"I've got a secret to tell you."
In reality, I don't and apparently no one in the front office does right now either. Albert Pujols is negotiating what has the potential to be the largest contract in the history of the game right now. True to their word, neither side is making anything of substance about the negotiations public. That strikes me as remarkable in the modern age of gossip and media.
It's not that I think Joe Strauss and Derrick Goold and Matthew Leach are all actually in the dark regarding the process. I'm sure they've got someone close to the whole thing who has at least given them an indication as to whether the two sides are making progress or not. The Cardinals front office is, and has been for years, very good at not releasing information they don't want released. Some of that involves, for better or worse, leaning on your local reporters from time to time.
I'm not even sure I have anything profound to point out from this observation. I warned you in advance that I'm taking the week off from insightfulness. Rather I just find myself impressed with the ability of a front office to keep a secret. It seems uncommon in the age of the internet and 24/7 media.
[Updates in the jump section]
The Cardinals have made some minor dealings in the last few days signing pitchers Miguel Batista and Ian Snell with infielder Ramon Vasquez. I don't see these players actually making the roster but I admit to the smallest nagging doubt about these. As Tom said yesterday, "I love when mysterui's mom goes . . . " wait, wait, wait, that's not the quote I'm looking for. "there's almost no such thing as a bad minor league pickup." This is true.
Unfortunately, the pessimistic side of me, which, if I'm being honest, is all of me, is just a little concerned by these minor league signings. Let's set aside Snell who I think is actually a really intriguing pickup and focus on Miguel Batista and Ramon Vasquez.
Batista was linked to the Cardinals about 4 years ago when he was, you know, 36 and still something of a viable pitcher. He's not now. At age 40, even if Dave Duncan whips out his bag of pitching pixie dust, we shouldn't count on anything from Batista. I've heard it said in some quarters -- 101 ESPN's 'The Fast Lane', I'm looking at you -- that he could be an interesting long reliever but, like virtually every year, we don't need one of those. I can cope with it at times but it is an incredibly superfluous position given modern roster construction. Miguel Batista doesn't have anything left to contribute on the field.
Ramon Vasquez last played in 2009. Now, it's possible that players can miss some time and still be productive after a year off. Vasquez hasn't played, however, in 2 years and he wasn't any good then either.
I'll try not to belabor this point but what I'm driving at is that while we don't want to see these players on the St. Louis squad, I don't much want to see them in Memphis either. The provide the illusion of depth through veteranicity and that leaves me ever so slightly concerned that a) they could squeak on the team and b) we aren't building the kind of depth we should with these deals. It's nothing to get too worked up about but this is a blog and if I didn't share every nugget of doubt or concern about the team, I'd get fired.
Ian Snell on the other hand seems like a decent depth move. ZiPS likes him for a 5.11 ERA, which would put him behind Bryan Augenstein (still not sure I understand why ZiPS likes him so much), Lance Lynn, Kyle Lohse and PJ Walters but ahead of players like Adam Ottavino and Brandon Dickson. The reality is that a group like that is going to be very similar and any in season need for depth will likely be made based on the recent history (read: 2011 performance) to decide who gets called up. This pickup seems astute to me especially as I"m not a believer in Walters or, to a lesser extent, Lynn.
* * *
Random Things In My Head:
- The Green Hornet is not nearly as bad as I expected but I'd advise falling asleep during the middle half hour. You won't miss a thing.
- Cameron Diaz has not aged well based on The Green Hornet.
- Jennifer Aniston makes terrible movies, Just Go With It being the latest, but she looks stunning at the age of 41.
- I'm still curious what book Hazel wound up buying as the Christmas present.
- The Oakleys I bought as a "reward" for getting LASIK are just as great as I'd hoped they'd be. They fit like a glove and the shape of the lens blocks the wind from my eyes perfectly during runs (and, presumably, cycling).
- I have two CDs in my car that I listen to. I love the radio and I'm a sucker for what most deem as crappy pop music but Matt Nathanson's Some Mad Hope and The Fray's self titled disc remain regulars in my CD player.
- I've read nearly 10,000 pages in the last 7 weeks. This seems excessive but part of it was a bet, which I won, and part of it was that Steven Erikson's The Malazan Book of the Fallen series are my favorite books to date.
- I have no idea how anyone could claim that Daniel Descalso has better strike zone discipline than Matt Carpenter. That seems like the trappings of a bad process to me. I wasn't the first one on the MCarp bandwagon but I seem to be one of the louder ones now.
Join us next week at the same bot time, same bot place!
* * *