St. Louis Cardinals: Mock winter meetings start on Monday

It seems that many people have ideas on how to make the St. Louis Cardinals better. Next week, we’re gonna figure out how that might happen. Announcing the FanSided MLB Winter Meetings.

The St. Louis Cardinals need to improve their club. But 29 other clubs also want to make their teams better as well. This is the business of the winter and this is what we have all been waiting with bated breath for with no resolution– yet. If the ball were in our hands (or your hands), the end result might have occurred sooner. So let’s test that theory…

Starting on Monday morning, Dr. Michael D. Miles and Tito Rivera, our resident Faux General Managers will be attempting to out-think/out-trade/out-maneuver their peers representing all 30 teams in a ‘simulation’ of the real Winter Meetings that will take place two weeks later in Orlando.

Our initial target list: Giancarlo Stanton, a closer, potential number-five starter, and the list goes on and on.

Here are the general ground rules to which all of our GMs must adhere:

  • Honor the 40-man roster in its current form, as of this weekend.
  • Hold within 15% of last season’s opening day payroll, as reported by COTS.
  • Some teams will be under more or less restrictions on their budget based on public statements made this off-season. The Marlins, for instance, are definitely going lower.
  • Trades will largely target major league talent and the prospects associated with major league deals.
  • Our Commissioner will do a final sanity check on trades before approving them, but both sides need to come together first with terms.

Options have already exercised, Qualifying offers have been made (and rejected), Rule 5 decisions have been made, and coaching staffs are in place… so we have more-or-less reached a good point to do this.

The FAQ

When is this happening?

  • Start: Monday November 27th at Noon EST.
  • End: Wednesday, November 29th at 9PM EST.

What about free agents?

  • We have an ‘Uber player agent’ who will arbitrate offers and choose winning clubs among the bidders.

What about somebody like Shohei Ohtani?

  • As a special case, we’re going to treat him a bit differently. Bids are already being taken for his services, and a winner will be selected just prior to the official start of our event… with the announcement to be made Monday morning.

What if a real-life trade happens next week?

  • The GMs involved are encouraged to debate among themselves as to whether they would like to engage in the same deal. They may already have done something different that they felt was better for their club(s) and thus may choose to reject the real deal.
  • That said, we will take care to report ‘fake’ deals as fake and real deals as real to try and not confuse the issue!

Can we extend contracts?

  • Sure – they will be evaluated by ‘the agent’ as a player might do in real life and then accepted or rejected accordingly.

How about other transactions?

  • General Managers are free to DFA a player, release a player, claim a player that somebody released, announce tender/non-tender decisions, and just about anything else they feel is necessary. The only real restrictions (other than the rules above) are that we’re asking them to avoid minor-leaguer-for-minor-leaguer deals.

Flurries of Activity

Faux GMs all over the FanSided MLB network have already been chatting about potential deals for the past couple of weeks, so I expect that we’re going to have a bunch of transactions to announce right away on Monday afternoon.

You can certainly play along, too, with your comments about what these team reps did right, what they did wrong, and what you might have suggested instead.

But this is going to be a fun exercise – the first time we done it since 2014 – and it will be good to have the participants relate their stories of deals, near deals, and non-starters.

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After all, we often talk about trades… but we seldom have to actually get somebody else to agree on one. That changes on Monday… Be sure to follow ALL of the FanSided MLB sites for information on their respective clubs and join us on the stove!