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Tag:Cardinals
Posted on: December 8, 2011 4:06 pm
 

Pujols won't join exclusive Hall of Fame club



By C. Trent Rosecrans

Albert Pujols will most likely wear a St. Louis Cardinals hat when he's ultimately inducted into the Hall of Fame, but there still may be a question. We just don't know at this point. There are those players who go into the Hall without a doubt of which hat they'll wear, because it's the only one they ever wore. 

While the Hall of Fame is an elite club, there's a more elite club -- one of Hall of Famers who played their entire career with one organization. Currently there are 47 such players in Cooperstown, with the possibility of one more joining their ranks if Barry Larkin is voted in when the next class is announced in January.

It seemed like Pujols would be one of those guys -- there was even talk of a statue being built at Busch Stadium while he was still active. That statue will have to wait -- and it could be a long time before he's honored like that in St. Louis. 

So, if Pujols isn't going to join that club, who may? Here's four who may be able to claim they spent all of their entire major league career with one team.

Both Derek Jeter and Mariano River are first-ballot Hall of Fame players, both are nearing the end of their careers and both received new contracts with the Yankees last season. Jeter, 37, has two more years on his contract, plus a player option for 2014. He may play after he turns 40, but there's an almost zero percent chance the Yankees let him do it in another uniform. The same can be said for Rivera, 42. The all-time saves leader is under contract for 2012 and is unliekly to play anywhere else.

The third guy is Chipper Jones, who will turn 40 on April 24 and is under contract through 2012 with a club option for 2013 that becomes guaranteed if he plays 123 games this season. Jones has been on the verge of retiring the last two years. Like Jeter and Rivera, it seems unthinkable he'd ever wear another uniform as a player.

And that leads us to the fourth player, who will not only have an asterisk on this list if he does go into the Hall with his current team, but also the one of this group most likely to play for a different team (but even that chance seems slight -- but not as slight as the other three), and that's Ichiro Suzuki. The asterisk is that of course he played the first half of his career for the Orix Blue Wave in Japan before coming to the Mariners in 2000. Some will debate whether he'd be in the Hall if he retired today, but I find it hard to believe he could be left out. Suzuki is in the final year of his five-year extension he signed in 2007 and with the Mariners going through a rebuilding phase, he may not fit into their plans. Another team could be interested, or he could return to Japan. However, it's been suggested he really wants to get to 3,000 hits in the United States. He's at 2,428 right now and would need at least three more years to get there -- that could be two with a different team.

There are some other players that aren't sure-fire Hall of Famers that could still get there and do it with one team, but there's still a lot to be proven. The closest to the end of his career is the Rangers' Michael Young, who would need to get to 3,000 hits before he had a shot at the Hall. Young, 35, has 2,061 hits, so even that seems unlikely. Then there are the young, talented players who have a lot more to prove before getting there. However, Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Braun, Evan Longoria and Matt Kemp all have one thing in common -- long-term contracts with their current team. 

Here's the list of Hall of Famers who played for just one team, sorted by team:

Yankees: Earle Combs, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Whitey Ford, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Phil Rizzuto.

Dodgers: Roy Campanella, Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson.

Giants: Carl Hubbell, Travis Jackson, Mel Ott, Bill Terry, Ross Youngs.

Pirates: Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski, Willie Stargell, Pie Traynor.

Red Sox: Bobby Doerr, Jim Rice, Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski.

Indians: Bob Feller, Addie Joss, Bob Lemon.

Orioles: Jim Palmer, Cal Ripken, Brooks Robinson.

White Sox: Luke Appling, Red Faber, Ted Lyons.

Cardinals: Bob Gibson, Stan Musial.

Reds: Johnny Bench, Bid McPhee.

Tigers: Charlie Gehringer, Al Kaline.

Brewers: Robin Yount.

Cubs: Ernie Banks.

Padres: Tony Gwynn.

Phillies: Mike Schmidt.

Royals: George Brett.

Senators: Walter Johnson.

Twins: Kirby Puckett.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 8, 2011 10:52 am
Edited on: December 8, 2011 11:06 am
 

What's next for the Cardinals?



By Matt Snyder


DALLAS -- A Cardinals legend is leaving St. Louis and headed to Los Angeles, as Albert Pujols has signed with the Angels. For many, the main question here is, where do the Cardinals go from here?

There are several moving parts. Let's sort through them.

• As far as first base, the Cardinals already had a backup plan. Lance Berkman can shift right back to first, where he's best suited defensively anyway. This eliminates an awful defensive hole in the outfield, though it is obviously a defensive downgrade at first base, as Pujols is one of the best in the game. It was very unlikely the Cardinals would pursue Prince Fielder or even a lesser free agent first baseman like Carlos Pena before we knew about the Allen Craig injury. With the injury, do the Cardinals get hasty and go large after Fielder? It doesn't seem like a good bet, but we do know the Cardinals had a truckload of money they were about to spend and now haven't been able to do so. So feel free to speculate away.

