Now that we know that there will not be anymore signings, I think its a good time to take a preliminary look at how we feel about the Cards offseason. (I think that's an okay way of wording it)
- Kyle Lohse - Re-signed for 4 years/$41 million. Of course, this is a bit pricey and it probably would have served the Cards well to be a bit more gun shy, but then again he is a Boras guy so this doesn't look as bad compared to the deals Silva, Meche, etc received.
- Khalil Greene - Acquired for Mark Worrell and PTBNL. An absolute steal in my opinion. There was a time when I was a bit concerned who the PTBNL would be, but after watching Khalil play, I'm comfortable with it regardless of who it winds up being. I think we'll get that Khalil who is somewhere at the midway point of the 2007 and 2008 versions of himself. Also, HUGE upgrade from Izturis' bat.
- Jason LaRue - Re-signed for $950,000. Not a bad deal. I like his defense, but he doesn't offer too much offensively (not that he's supposed to). Still, he did hike his batting average 65 points from 2007 (.148) to 2008 (.213). That's gotta be worth an extra hundred thousand.
- Dennys Reyes - Signed 2 years/$3 Million. Again, I have to say, this looks like a bit of a steal. Reyes has been one the best lefties in the game for 3 seasons now. Especially good deal when compared to Affeldt (2 years/$8 million).
- Trever Miller - Signed for 1 year $500,000 + incentives. I think it was a very wise move on Mo's part to restructure the original offer. I'm somewhat suprised Trever accepted, given the fact that he said the injury hasn't affected him at all. Either A.) he knew that his arm would eventually blow out, B.) he knew the economy would prevent him from getting a better offer, or C.) He really, really wanted to be a Cardinal. No matter, he's better than Flores.
- Joe Thurston - Signed to minor league contract. Tony should love this guy because he can play the outfield, too. It's interesting that he's getting chances at 3rd base, considering he's never played there before, but I take that as Tony looking for more reasons to justify a spot for him on the team. Though, it would be better if he could play a little SS. I'm concerned that a roster spot for Thurston means 4 MIF's again. I'm a little up in the air on this one, but I like the depth he provides better than say...Rico Washington.
- Skip Schumaker - Converted to second base. A lot of us pushed for this idea for a while and I was extremely suprised when they announced they were gonna try it. We've seen some good and we've seen some bad from him, but I think we can all agree that this is worth a try. If he can be decent at 2B than this is a major offensive upgrade from Kennedy. And it creates room for a major offensive upgrade in the outfield. We will basically be swapping out Adam Kennedy for Chris Duncan/Colby Rasmus.
- Aaron Miles - Signed with Cubs 2 years/$4.9 Million. I may be in the minority on this one, but I think Aaron was worth that money. I was disappointed that he left (especially for the Cubs). It concerns me that the Cardinals don't have a proven starting 2nd basemen if Skip fails to convert.
- Jason Isringhausen - Signed minor league deal with Rays. I breathed a major sigh of relief when I heard about this. I would like to see him back in a Cards uniform someday as a coach, but 2 of his last 3 seasons were absolutely dreadful.
- Adam Kennedy - Released and signed minor league deal with Rays. We all know about his defense, but there was no way this was gonna work. He had to go and I think the Cards made the right move (the only move?) to release him. Like Miles, I would've liked to have had him around in case Project Skip fails.
- Russ Springer - Signed with A's for 1 year/3.5 Million. I hate to see him go, but I really don't think he was necessary for this team. I think age is gonna catch up with him this season, so I think the Mo dodged a bullet on this one.
- Braden Looper - Signed with Brewers for $4.75 Million. Possibly another dodged bullet. Looper hurt himself sneezing this spring. I'm not sure of the severity of his injury, but I know thats 1 more injury than is being reported by the cards current starting 5.
- Matt Holliday - Traded to A's. I don't know why the cards were inquiring on him in the first place, but I'm glad he's not heading this way. Too much disparity in the home/road splits for me to feel comfortable paying him $13.5 million.
- Brian Fuentes - Signed with Angels. In a perfect world he would have been saint louis bound on a one year deal. From what I understand the cards actually offered more money for him than the angels. Either way, glad this didn't happen for multiple years.
- Kelly Johnson - No way would I have traded Ludwick for him.
- Ben Sheets - We are sorry, Mo.
All in all, not a great offseason, but certainly not a bad one. I think this team is improved enough to make the playoffs.....If Carpenter stays healthy. So, it basically feels a lot like last season, I would've like to have seen them acquire a durable #2/3 guy for the rotation to provide protection, but who knows maybe Joel Pineiro takes the league by storm.....(pause for effect).....(crickets)..... I think I'd give them an overall grade of a B- for making some nice moves but not doing enough to put themselves over the top...what do you guys think?