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Cardinals news and notes: Rivalries, settlements, and Cespedes

The Cardinals are content going into 2016 without acquiring a big bat for the outfield, what the Garber settlement means for fans, and why the best rivalry in baseball is right here.

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs are currently playing what was billed beforehand by several scribes as the "greatest regular season NBA game ever."  At the time of typing, the Warriors have a 62-47 halftime lead.  (UPDATE: The Warriors won 120-90, likely disqualifying the game as the greatest ever.)  Because the MLB regular season consists of so many games, it's rare for a single game to take on that sort of anticipation before the first pitch.  Do a Google search of "best regular season MLB games" and you'll come up with nothing and that's because baseball doesn't really work like that.  A few years ago I remember being reasonably excited for much of the day to watch the Detroit Tigers play the Texas Rangers that evening because Justin Verlander and Yu Darvish were facing off and I fell asleep in the third inning.  I have no idea who won.

Here's what happened at VEB on Monday:

Yoenis Cespedes

  • Now that Yoenis Cespedes has signed with the Mets, the last major free agent of this rich offseason is gone and the Cardinals will likely be relying on inexperienced but intriguing in-house options Randal Grichuk, Stephen Piscotty, and Tommy Pham in the outfield along with Matt Holliday.  Craig Edwards wrote why it's not surprising that the risk-averse Cardinals never seemed seriously involved with a complicated player like Cespedes, and that's probably wise.  But given the lack of elite bats in the current Cardinals' lineup, they're taking a sizable risk counting on the inexperience of Grichuk, Piscotty, and Pham.

Nick Plummer

  • Here's the Red Baron's profile on the Cardinals most recent first round draft pick Nick Plummer.  I'm a novice when it comes to prospects and the farm system but Plummer's bat sounds like it's actually worthy of excitement.  And this caught my eye from the article:
As a cold-weather player (Michigan), who played his high school ball in a league that begins all players with a 1-1 count...
Beginning with a 1-1 count in organized ball is an actual thing?  I had no idea.

National League Central

  • Craig explained why the Cardinals vs. Cubs rivalry is currently the best in baseball and he's correct.  This has always been a great rivalry because of the fan bases, especially from a geography standpoint where Buzz Bissinger noted in Three Nights in August the two teams battle for territorial rights.  But now, perhaps for the first time, they're both competitive on the field and in the front office.  The most valuable hitter and pitcher for the Cardinals in 2015 now play for the Cubs.  Whatever bad blood exists now is only going to be amplified going forward.  It's fair to say 2016 is going to be fun.  And any time a "best" argument is made on behalf of a rivalry, fans from other teams are quick to react calmly.
  • So the Cardinals and Cubs have the best rivalry in baseball and to top it off, as Lil Scooter noted, the NL Central is a bit weird right now.  Revisit Grant Brisbee's column from last Friday to understand why.

Garber Settlement

  • I took a look at MLB's settlement in the Garber lawsuit and what it means for fans both in-market and out.  If you only want to watch the Cardinals in 2016, won't cost you all that much.  Just make sure you don't live in Iowa.

A Tweet I Liked

Have a great Tuesday, everyone.