MLB Winter Meetings
• It's entirely possible this changes the landscape for free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Multiple reports had Rollins close to signing with the Phillies, but instead his agent didn't meet with them Wednesday night. Interestingly enough, Rollins' agent is Dan Lozano. Yes, the same Dan Lozano who represents Pujols. And the Cardinals have a need at shortstop ... and for a leadoff hitter. They were said to be interested in Rollins a bit ago, but obviously all efforts were focused on Pujols until Thursday morning. He's gone now, though, so we may very well see Rollins get a nice offer from the Cardinals. Maybe even a panic-type deal. There is still a feeling Rollins is headed back to Philly, but the Pujols signing very much affects the market for the All-Star shortstop.

• In the outfield, the Cardinals now have a predicament. They were set to go with Berkman, Jon Jay and Matt Holliday. If Pujols left, Berkman would slide to first base and Craig would become the everyday right fielder. The problem is, Craig is likely out until May. And you never know how players will bounce back from knee surgeries. What if there are setbacks? So this poses a big problem. It looks like it's Skip Schumaker in right, for now, and there isn't really much better the Cardinals can do -- assuming their free agent focus turns to Rollins, which I fully expect.

• One last thing, we have to remember the Cardinals are getting back a healthy Adam Wainwright. They won the World Series last season without their ace. And now he's back. So the starting pitching will be improved.

And it better be, because the Cardinals just lost the best player of the last decade.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 7, 2011 9:40 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 9:54 pm
 

Tigers, Octavio Dotel nearing deal



By Matt Snyder


DALLAS -- The Detroit Tigers are closing in on a deal with free agent relief pitcher Octavio Dotel, sources have told CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler. Dotel wanted to play for a winner, so re-signing in St. Louis would have worked, just as going to the defending AL Central champion Tigers fits the bill.

Dotel, 38, split last season between the Blue Jays and Cardinals, moving to St. Louis in a three-team trade that involved Edwin Jackson and Colby Rasmus, among others. In all, he had a 3.50 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 62 strikeouts in 54 innings. Opponents only hit .181 off him and he stranded 68.7 percent of baserunners.

MLB Winter Meetings
Adding Dotel gives the Tigers a very strong back-end of the bullpen, with Dotel, Al Alburquerque and Joaquin Benoit setting up for closer Jose Valverde.

Dotel was signed by the Mets as an amateur free agent all the way back in 1993. The Tigers will become Dotel's 13th team as a big leaguer. He played parts of five seasons for the Astros, but was with no other team for more than two. His stint in St. Louis lasted just a few months, but he did get his first World Series ring.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 7, 2011 9:43 am
Edited on: December 7, 2011 2:12 pm
 

Report: Cardinals up offer to Pujols

Albert Pujols

By C. Trent Rosecrans

If Albert Pujols was using the Marlins as leverage with the Cardinals, it may just have ended up working -- as St. Louis has upped its offer to the three-time MVP, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller writes it appears Pujols is now being steered back toward the Cardinals, while the New York Daily News is reporting the Marlins are moving on from Pujols to Prince Fielder.

MLB Winter Meetings

The Cardinals new offer could be for as much as $220 million and as many as 10 years, Strauss writes. That's in the same ballpark as the Marlins' offer and would likely keep Pujols in St. Louis for the rest of his career. 

As Miller noted on Tuesday, the Marlins wanted an answer from Pujols soon, so they could move on if they weren't Pujols' final choice. And now that appears it may be the case. 

St. Louis had held firm in its offer of a nine-year deal for $195 million that the team had offered in February, but the Marlins and the an apparent "mystery team" may have pushed the Cardinals' hand. It has been assumed that if all money were equal, the Cardinals would hold the tiebreaker for Pujols' services.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: December 6, 2011 11:46 pm
 

Is 'mystery team' on Pujols the Angels?



By Matt Snyder


DALLAS -- For the past two days, it was thought that free agent first baseman Albert Pujols was choosing between the Miami Marlins and the only team he's ever known: The St. Louis Cardinals. Tuesday night, however, reports surfaced that there was an unknown, third team bidding for Pujols' services. The belief, according to sources of CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler and several other reporters, is that this "mystery team" is the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The move would be intriguing. First of all, earlier this winter, the Angels were telling everyone who would listen they couldn't spend much money this offseason. But lately they've been said to be the frontrunner for free agent pitcher C.J. Wilson. Also, asked earlier Tuesday by media if he preferred a pitcher or hitter, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he'd rather have a pitcher.

