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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Monday, March 15, 2004

St. Louis Cardinals

Released 1B-OF Steve Cox and IF Brent Butler.

The Cardinals continue to operate in the strange Nintendo Baseball Stars roster manner - having great frontline talent and a sparse, weak bench since players never get injured or tired.  Neither Cox or Butler would have been plus contributors, but this is a team which has Plan B options of So Taguchi, Kerry Robinson, Colin Porter, Ray Lankford, and Wilson Delgado at various positions. 

And before anyone protests, yes, Lankford was a great player in the 90s and I like him a lot and the manner in which his departure was orchestrated reflected very poorly on the organization, but he’s high in years and it’s been awhile since he’s been performing in the majors.

Cox and Butler will find jobs somewhere, either in AAA or heading to Japan.  They are Baseball Stars players in their own right - every veteran Baseball Stars player knows the value of names with 6 letters or less.

Dan Szymborski Posted: March 15, 2004 at 04:36 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. Eli Hungerford: Cityboy Crypto-Elitist for hire Posted: January 12, 2004 at 03:56 PM (#571318)
Ok, Ok, I deserve some of that.

Yes, Ray was quite productive despite striking out 40% of the time during that 2001 half-season.

But as a fan, and a subjective human being, there was just something psychologically damning about watching Ray's huge looping swing miss pitch in the dirt after pitch in the dirt.

I would also argue that that sort of mounting strike-out ratio, especially for an aging player with a long, timing-dependant swing, was a harbringer of the .224 / .326. / .356 line that came in the next year.

So yes, 100 strike-outs are, in the context of creating runs for the team, roughly equivalent to 100 pop-outs. But as a trend in the context of a individual player's career, they are not a happy thing.
   202. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: March 03, 2004 at 03:02 PM (#572832)

Seriously, good for him, though this sets all kind of bad precedents for Prior when his opportunity to void his initial contract comes up. Assuming he puts together another year this year like last year's, he'll be looking for big money given his age and talent.

But Pujols seems like a good guy (age-fibbing notwithstanding, maybe, if it's true, which no one knows, but it makes good speculation until he gets traded to the Cubs in which case he never lied), at least, you know, for someone who plays for the M*****F****** Cardinals.
   203. Ziggy's screen name Posted: March 03, 2004 at 05:45 PM (#572835)
I'm a Reds fan, but they get killed by everyone anyway, so the newfound competativeness of the NL central doesn't bother me a whole lot. Congrats St. Louis, it'll be nice having Pujols hitting the sh!t out of the ball for the rest of the decade.
   204. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: March 03, 2004 at 08:50 PM (#572838)
Prior is currently signed through 2006, but he can opt out of his contract after this season and choose arbitration instead. He's scheduled to get $2.5M in each of 2005 and 2006, so I'm thinking he'll probably be exercising that option.
   205. scott Posted: March 05, 2004 at 10:40 PM (#572844)
yeah, but who can the yanks replace him with? they're thin. poor bench, weak system.
   206. Walt Davis Posted: March 08, 2004 at 04:19 PM (#572845)
Note, Prior can only void his contract because of the Cubs' stupidity. The contract had a clause that if he was arb-eligible at the end of 2004, he could void the contract. By bringing him up so early in 2002, he will be a super-2 at the end of this year. If the Cubs had waited an extra 4-6 weeks to bring him up, in a season in which they lost 95 games, he wouldn't be able to void his contract.

Of course with all those huge bonuses for AS games and such, the difference between the contract and his arb salary may not be THAT huge by the time we get there.

I would be surprised if Prior made that close to Pujols. The top starters have never made as much as the top hitters. OK, maybe not never, I think Maddux was the top salary there for a year or two. But rarely.

OK, I'll speculate. Super 2's tend to do a bit better than regular folks in arb, because of that extra half-plus season I assume. Prior won't be eligible for FA until after 2008. If he stayed healthy and similarly productive and went through arb every year, in 2008 he'd make more than Wood due to having performed better and being a super-2. (Or was Wood a super 2 as well?) So you gotta figure that's about $11-12 M (given a fairly stable market) in 2008. So his arb schedule would probably look something like 4/7/10/12. After that, given a stable market, he'd have to make at least $14 M. So something like 6 years, $61 M. Of course that still puts all the risk of injury/decline on the Cubs.

Hmmm, someone should do a study. Off the top of my head, it seems to me that starters do better in their arb years (relative to their FA years) than do hitters.
   207. Boileryard Posted: March 16, 2004 at 06:12 AM (#572914)
I've always wanted to see an outfielder climb the fence and fall over the other side.
   208. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 16, 2004 at 02:00 PM (#572915)
Baseball Stars on the emulator has the nice feature of no more battery resets which plagued the original format. A lot of games had this problem, of course - I'm still miffed that the first time I played through Final Fantasy VI, the memory reset when I was in Kefka's tower.

Ryan, I remember Brad Komminsk doing that some years ago. In honor of his attempted catch, one of the spare outfielders on a created team was named "Kommie."
   209. The Other Kurt Posted: March 16, 2004 at 04:32 PM (#572917)
I have nothing to say, except that I agree with each and every one you who says Baseball Stars was the best baseball video game ever.
   210. Idiot Pitch Count Posted: March 21, 2004 at 07:53 PM (#572929)
Ah yes. Baseball Stars.

Who would win, the SNK Crushers or the 2003 Detroit Tigers? I got $5 here saying that it would be the Crushers.
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