Like most January Twenty-Sixes, there was not a lot of living, breathing baseball news of which to speak yesterday. But I see no reason that we shouldn't pretend there was. Especially with all of the PIPING HOT BASEBALL CONTENT found on Viva El Birdos yesterday.
Jaime Garcia in 2016
Craig Edwards wrote about Jaime Garcia and his role with the Cardinals going into 2016. Garcia, as noted in the post, is an interesting case, since going into 2015, Jaime Garcia was a gigantic question mark. Even through May 21, when Garcia made his 2015 debut, the questions persisted, but he was effective and logged 129 2/3 innings, pulling off a 2.43 season ERA and a 3.00 FIP. And while those numbers over a full season unencumbered by injuries may be a bit lofty of a goal, Garcia could prove to be a valuable asset for the 2016 Cardinals.
Jonathan Broxton in the bullpen
Joe Schwarz examined Jonathan Broxton, who I did not realize until reading this post signed the second-largest contract of the offseason behind that of Mike Leake. While Broxton will likely be used in middle relief, a less glamorous role than will be held by a Trevor Rosenthal or Kevin Siegrist, Joe points out in far more sophisticated pitching phraseology than I could provide how Broxton could serve as an effective bullpen arm in 2016, and that some of Broxton's struggles in 2015 could have been influenced by bad luck rather than an inherently diminished commodity.
Should Matt Carpenter hit leadoff?
Lil Scooter set up a poll to answer the question on many minds lately, where Matt Carpenter should bat in the order in 2016. It's easy to forget now that in 2013, it took a bit of cajoling to convince more traditional fans that the not-particularly-fast Carpenter should bat leadoff. And while Carpenter remains an effective leadoff hitter in the 21st-century high-OBP mold, the power which emerged in 2015 also makes him a viable candidate for other premium spots in the order. Ideally, human cloning will be perfected soon and Matt Carpenter will occupy all nine lineup spots. We'll worry about the defense later.
Why not to fear opt-outs
Ben Markham, with the help of many helpful graphics and tables, explained why the Cardinals should be willing to offer contracts with opt-out clauses for players. While my natural reaction to player options is resistance, Ben outlines the primary reasons why opt-outs are not inherently bad for the team--namely that market values of players are increasing in the near future and that even if these opt-outs create what are simply short contracts, these are not bad things for players in the primes of their careers.
The future of MLB cable deals
I wrote about the evolving landscape of Major League Baseball's cable deals and how there is an increasing risk of the league driving away potential young fans. In the 21st century, with cable companies relying heavily on live sports for revenue but with consumers less willing to spend top dollar on cable services with lower-cost streaming options available, there is an increasing risk that young fans will be priced out of exposure to baseball, thus leading to fewer fans down the road.
Have a wonderful and fantastic January 27th, folks.