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Winter Meetings Wrap-Up

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Have to be brief here—next week is finals week, which means that this weekend is complete-final-papers weekend. Miscellany:

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Luis Perdomo was taken in the Rule 5 draft yesterday, and if the San Francisco Giants manage to string together enough trips to the DL with shoulder indifference and dead eye to keep him on the 25-man the entire year that will be that for the Anthony Reyes trade. 

This is all I want to say about that: in 2007 four right-handed relievers in Perdomo's age group with similar levels of success were selected in the first five picks. Seven more were taken out of the remaining thirteen choices. Fringy right-handed relievers, all, with something to recommend them and some ding that kept them off the 40 man. Nice players to get for free. There were eight more selected this year, and I bet some of them will become big league successes, too.

There were zero players like Anthony Reyes available in the Rule 5 draft, which is a shame because the Cardinals could really use some starting pitching depth. It's funny, but there tend to be a lot more Luis Perdomo types in the Rule 5 than there are Anthony Reyes types.

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Jeff Gordon boards the Fuentes Train. I like Gordo just fine most of the time, but this quote exemplifies everything that has caused violent argument here over the last two days. 

But Fuentes offers a tremendous and immediate opportunity to add talent without subtracting talent. The Cards have the payroll space to take on one more eight-digit salary.

Now I was only a journalism major for a short period of time, and I failed out of the discipline, so I can't exactly speak from a place of booming authority. But during the three semesters I was in the program I was required by the J-school to take an entry-level Economics course, better known as the course after which college students everywhere immediately believe they know all there is to know about economics. And I've got to imagine Jeff Gordon had to take this same one.

Anyway, the first concept we talked about was, of course, opportunity cost, and Gordo here seems to just not bother with it at all even though the two sentences lay out the cost quite nicely. The Cardinals have room for one more eight-digit salary. If you sign Brian Fuentes—and I'm not even going to get into draft picks—you are subtracting one hypothetical $10 million player from the team, unless you think DeWitt is going to just pocket the money unless he gets His Man. This patch of ground has been trodden so many times on here that you can't even see the dead horse underneath it anymore, but I guess it makes just as little sense now as it did yesterday. 

Meanwhile, the P-D's status report today will provide no clarity for anybody on either side of this discussion. From the piece it's not clear enough for Fuentes fans to know the Cardinals have done anything but lowball him, but if you're of the opinion that the Cardinals should hand the closer role to an internal candidate Strauss's phrasing—he has the team "in hot pursuit" of a relief pitcher—will offer you no comfort.

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Finally, there've been a lot of sharp comments over the last few days, which is understandable, given the (relative) stakes surrounding this end of the Cardinals payroll.

But as our quarterly reminder let me just say that the best thing about VEB's community, besides its size and intelligence, is its tone, which is thoughtful and measured not just as far as blogs go but as far as large groups of sports fans go. So let's keep the personal and the needlessly harsh to a minimum. As the membership agreement says, "please follow the Golden Rule of blog posting: Before hitting 'submit' to post your remarks, ask yourself: 'Would I be embarrassed to say this in front of strangers who were physically present in the room with me and could respond to my face?'"

Every time I trot this out my eyes jump to the last line and I somehow read "hit me in my face." And I suppose that also works.