The Offseason


The Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series less than two weeks ago, and yet it seems like we haven’t watched baseball in months.  This is the time of year that I have to suffer through the other professional sports, getting by on college football, and counting the days until pitchers and catchers report.  I share this sentiment:

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball.  I’ll tell you what I do.  I stare out the window and wait for spring.” – Rogers Hornsby

If you’re anything like me, you spend a ton of time each winter day scouring the internet for the latest baseball news, hoping your team made a splash in the free agent market, or landed a coveted player in trade.  You spend a lot of time contemplating who’ll be invited to Spring Training, how the injured players are recovering, and how the roster might shape up.

Well Cardinal fans, I’ll be on top of it all winter, and will do my best to pass on all the information to you.  You can count on the whole United Cardinal Bloggers gang too. We started this baseball-less time with the roundtable discussions, and there’s plenty more stuff to come, including the second installment of the Cardinal Blogger Awards, and we’re kicking off a Blog Talk Radio show later this week.  It should be a lot of fun.

So what’s been going on with the team?  You’ve heard the old news:  Albert Pujols and Chris Carpenter had surgery.  Jason LaRue will be back.  Mark Mulder will not. Yadier Molina finally won his first Gold Glove, while Pujols added plenty to his trophy case. And of course, the Cards aren’t getting Jake Peavy.

What’s new?  Well for starters, the potential trade for Colorado Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday was a bust.  Joe Strauss, of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, broke the story early Monday morning.  Today, we learned that the Oakland A’s are close to a deal for the slugger.

I’ve got to say, while I was definitely excited about Holliday wearing the Birds on the Bat, I’m glad that Mozeliak didn’t pull the trigger on this one, especially if the reports on the player package were accurate.  Also, Holliday’s contract status would have thrown a wrench into the club’s flexibility plan, possibly leaving some of the other roster holes unfilled.

The final eligible Cardinal filed for free agency today.  Juan Encarnacion was the last, but the filing was merely a formality, as his injury will prevent him from playing next year, and likely, ever again.  Matthew Leach has more.  Let’s wish Juan well.

Cardinals’ third base coach Jose Oquendo is in the news.  He’ll be one of several candidates to interview for the available managers job in Seattle.  Chris Haft has the full story.  I think Oquendo is due for a bigger gig, so if he wants it, I hope he gets the job.  On the other hand, I can’t help but to think about what his absence would mean to the Cards.  The Secret Weapon is a great third base coach, and an even better infield instructor.  What’s your take?

That’s it for now, but check back tomorrow, when I’ll start analyzing some of the other rumored trade scenarios, as well as update you on the upcoming UCB events.