should be called up, etc. To be totally honest about it, it's been really frustrating to see such short-sighted, impractical, and at times silly suggestions being posted. So here is my take on what can and can't happen.
1.) Kip Wells. His contract runs through the rest of the season, he is owed just under $2M. You can either keep him in the rotation, move him to the bullpen, or DFA him. Let's be clear first about understanding what it means to DFA someone. you still owe him what's left on his contract. He can accept his assignment to the minor leagues (his choice), you can try to trade him, or he is released. which ever is taken, it must be done within 10 days. If someone picks him up after he is released, they agree to pay him a certain salary through the rest of this year. any difference between that money and what is owed to him under his Cardinals contract has to be made up by the Cardinals. So the decision has to be made...is there any value to keeping him on the team. I don't think so, myself, so I would DFA him and hope someone picks him up and thereby, picks up some of his salary for the remainder of the year. He has clearly been the worst pitcher on the team (if not the league) this year, it is reasonable to assume just about anyone else could do as well, if not better, than Kippy has....
2.) Encarnacion. Signed through the end of nextyear, owed roughly $2.5 for the rest of this season, and $6M next year. The common suggestion 'round here is to trade him. lboros recently had a nice piece on this history of trades involving Encarnacion, and the prevailing truth is that he does not bring a lot of value back in the trade market. I believe that, at best, all you could get in return for him would be a 4th outfielder with a similar contract, a middle reliever (of which the cards have plenty), or a Quad A player with a smaller salary. None of these options seem to be of much benefit to the Cardinals right now. The latter option may provide salary relief, but who is going to play right field every day? In my opinion, he isn't going anywhere, nor should he.
3.) Edmonds. I, as much as anyone, was glad to see Edmonds come back this year. He is one of my favorite players on the team, and it would have pained me to see him in another uniform. I thought picking up his option this past offseason would have been a bad idea, I thought $10M was too much to pay him, and realized that if he was going to take a "pay-cut", you would have had to give him 2 years. I saw today someone wanted to DFA him. No. he is owed roughly $12M through the end of next year. with him being hurt right now, and with a history of injuries, no one would pick him up this year to pick provide some salary relief. They might next year, perhaps....but it would be unlikely. In my opinion, the best thing to do would be to give him as much time as needed, get COMPLETELY HEALTHY, and then come back for his swan song next year with the hope that he may be able to bring back some of his glory days, one last time.
4.) Rolen. someone today suggested the Cards should trade him. He is a third baseman hitting .262, with 4 home runs. Making roughly $6M for the rest of the year, and $12M/year for the next two years. Who exactly would want that right now? And if you found a taker, what would they be willing to give up? Certainly not a highly sought after prospect. But now that I have indulged in this exercise, I would like to point out that he has a no-trade clause, and he isn't going anywhere.
5.) Izzy. he is a 10 and 5 guy, he has a no-trade clause as well. He isn't going anywhere. The question here becomes whether or not the Cards want to pickup his $8M option next year. I haven't looked at what the free agent market might be this off-season for closers...but I am inclined to say that the Cards should pickup this option in the offseason.
6.) Kennedy. is owed about $9M more over the rest of this season and the next 2 years. DFA'ing him is not an option. trading him is not an option (again, who would give up anything for him). chalk this up as a bad year and hope he regains his form for the next two seasons.
7.) Ankiel. we should probably give the "call up Ankiel" calls a rest. Please go to Future Redbirds and read up on him a little bit. he is Dave Kingman reincarnated. The guy hits homeruns like crazy, granted. but he doesn't hit for average, he doesn't take a walk. He is a one trick pony at the plate. and anyone who thinks he is going to hit homeruns at that pace if he were to come back up to St. Louis is vastly over-estimating him, in my opinion.
My Friends, I think we need to realize that this year's team (and for that matter, next year's team as well) isn't going to have some dramatic overhaul. You can't "blow up" the team and start from scratch. Now, after next year, when Edmonds' salary is off the books (and he has retired, most likely), and Encarnacion is gone, and Kip Wells is gone, then you will start to see some changes. The team is FINALLY making a move to invest in the minor league system, and not be forced to turn to the free agent market every time they need a hole filled. Be patient. Support your team. Hold players accountable. That's all fine and good. But Jockety can't waive (pun) a magic wand and make the team better right now this minute. No one can.