Monday, November 29, 2004

Randy Johnson Update

According to The Mercury News of San Jose, CA, the Cardinals are still in the hunt for the Big Unit.

"The Cardinals appear to be offering Reggie Sanders in a package that probably includes 26-year-old first baseman-outfielder John Gall, who hit .292 with 22 homers at Triple-A Memphis."

I have to wonder if this rumor is any more reliable than the one I mentioned before that included Dan Haren, Rick Ankiel, and Kiko Calero. Of course, in many ways the deal makes more sense from the Cardinal perspective. Sanders is an aging corner outfielder who would frankly be somewhat easy to replace. And I've already outlined why I think that Gall is a prime trade candidate. I'm just not certain that Sanders makes a lot of sense as the key piece of a trade between the Diamondbacks and the Cardinals.

The Diamondbacks already have Shea Hillenbrand and Luis Gonzalez under contract for next season. Hillenbrand will likely be playing 1st base for Arizona, while Gonzo patrolls left field. Sanders could obviously start in right field, but that would leave Gall in the minors. Assuming of course that the Diamondbacks don't turn around and deal Gonzalez to free up more payroll, which could work.

From the Cardinals standpoint, as I mentioned, replacing Sanders the player would be no problem. Replacing Sanders the person, however, seems more complicated. I'm not a big fan of team chemistry being important - in my mind, winning leads to chemistry as opposed to the opposite being true. But it still does not seem to fit the Cardinals character as an organization to deal away a player like Reggie Sanders after signing him to his first multi-year contract since the 1997 season.

Look at Tino Martinez as an example - they stood by him after a disappointing 2002 season in St. Louis even though it was obvious he was overpaid and essentially not what he used to be. They gave him the 2003 season to further prove himself (or not). When it didn't work out, they traded him to Tampa Bay - where he grew up.

Sanders, on the other hand, is signed somewhat cheap, and played to expectations in 2004. Granted, Randy Johnson would improve the team over Sanders greatly. It just doesn't seem like the kind of thing Walt Jocketty would do. He would essentially be banishing Sanders to a season with a horrible team, after which he would probably retire.

Obviously, the bottom line is that Major League Baseball is a business. Players look out for their best interests more often than not, and teams do the same. What do I take away from this article more than anything else? The Cardinals are still interested in Johnson, the price for him seems to be dropping, and rumors are nothing more than speculation until the deal is done.


At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something interesting from - "The Cards may be closing in on a deal for Arizona SP Randy Johnson. The exact parameters of the trade aren't known, but it may involve SP Jason Marquis and catching prospect Daric Barton. In any event, St. Louis appears to be the frontrunner at this point ... The Cards don't intend to offer salary arbitration to SP Matt Morris, but they're still interested in signing him to a one-year deal ... P Jason Simontacchi has been released ... 2B Marlon Anderson and SP Woody Williams aren't likely to be back next season ... The Cards may soon make a four-year, $32-million offer to SS Edgar Renteria. "

At 1:45 PM, Blogger BrianDoolittle said...

The Sanders trade makes little sense and I think all of these rumors are non-substantial. Losing Barton would be tough ... I've been liking to you from my Cards blog, hope that's cool. .. take it easy

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