La Russter's Millions

I am seriously and late-breakingly jet-lagged, so I've got to make this quick; I've fallen asleep five or six times in the course of writing this sentence. 

Decent AAA LOOGY (Tyler Norrick?) and hazy AA pitching prospect (???) for Jeremy Hermida would have been an interesting play for these Cardinals for the same reason it was for those Red Sox—there has to be some plan to fall back on in the event of a failure to sign one of Jason Bay or Matt Holliday, and this particular ex-top-prospect—who hit a grand slam against the Cardinals in his first MLB at-bat—even coming up on five years since his day in the sun, is a solid low-risk choice. The usual encouraging splits apply: he could be platooned effectively (.792 v. .697) and he'll do better outside of TSFKA Pro Player (.815 v. .721.) Provided there's no pre-existing psychological condition rendering all of this wishcasting moot in five months, this seems like a good move. 

The other marginal outfielder trade from yesterday—that one I don't like quite as much. We'll always have Moneyball, but what gives teams the idea that Mark Teahen hits enough to be a starting outfielder? As a rich man's Eric Hinske he might have a lot of value for a team with a fragile third baseman and a flexible outfield, but he only replaces Jermaine Dye inasmuch as he might have one of Jermaine Dye's bad years. Josh Fields is no prize, and I'm not sure what the Royals are going to do with him except play yet another third baseman out of his depth in left field while trying to get Alex Gordon going, but I'm not sure what problem Mark Teahen solves. 

I've always had a soft spot for Hermida, and—well, I've always had a soft spot for Moneyball, at least. But yesterday's Bobby Abreu deal seems like a more likely eventual route for the Cardinals; if they don't get Holliday I just can't see the payroll staying as low as it is. So I have a question for you, the viewers: what does the Cardinals' last thirty million look like in the offseason? My guess right now, in the non-Holliday division, is that they spread it out; as much as I like John Lackey, I just can't see this organization giving up a first rounder for a guy who's basically the pitcher they thought Kyle Lohse was. 

My guess: they spread it out among the team's current holes, in a way that is both useful and completely, unsatisfyingly boring. Jon Garland/J.J. Putz/Johnny Damon? Come on down.

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