This is my first post - I'm an avid reader. I think we should give Mozeliak some props considering we are approaching the all star break and the trade rumors are heating up again.
It has been a while since spring training, but I watched mlbtraderumors and the blogs religiously during the winter meetings/offseason. The entire time I was pretty disappointed - and I'm sure I wasn't alone. I wanted to see some very specific action to improve what was a pretty terrible team last year. Outstanding starting pitching - I wanted a trade. Impact bat - I wanted a trade. Nothing really happened that I considered significant.
This is from memory (since I'm lazy and at work), but Mozeliak said a number of things in spring and during the early season that we should validate with the half season results.
- We will be competitive.
- We won't trade Rolen to the Brewers for Dave Bush (action more than words).
- We don't need an impact bat, we have internal options. (Hello Ryan Ludwick!)
- Our starting pitching will be exciting to watch (although we aren't adding starters every month as predicted).
- We will have a surplus to trade with at starting pitching and the outfield.
That is all I can come up with without searching the news archives. However, lets give Mo some credit. He is a solid 3 out of 5, and may yet be right on starters coming back and dealing from a surplus with the starting pitching. We'll see.
He nailed the Rolen trade - pretty impressive. He scouted Ludwick at Colorado (although Ryan didn't play when he went to watch), so I have to think he had him on a short list (but that is my opinion) and may have been involved in signing him. And the cards are more than competitive this year.
On the same note, we are approaching the trade deadline and many people are yelling for Mo to trade Duncan. First, give Mo and La Russa credit for staying with Duncan - the guy looks to be coming out of his customary half season slump. If he can hit 20 homers in the second half, look out. It looks like both Glaus and Ankiel are hitting the long ball - those three can be pretty imposing when coupled with the Mang.
However, I'm sick of seeing the fan posts that list Reyes and Duncan as great trade chips and tout Mather over Duncan. Mather is unproved. Reyes is injured and has been REALLY BAD in the big leagues, minus one Detroit start and one world series start. The only way he gets traded is if the cards are willing to sell low - and every team is slobbering to buy low on someone with Reyes perceived ability. That means we get crap in return, unless we get someone with as high a risk/reward back in return. We aren't going to trade Reyes and Duncan and get Fuentes, Nady, anyone worth what we want.
As for complaining about Duncan - he is in an elite club with Pujols as the only Cardinal to hit 20 or more homers in their first 2 full seasons. Duncan has also hit consistently at the major league level. I hate nepotism as much as the next guy, but Duncan could stand on his own in any organization in the big leagues.
Look at Daric Barton's stats - one of the chips in THAT trade - and you can see Duncan's first full year was incredibly superior (although Dunc was older).
While Barton is not an outfielder (is Duncan?), I think that Oakland would love to have Duncan's first year as a major leaguer over Barton's first full year so far.
My point? Mozeliak is building legitimacy. I'm willing to trust the guy a little more now based on this half season. Also, the trade deadline is coming, and the rumors are starting to pile up. Matt Holiday? Fuentes? What I've seen from Mo says no way to selling the farm for either of these guys.
I would guess if a deal is done it will be from a position of strength - catcher and outfield. I would guess that we will see Anderson or one of our outfield (maybe even Skip or Ludwick) traded for a cost controlled lefty, not a rental. And we should be looking at teams that have a desire for either catcher or outfield. I will rate outfield higher - Anderson is not ready for a role in the big leagues yet, so he is not a typical 'shore up a position for a playoff run' type trade.
Here is my prediction - an active roster outfielder and a prospect or two for a cost controlled lefty. I would guess Rays, but you never know. Who else needs outfileders?
I could be wrong, but so far Mo has been above average and we should give him some trust going into the trade deadline.