Freese To Yankees And Other Tales

With the general managers getting together this week, it’s not surprising that the rumor mill might get a little more active.  We’ve already seen a day full of Troy Tulowitzki talk, so things had to move on to new waters to stay fresh.

Those waters were in New York, apparently, as David Freese‘s name came up.  According to reports, the Yankees were looking at the Imo’s pitchman to be insurance in case Alex Rodriguez missed the entire year due to his PED suspension.  No names were reported from the Yankees’ side of things, though there was a brief rumor/idea of a three-way deal with Colorado, where the Cards would get Tulowitzki, the Yanks Freese and the Rockies prospects.  Can’t imagine that that kind of deal would be workable, but you never know, I guess.

I honestly don’t think much of this rumor anyway.  I have no doubt the Yanks inquired for exactly the stated reason.  However, I can’t see John Mozeliak pulling the trigger on something like that for a number of reasons.  First, Freese’s value is low right now and it becomes even lower when the team he would be traded to can’t guarantee that he’ll start.  In fact, the Yankees would prefer he didn’t, since that means Rodriguez would be eligible.  Put those together and you are looking at, what, maybe a Double-A prospect?  Not necessarily a highly rated one either.

Secondly, if Freese is going to be an insurance bat for someone, it would make more sense for him to do it on the team he’s already on.  We know that there’s no guarantee Freese will be starting in St. Louis next year, but he is under team control (well, he’s arbitration-eligible) and the idea of Freese as a significant bench bat and occasional fill-in for the Cards has merit.  Why give up on Freese just to have to go find a guy like him?

Thirdly, I think there is some loyalty in this organization.  If Freese could be traded to a place where they knew he’d be the starter, they’d probably do it.  Since they aren’t in a place where they need to cut him, though, there’s no reason just to ship him off and put him in a situation that’s potentially worse than the one he is leaving.  There’s no reason the Cardinals have to trade him, so they can wait and see if it’s a situation that works for them and for Freese.

Freese will no likely be the subject of trade rumors for much of the winter and I’m not saying the Cards are definitely keeping him.  I just think that if they do move him, it’ll be a better situation for both of them than this Yankee deal is.

Speaking of trades, Mozeliak reportedly turned down J.J. Hardy for Shelby Miller.  There’s a reason we have the mantra In Mo We Trust, because he continues to make very smart decisions.  Not saying that anyone else would have jumped on that, but some GMs just might have.  A significant upgrade for a pitcher that (to the public) seems to have fallen out of favor?  With Hardy being a free agent at the end of the year, though, that’s not the kind of improvement you trade Miller for, if you are going to trade him.

Couple of awards the last few nights.  Mike Matheny was fourth on the NL Manager of the Year list, garnering four seconds and seven thirds.  Would have thought he might do better (though given the fact MLB now releases the top three finishers beforehand, knew he couldn’t be any higher) but there were a lot of good stories for people to choose from this year.

Unsurprisingly, Adam Wainwright was second to Clayton Kershaw in the NL Cy Young voting that was released last night.  It was interesting to see that Wainwright did get a first place vote and it was from a Reds writer.  Given the two disastrous outings Waino had against the Reds late in the season, that’s a bit of a shock.  If you’d like to support Waino and, more importantly, Waino’s charitable foundation, Joe Sports Fan has something for you.

It’s a couple of days old now, but Bengie Molina has left St. Louis for Texas, becoming their first base coach and catching instructor.  It’s a step up the coaching ladder for Molina and he spent a number of years with the Rangers, so you can’t fault him for that.  Jenifer Langosch pointed out that the Cards could use this time to make a different coaching move rather than another assistant hitting coach.  I suggested on Twitter Chris Carpenter for assistant pitching coach, but I have a feeling Carp is going to be less prominent this season.  He’ll be fully retired and I bet he does the family thing.  We may see him occasionally, but I don’t expect he’s ready to jump right back into the full-time grind that coaching provides.

Looks like Dave Duncan is going to take that Diamondbacks job after all.  It’s interesting that it’s not a coaching position but more an overall “director of pitching” administrative-type role.  Dunc has a chance to put his fingerprints on another organization which, given the way Chase Field plays, could be huge if he could get them to be the groundball-focused squad that he had in St. Louis.  Best to him and hopefully this will work out splendidly for him.

The Exit Interviews continue this afternoon and if you haven’t voted in the Cardinal Blogger Awards, you need to!

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