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What's the deal with Schmidt?

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Update [2006-12-6 14:18:9 by Valatan]:apparently, Schmidt has told a few people that he's going to the Dodgers. No official deal announced.

For those that missed it, Joe Strauss has the Cardinals among the final few suitors for Jason Schmdit, though the offer, reported somewhere between 3/$30M-$34.5M seems a little low relative to this market. Since Strauss says that DeWitt has given Jocketty authority to loosen the purse strings a little, let's assume that Jocketty comes back with an offer that's something like $45/3, which is much closer to what the rumored value of the guy would be. With that signing, the Cardinals would be done for this offseason, or very close to it. The roster matrix would look like:

2007 ROSTER MATRIX
GET SCHMIDT SCENARIO

STARTING 8 BENCH ROTATION PEN
molina c
$600K
taguchi of
$1m
carpenter rhp
$8.5m
is'hausen rhp
$9M
pujols 1b
$15m
spiezio ut
$2.3m
reyes rhp
$350K
looper rhp
$4.5m
kennedy 2b
$2.5m
bennett c
$900K
k wells rhp
$4m
kinney rhp
$350K
rolen 3b
$12m
miles if
$400K
Schmidt rhp
$15M
johnson lhp
$350K
eckstein ss
$4.5m
j-rod of
$400K
Wainwright rhp
350K
flores lhp
$500K
duncan lf
$350K
schumaker of
memphis
narveson lhp
memphis
hancock rhp
$350k
edmonds cf
$8m
marrero ut
memphis
---
---
thompson rhp
$400k
en'cion rf
$5m
ryan 2b
memphis
---
---
rincon lhp
$1.5m
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
TOTAL
$48.0m
TOTAL
$5.0m
TOTAL
$28.7m
TOTAL
$17m
OVERALL PAYROLL: $98.2

I moved Wainwright to the rotation, as I see that as a much more sensible option than moving Looper to the rotation, as apparently Tony has indicated that the latter option hasn't been ruled out (See a diary on the topic here). This leaves the team under the reported $100M payroll total, and with reasonable spare parts on the bench, 'pen and Memphis in the case that injuries befall the starting thirteen. This matrix has 26 players on the roster, but the set of relievers that makes the cut will depend on Tony's whim in spring training, anyway, so pick your favorite reliever to send to Memphis. One thing to note is that the signing of Schmidt essentially requires that a player currently in the Cardinals employ will be the fifth guy rounding out the rotation. Even if it's Looper. $2.5-$5M just isn't going to buy someone else in this market. more below the flip.

So, you may ask, what if the Cardinals instead re-up on Suppan and sign Miguel Batista. I'll assume that sups will get approximately $11M over three years or so, while Batista will get around $24/3. This would shake out like this:

2007 ROSTER MATRIX
FILL OUT THE ROTATION

STARTING 8 BENCH ROTATION PEN
molina c
$600K
taguchi of
$1m
carpenter rhp
$8.5m
wainwright rhp
$350K
pujols 1b
$15m
spiezio ut
$2.3m
reyes rhp
$350K
looper rhp
$4.5m
kennedy 2b
$2.5m
bennett c
$900K
k wells rhp
$4m
kinney rhp
$350K
rolen 3b
$12m
miles if
$400K
Suppan rhp
$11M
johnson lhp
$350K
eckstein ss
$4.5m
j-rod of
$400K
Batista rhp
$8M
flores lhp
$500K
duncan lf
$350K
schumaker of
memphis
narveson lhp
memphis
hancock rhp
$350k
edmonds cf
$8m
marrero ut
memphis
---
---
thompson rhp
$400k
en'cion rf
$5m
ryan 2b
memphis
---
---
rincon lhp
$1.5m
---
---
---
---
---
---
is'hausen rhp
$9m
TOTAL
$48.0m
TOTAL
$5.0m
TOTAL
$31.9m
TOTAL
$17.3m
OVERALL PAYROLL: $102.2

And this is why I think it would be wise to sign either Schmidt or Zito if it is at all possible--although this scenario keeps Wainwright in the bullpen, it is an all-around weaker team, and inexplicably costs more, as well. This team would be less able to pick up someone in September, and though it would be less dependent on Izzy coming back on time and effective, would also have a lower maximum level of play. Even if it costs a couple more million per on Schmidt's contract, I think management would be crazy to not go with something like the first matrix. By the way, I know that I already advocated going and getting Zito. I still stand by that, but the Schmidt signing just looks more likely now. I would think that substituting Barry for Jason would result in a very similar matrix, anyway.