During this very quiet off-season, thus far, not a lot of hype going on about any of the free agents available.
However, a lot of speculation regarding 'where players' will land; or should, has filled the must write something pages for sports writers.
In past seasons, the St. Louis Cardinals have 'shown' interest in Colorado Rockies Charlie Blackmon. A strong defensive player who did well at the plate. But as much as Cardinals fans were dreaming of bringing Carlos "Cargo" Gonzalez on board, they also would have taken Blackmon as well. Three seasons ago.
Even at that time, I did not want to see "Cargo" come to St. Louis. Too much hype for a player that would not have been a good fit for our Cardinals. Just my opinion. He hit well at Coors Field (.290 BA), but away from home, I felt he was not be as effective as many professed he would be. Which he did leave the Mile High City after 2018. In 2019 one half season with the Cleveland Indians, a .210 BA. Second half of 2019, he held a .175 BA with the Chicago Cubs. He proved, my own view, to be true.
At the July deadline this past season, Scott Wuerz for The News-Democrat, was not all about the Cardinals going head over hills for Blackmon having to give up pitching to do so. Point well taken because not only pitchers, but the money left to be paid Blackmon and what the Rockies wanted. Cardinals walked away.
Today, I came across an article by Tim-Kelly, KMOX News Radio, November 30. "5 Potential Blockbuster MLB Trades that could happen".
Again, Charlie Blackmon is the point of 'conversation' regarding the Cardinals. With a new twist to get him.
" Charlie Blackmon is one of the most popular players to ever play for the Rockies, but the 33-year-old has rapidly declined defensively over the past two seasons. While he's still productive as an offensive piece, he's taken a step back from his peak in 2017, when he slashed .331/.399/.601 with 37 home runs and 104 RBIs.
With Trevor Story and Jon Gray both eligible for free agency after the 2021 season, the Rockies could stand to get out from under the up to $73 million remaining on Blackmon's contract.
The Cardinals, while probably not eager to take on the bulk of the money still owed to Blackmon, would improve their World Series chances by adding his bat to a lineup that already includes Paul Goldschmidt and Paul DeJong. This type of trade may be their only opportunity to part ways with Dexter Fowler, who is owed just shy of $30 million over the next two seasons.
There obviously would have to be more going back to Colorado than just Fowler, but swapping one bad deal for another that looks like it won't age especially well is an interesting concept."
Evidently he is not a Fowler fan and presumes, from my take of his statement, he will decline once again in 2020. I don't believe so and what Tim-Kelly does not mention, Fowler does have a 'no-trade' clause in his contract. Swapping, in my mind, is not an option.
Blackmon, the past three seasons, at Coors Field has held a .331 BA/1.121 OPS. Away - a .261 BA/.762 OPS. Still an acceptable average. However, at Busch Stadium, he has held a slashline of .128/.163/.191/.354. In his defense, that was against our Cardinals pitchers. Facing our adversaries in the NL Central Division at their home parks: Reds Great American Park - .333 BA/.793 OPS (2019-.278 BA) Pirates PNC Park - .243/.660 (2019-.360 BA). Cubs Wrigley Field - .375/1.392 OPS (2019-.462 BA); but, at Brewers Miller Park - .143/.440 (2019-.208 BA).
My contention is would the Cardinals, presuming Marcell Ozuna will not be back, take on such a monetary responsibility for the 33 year old, who does have a solid bat overall, for two years? Would he be the answer to Cardinals clean-up hitter situation, should Ozuna not be re-signed. Good points, but with a glaring $73 million to overcome, plus players. Knowing the Cardinals organization as we do, just don't see 'a deal' forthcoming.
In addition, I feel we will see improvement from Paul Goldschmidt now that he has settled into the Cardinals organization and team. Also, from Paul DeJong and Matt Carpenter in 2020. Tommy Edman will be another very strong offensive player in this coming season. Cardinals have additional 'young' talent just waiting in the wings for their chance to prove themselves in the Bigs.
And, on the flipside of the field, Blackmon has declined defensively. And this go round of consideration, "who would the Cardinals be willing to give up"? Fowler is not going to be 'switched out' for Blackmon. Not going to happen. Therefore, again, Rockies would be looking for multi-players and hefty cash to make a deal to get his paycheck off their books.
To me, Blackmon is a stretch to even consider - again. Now age, along with money owed, are working against him, and the Rockies, from going anywhere until he becomes a free agent in 2022 at the age of 35.
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