MLB Winter Meetings
Still, the Angels don't have that one big bat in the middle of their batting order, and Pujols definitely would fill that void. It's possible the Angels could backload what will likely be a very long-term deal in order to get through the next few years of rough payroll. Also, a move to the American League would make sense, considering Pujols could serve as a designated hitter once he hit his late 30s. That could extend his career a bit.

So is it the Angels? We still can't be sure. CBSSports.com's Scott Miller is "highly skeptical" that it's the Angels because he doesn't believe owner Arte Moreno would shell out that kind of dough at this time.

Others have speculated the Cubs are the mystery team, in an attempt to make sure the Cardinals either lose Pujols to the Marlins or overpay to keep Pujols.

The situation is certainly fluid. Stay tuned.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 6, 2011 6:54 pm
 

Source: Astros to interview Logan White

By Matt Snyder

DALLAS -- The Houston Astros are working through the Winter Meetings without a new general manager, but they're continuing the interview process. A source has told CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler that Logan White, the current assistant general manager of scouting for the Dodgers, will interview for the position.

White has overseen drafts when the Dodgers selected star players Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp, in addition to other quality selections like Russell Martin, Chad Billingsley and Kenley Jansen.

White joins Royals assistant GM of scouting and player development J.J. Picollo, Cardinals vice president of player procurement Jeff Luhnow and Rockies assistant GM Bill Geivett as a serious candidates for the job. 

Dream candidate Andrew Friedman will not take the job, and instead stay with the Rays. Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine has also pulled out of the running.

Astros transitions
Upon the dismissal of former GM Ed Wade, Astros CEO George Postolos said the following:

"We are searching for a candidate who has the knowledge, skills and experience to build a winner and a strong commitment to player development in order to sustain success. Our goal is to consistently compete for a championship, and we know the first step towards that goal is to develop one of the top farm systems in baseball. We will hire the best candidate available to achieve our goal."

The Astros have not set a timetable on hiring a new GM. Dave Gottfried, who was Wade's assistant, is currently serving as the interim GM, but is not a candidate to land the full-time gig.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 6, 2011 1:41 pm
 

Report: Allen Craig had knee surgery

By Matt Snyder

DALLAS -- With the Cardinals bracing for the possibility of losing first baseman Albert Pujols to free agency, this news is just like rubbing salt in the wound. Outfielder Allen Craig had surgery on his right knee before Thanksgiving, Derrick Gould of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

According to Gould, Craig injured the knee during the regular season when he ran into the wall at Houston's Minute Maid Park. With the surgery, two pins were placed in Craig's kneecap to stabilize it. His expected recovery time is reportedly four to six months. So, yes, the beginning of the 2012 season is certainly in question -- in fact, it looks like he's out until May.

The dynamics of this issue are huge for St. Louis. The backup plan for Pujols signing elsewhere was to move Lance Berkman to first base and use Craig as the everyday right fielder. With Craig now likely out until May, the Cardinals run the risk of being awfully thin offensively, should Pujols sign elsewhere.

Craig, 27, hit .315/.362/.555 with 11 homers in 219 plate appearances last season. He endeared himself to Cardinals fanatics with several big postseason hits, including three home runs and five RBI in the World Series.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 6, 2011 11:36 am
Edited on: December 6, 2011 12:08 pm
 

Marlins optimistic on signing Albert Pujols



By Matt Snyder


DALLAS -- Could Albert Pujols seriously be taking his talents to South Beach? The Miami Marlins have grown optimistic on landing the superstar first baseman, CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler has learned. Monday night, Scott Miller reported that the Marlins had increased their offer to Pujols. Knobler and Miller have learned the Marlins new offer to Pujols is for 10 years, but the dollars are not yet known.

Rumors have been flying like mad here at the Winter Meetings with Pujols. His agent, Dan Lozano, met with the Marlins, Cardinals and Cubs Monday. Of course, Cubs president Theo Epstein said he was meeting with Lozano in regards to pitcher Rodrigo Lopez, not Pujols -- feel free to believe him whatever you wish here.

Hot Stove Season
Some more: Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune says that this situation will be decided within "the next 36 hours" because the Cardinals need to know if they still have Pujols. On the other hand, a source indicated to CBSSports.com that this isn't necessarily the case. Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the Cubs have submitted an offer to Pujols, but MLB.com's Carrie Muskat said that isn't true. Derrick Gould of the Post-Dispatch reports the Cardinals don't believe they'll get a chance to match an offer, should Pujols get one from a different team he wants to accept.

Also, a 10-year deal is menacing. He's 31 years old, so that seems a bit much, but it more than shows how serious the Marlins are in landing the St. Louis star.

Pujols is the best player in baseball. He's been in the league for 11 seasons. He's won three MVPs and finished in the top five in voting 10 times. The one year he didn't finish in the top five, he finished ninth. He leads all active players in career batting average, slugging percentage and OPS, while having already accrued 445 home runs.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com