Wild Wednesdays: Cardinals add Catcher, lose draft pick?

One of the things I hate about having ADD actually helps me immensely when it comes to writing about the Cardinals. Most of the time I have 39..er 40 things rolling around in my head at any given minute and can make life difficult for those around me.

Now that baseball is coming up quick in the rear-view mirror, the itch has returned to continue as the utility blogger here at the CC. That also means balancing work, school, and maybe even some family time if there are enough hours in the day!

But here’s the kicker for those 3 or 4 lucky ones that got past the curious title and annoying first couple of paragraphs. I’m just crazy enough to not have a favorite part of the Birds on the Bat experience. Whether it is February or October, every part of St. Louis baseball gets equal billing in my day.

To brighten up the middle of the week mopes, my focus will be looking at any and all things having to do with the next wave of Cards. The ability to stack the deck, so to speak, has been a specialty for the organization through the draft and also adding seemingly minor pieces in bigger trades.

In my opinion there are few days more exciting than the annual June draft, but that may even be one of the first changes implemented by the new commish. And if some of the most recent rumors are proven to be true, the Cardinals may need to make moves like yesterday’s deal to keep stocking the kitchen.

It took some searching of the archives but going to re-introduce an oldie but goodie (at least to me) to what started this whole experience!

White Smoke

Did St. Louis pull off yet another highway robbery this Winter in taking advantage of a desperate team? Heck, that could describe THE deal instead of the little blurb of picking up come more depth behind the plate. On a side note, I enjoyed reading about the Wainwright trade I included before and how much Heyward can be considered the anti-Drew in nearly every way.

Getting back to the task at hand (see), the newest addition to the Cards as well as the 40-man roster is an interesting case study. Once a highly-regarded prospect for Baltimore, Michael Ohlman hit a bump in the road last year at Double-A and became expendable. That was all the ammunition Mo needed and pulled off the deal without sacrificing any players in return.

Give the young man a follow as he certainly knows from growing up in Florida that the BOTB travel South well very soon. It remains to be seen how the right-handed hitter fits in on the prospect scale, and he very well should start the year down the highway from me for Springfield. A bigger question may not be which player he is blocking, however, since some chatter has the 24-year old needing a position change down the road.

What we do know for now is the most promising part of the equation. Ohlman has overcome some injuries and personal issues to land on the 40-man with a very realistic opportunity to make some noise for the Cardinals. He should get every chance to start and play on a daily basis in the Texas League where the big leagues can come knocking at any time.

Because St. Louis had open spots on the big league roster, Ohlman also doesn’t bump anyone at this time. It should be noted that there is now one open slot remaining, which means it is time for a color change.

Black Smoke

Depending on how you view the rumor mill, any talk concerning one Big Game James can send a person in a multitude of directions. As with many baseball topics, I tend to break things down two ways – how it impacts the big league club and what potential damage it does to the minors.

It was this method that correctly predicted that Tyrell Jenkins may be in play and most definitively will factor in any conversation concerning a certain Philly southpaw.

In the Shields’ situation though, I’m clearly torn by another factor altogether. A main reason why I look forward to the Rule 4 draft so much has to do with one key thing. No matter how the major league Cards are faring, adding a new crop to the table takes center stage. In order to land Big Game, St. Louis would be sacrificing a large piece of the draft pie with the first pick and attached funds.

Would that cripple the reigning NL Central champs? The obvious answer is clearly no especially if the price tag was right for a proven workhorse who also happens to be good friends with another potential off-season target in one Price, David.

Having to give up first round picks to sign key players does mean a greater postseason probability, but it also has a big impact on player development. I would not be able to stand at the pulpit without having to take into consideration where the Cardinals would be without all those first round picks.

Of course a couple of them were just dealt away to Atlanta, but that is the cost of doing business. In my opinion if you make that move before even knowing who is available (looking at you Shelby) the fight is already lost. This is one time that Just Say No Mo means hanging on and letting the others fight over the last ‘Ace’.

Clear Smoke

This tidbit doesn’t even rate a color but will of course get more publicity the closer it gets to June. It will be the last time I refer to it unless there is a managerial change in the next three months. We all know the likelihood of that is on par with the skipper growing facial hair and oh…it is probably best not to bring up any neck tats this time around!

I can think of no better way to signal my return than by echoing the thoughts of the newest St. Louis hopeful. Until next week send your thoughts on where Big-O should start this April to @aprfool79.

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