Hot Stove kickoff: The Roster Matrix

2010 ROSTER MATRIX
2009 EDITION

STARTERS BENCH ROTATION PEN
molina c
$4.25m
lugo ut
$400K
carpenter rhp
$14.5m
franklin rhp
$3.25m
pujols 1b
$16m
greene ut
$400K
lohse rhp
$8.9m
mcclellan rhp
$400k
schumaker 2b
$2.5m
mather of
$400K
wainwright rhp
$4.65m
motte rhp
$400K
freese 3b
$400k
jay of
$400K
garcia lhp
$400k
boggs rhp
$400K
ryan ss
$400k
pagnozzi c
$400K
hawksworth rhp
$400k
kinney rhp
$750k
craig lf
$400k
stavinoha of
memphis
lynn rhp
memphis
miller lhp
$2m
rasmus cf
$400k
hoffpauir 2b
memphis
walters rhp
memphis
reyes lhp
$2m
ludwick rf
$5.5m


scherer rhp
memphis
TOTAL
$29.85m
TOTAL
$2m
TOTAL
$28.85m
TOTAL
$9.2m
OVERALL PAYROLL: $69.9m

 

This is, to borrow a phrase from my home state's recent deficit-wrangling, the doomsday matrix; no free agent signings—no minor league free agent signings, for that matter—no long-term deals for players inside our out, no state fair. Luckily for the Cardinals, this skeleton budget is the result of money coming off the books, not being wrung out of it—$17.5 million from Troy Glaus and Khalil Greene, $12 million from Christy Mathewson and Todd Wellemeyer. I borrowed the arbitration guesses from flim's Table of Commitments over in fanposts; other raises, accounting for around $7 million, are due Molina, Carpenter, Lohse, Wainwright, Franklin, and Reyes.

Obviously the team isn't going to look like this, but if the Cardinals pared all the way back this is what they'd get.

Things that won't stand:

  • The free bench. The infield looks good, though Thurston might take a spot from either Tyler Greene (thereby leaving, I don't know, Jason Motte as the second best defensive shortstop on the club [great arm]) or a middle reliever. The outfield—well, that gets to be a problem, especially if the Cardinals don't spend the bulk of their found money resigning Matt Holliday. Mather is coming off a serious wrist injury, and Jon Jay, who hit .281/.338/.394 in the PCL last year, only wishes he was. I imagine one of the spare outfielders will be making the league minimum, but not both. Catching... well, who knows; La Russa seems to prefer a backup catcher who is established in his mediocrity, but he's made room for a no-hit minor leaguer with an inexplicably good reputation in the recent past.
  • Allen Craig, starting outfielder. I get the love for Allen Craig, but I'm not sure I'd blame the Cardinals for this one; his MLE last year, in the best season of his career to this point, was still just .278/.319/.440. He deserves every shot at a bench role, and I'd imagine he gets one, but the Cardinals can't cry poor enough to justify going into the season with a converted third baseman whose MiLB slugger credentials are not fully established as their starter in left field, which is not exactly a tough position to fill.
  • Back-of-the-rotation man-stew. Jaime Garcia should be plugged into the fifth slot, but Hawksworth/Walters et al are just close enough to fifth starter material—fifth starter material being, generally, the stuff they made my Wal-Mart TV stand out of—that the Cardinals should take the chance to fill the fourth spot with one of the relatively high-upside plays Chuck outlined on Sunday. (My personal favorites are Harden [the obvious class of the class, I'd think] and, in lowercase for now, Ben Sheets.)

But this is a solid, cheap base from which the Cardinals can build. If anything, it shows that the Cardinals could theoretically build a team around two high salary guys (say, Pujols and Holliday) and stay above replacement level all the way around. The 2010 Cardinals have, at a glance, four non-bullpen starters who are potentially above average contributors; I have to think that's the baseline for any team employing both Pujols and Holliday. Getting Holliday in the first place made that a little more difficult, but how 2009's draft plays out will be extremely important.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Viva El Birdos

You must be a member of Viva El Birdos to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Viva El Birdos. You should read them.

Join Viva El Birdos

You must be a member of Viva El Birdos to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Viva El Birdos. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker