Byung-Ho No? St. Louis Cardinals Miss Out on Slugger
Not that I had any preconceptions that the St. Louis Cardinals would pay out the nose just for the chance to spend more millions on a foreign player, but apparently Korean first baseman Byung-Ho Park will be playing elsewhere should he play in the Major Leagues next year.
Buried near the bottom of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch column Joe Strauss‘ piece today was this little nugget. Note the tail end of the paragraph:
"The team’s cleanup hitters stood last in the NL with a .713 on-base-plus-slugging percentage; No. 5 Sorry, Boston. Looks like you’re stuck with Hanley Ramirez. Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sportsbats amassed a .678 OPS, better only than the Miami Marlins. First base became the equivalent of right field in 2014 as the traditional production spot ranked last in the league with a .702 OPS. (The NL average at the position stood at .807.) One needn’t cannonball into the alphabet soup of OPS+, WAR, RAR and BABIP to see the issue. Mozeliak’s critical determination is how much injuries to Holliday and first baseman Matt Adams factored and to what degree a maturing Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk can address the void. Piscotty and Grichuk own a combined 666 major-league at-bats, a devilishly small sample size. Concern is great enough that the Cardinals tendered an unsuccessful bid for Korean first baseman Byung-Ho Park."
Okaaaay. There was indeed speculation on the Cardinals and GM John Mozeliak turning in a bid for Park. Korean players are safer risks to take now that Jung-Ho Kang has made a name for himself with the Pittsburgh Pirates. But no reports have surfaced yet to confirm which team actually won the bidding process. Here’s the latest from MLBTradeRumors.com, which is already going the process-of-elimination route:
"SATURDAY: Neither the Indians nor the Tigers submitted the winning bid for Park, via MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian and MLive.com’s Chris Iott (on Twitter). The Indians did bid for Park, although their bid came up short; the Tigers did not bid for him. The Rangers are not the team either, via a tweet from MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. The Orioles, who looked like a potential fit for Park, were outbid and will not be signing him, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets. The Padres did not win the bidding either, according to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune (on Twitter). Meanwhile, Jeff Passan of Yahoo tweets that the Red Sox did not win the bid and will stick with Hanley Ramirez at first base."
Honestly, I don’t doubt Strauss. Note MLBTradeRumors.com didn’t include the New York Yankees on the checklist of teams that didn’t win the $12.85 million bid. I feel pretty confident we’ll get confirmation that the St. Louis Cardinals are on that checklist by the end of the weekend.
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That’s fine. Park is just a distraction from the guy Mozeliak — and all of Cardinal Nation — is focusing on. Unfortunately, so are the Yankees. #HeywardWatch