2015 is rapidly closing, and with Christmas coming on Friday, it's easy to get distracted from your job. A lot of you are probably either taking vacation days or you're attending schools which are on Winter Break this week. And even if you still have to go to work this week, you'll probably find yourself a bit distracted. I know I will. And while I wouldn't fault MLB front offices for doing the same, there's still plenty of time for teams to pick up a last-minute Christmas gift for its fans.
While the Cardinals didn't do any shopping this weekend, the malls were crowded and really at this point you're probably just buying somebody a gift card anyway and you can just go to a gas station or something to pick those up if you really want. At least they didn't sign a free agent and later announce that actually they had signed a different free agent.
I don't know where this metaphor is going. Here's some stuff that happened over the weekend.
Cardinals pursuing Jake Odorizzi?
- On Saturday, Jon Morosi of MLB Network and Fox Sports reported that the Cardinals had engaged in trade talks with the Tampa Bay Rays regarding a starting pitcher, adding that Jake Odorizzi, perhaps a logical target for the Cardinals, is from the St. Louis area (to put it in the most St. Louis terms possible, he is a graduate of Highland High School in Highland, IL). Odorizzi is known for being involved with two high profile trades which helped build the World Series champion Kansas City Royals--the one which brought him to Kansas City (as well as two members of their everyday lineup, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar), and the one which sent him to Tampa Bay with others for a return which included 2014 ace James Shields and relief stalwart Wade Davis. He has a career ERA of 3.77 and career FIP of 3.73 in 374 1/3 innings.
- In light of this new rumor, the red baron looked at Odorizzi and weighed his potential value and cost compared to signing Mike Leake and compared to sticking with internal options. As a new potential target emerges, there's more than ever to weigh, and RB covers it in depth.
Appreciate what you have, people!
- Lil Scooter is sick and tired of all this "the Cardinals' window is closing" nonsense, and she's not afraid to show you graphs to prove it isn't. The truth is that the Chicago Cubs have a once-in-a-generation assembly of young, cost-controlled talent and by comparison, there are 29 creaky geezers of teams who need a miracle to top the most unstoppable NL pennant inevitability since the 2015 Nationals or the 2011 Phillies. But that doesn't mean the Cardinals are uniquely behind; in fact, they have a lot to be excited about going forward.
- In light of the release of 2016 Steamer projections, Nick Lampe analyzed the projections and where they may fall short in properly evaluating the team. Projections are fun and because they are statistically rigid and not influenced by emotion and can often cut through some of the less quantifiable analysis, but they also spit out results which seem unlikely (I'm a bit of a Stephen Piscotty fanboy, granted, but 1.0 fWAR for a full season as a starter seems low), so it is refreshing to see Nick compartmentalize it all.
- I wrote about Jhonny Peralta and how his poor second half of 2015 may have been a BABIP-influenced aberration. Also, I just generally gush about my appreciation for the weirdness that is his career.
- After word came out that Matt Holliday is working out at first base, Alex Crisafulli considered the doors that a move to first base could open for the Cardinals, as the slick-fielding free agent left fielder Alex Gordon would make more sense. Personally, I love that they're at least trying this. It's entirely possible that Holliday will be such a disaster working out at first that it won't be worth the trouble, in which case he will still be the everyday left fielder for 2016. But if Holliday can even be a subpar but not disastrous defensive first baseman, he gives new flexibility to the club.
The podcast is back
- Hopefully, Season 2 of Serial enjoyed its eight-day run as the hottest commodity in podcasting, because the Viva El Birdos podcast is back. In it, Craig Edwards and RB discussed a whole host of Cardinals topics and with the return of the show, long commute havers such as myself can rejoice, as we can now experience VEB (safely) while driving.