MO doesn’t want to Arbitrage by Bob Ryan

Last week after the Cards dropped their opening game of the 2nd half of the season, John Mozeliak was asked about the Cards getting a quick reboot. His response part…”and to start trying to arbitrage that would have to be a very special type deal”. The Definition of arbitrage has two points…both business related…1)The nearly simultaneous purchase and sale of securities or foreign exchange in different markets in order to profit from price discrepancies;  2) the purchase of the stock of a takeover target especially with a view to selling it profitably to the raider….sooooo….why the use of this word?  I think that there’s more to this use of the word….but 1st some history…short…very short

…..growing up in South St Louis, if a guy used a word like this….it usually meant 1 of the following…

  1. He had just moved into St Louis from some college type town or
  2. His wealthy parents had sent him down to the “hood” to get a taste of real life or
  3. He was a geek or
  4. He had taken the wrong bus and ended errantly in South StL or
  5. He was trying to impress us or
  6. More likely…he was trying to impress his girlfriend….don’t we all try to impress them until we’re married ? or
  7. He had a rich vocabulary …not usually found in South St Louis…we weren’t rich in ANY way…especially in words longer than 4 letters or
  8. He was preparing for the annual spelling bee and reading the dictionary or
  9. He was trying to confuse us or sideline our thinking by using an unfamiliar word or
  10. He was trying to take our mind off the real question by using a word that made us scratch our heads and make us wonder what he meant….

Looking back…thinking about our usual reactions….no matter which of the above reasons were the cause….I think that this guy would have been given a “hard” time

I’ll let you decide which of these was the antecendent….you see…2 of us can play that word game.. for Mo’s response….let me decipher it for you…

Question was simply, “with the loss will you become a seller in MLB market”

His response was, “ I don’t want to tell you our thoughts now so I’ll obfuscate my answer”….

Wellllllll….what DO you think?  Should we become a seller ….or a buyer…at trading deadline…

Please respond….YES (we should sell….indicate the players that you’d offer) or we should buy…indicate players that you wish we could…reasonably …..obtain from other teams.

From my angle….this is the 3rd consecutive year of slippage of performance on the field….the Cards don’t seem to have any real field players that are very solid MLB batters in the farm. We’ve seen several pitching “prospects” brought up to shine….most (Martinez, Wacha, Weaver, Tuivailala, Gant, Brebbia, Mayers, Hicks, Lyons) ..some are serviceable(Brebbia, 2eeee,Lyons)… a couple are good MLB pitchers (Martinez, Wacha)…some are too young to make a real determination(hicks, Weaver, Flaherty)….Cards seem surprised by the performance of some (Brebbia, Mayers)…most of these prospects remind me of the ol’ time prospectors…..hunted, dug, shifted for years for gold but usually came up empty.. just like our “prospects”. It seems time to me to make a paradigm shift….let’s sell……WOULD YOU AGREE?

Who could we sell that would give us a “return” on our money?

….Jose Martinez will NOT get much….but he has no long term value…proverbial “prospect” in return

….Jeff Gyorko….has to be included in a larger package…not an everyday player…good backup for a contending team

….Marcell Ozuna…..if we want a “real” star…we must surrender some quality players…Marcell doesn’t seem to have adjusted to playing in front of large crowds….or maybe last year was an  aberration

…Matt Carpenter….while his best years are probably behind him….his fielding is suspect….he’s on a slugging binge right now…his value is higher right now than any other time of his career!

…Michael Wacha…could help a contender for a short term but his continued arm issues don’t seem to lend him to be a long term reliable starter who piles up 15 wins a season for back-back years

…Carlos Martinez….he is NOT an ace…would be a terrific #3 on contending teams pitching staffs.

…Dexter Fowler…..won’t get much….but need to unload him …we’ll have to pay for some of his contract… he’s really not a team player…c- defender

…..Kolton Wong….seems to need a new setting….maybe…all he needs is this new manager—maybe Shildt is that new manager?

The only starter that would be “safe” to me would be Jack Flaherty…..

Am I saying trade ALL of them?….absolutely not….but I’d have all of them on the table depending on the trade….I’d LOVE to see the Cards go out and get a superstar free agent to “build around” but…..that’s not the customary approach of Mr. Arbitrage.  I don’t want to see MO go bargain hunting for these long time minor leaguers who are good the 1st time around the league and on the 2nd or 3rd time around…. you see why they were minor leaguers for so long. I’d love to read YOUR thoughts on how the Cards should approach this trading deadline.

Cards Weekly Review…it’s only 1 week of new manager…some 1st impressions

…I like that new Mgr Shildt seems to let his relief pitchers ….especially Mayers…go more than 1 inning

…Bullpen usage by Shildt seems more “under control”….the yippyity finger itch to bring in another new pitcher doesn’t seem so prevalent

…All Cardinal batters seem to be running hard at all time…isn’t that a shame that we have to mention that as a compliment

…Brett Cecil needs to be released…Tim McCarver expressed it …ever so gently…that Cecil wasn’t getting any one out and wouldn’t with his stuff…..I’m writing this immediately after the Cardinal game …so maybe by the time you read it…he’ll be gone…..the Cards MUST swallow his contract and move on

…one huge difference from Cards-Cubs is the tremendous..although sometimes show-boaty…. Is the Cubs defense… better range, more speed, better arms and yet very flexible

…happy to see Jose Martinez being phased out

Cruising Around the MLB….

….The Orioles are “cruising ahead” with trade discussions centered around  the most coveted relief hurler of this 2018 deadline sweepstakes is Baltimore’s LH relief pitcher– Zach Britton. The Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox, Giants, Phillies and Astros( who thought they they had him locked up last year!!) are among the teams interested in Britton.  Cubs seems to be out of young prospects….finally… it would seem that a player on MLB roster would be required in the trade. Guess the Cards don’t need any relief pitching, heh?  Or….they just don’t want to pay the price.

…The Angels have dropped 21 of their last 33 games and have taken a free-fall out of the AL West race. Some of their “pieces”…doesn’t that make the players sound like furniture?….may be moved now to assist them for future AL West races.

….24 year old Josh Hader (Brewers relief pitcher)  will have to attend Sensitivity Training For Offensive Tweets that he made when he was 17 years old. He called them “inexcusable”, apologized for the horrible mistakes and attributed it to being “young, immature and stupid” and that it doesn’t reflect his current beliefs. Apparently, Hader broke down when addressing his teammates about the matter.  The Brewer fans showed compassion as they gave him a standing ovation in his 1st appearance….I’m not condoning ANY of his statements in ANY way however…..which of us didn’t do stupid things as 17 year olds….most of you are probably grateful that twitter, cell phone cameras and other recording devices weren’t around when YOU were 17   Heck….24 still seems “young” to me.

They REALLY said that?

…..James Harrison…long time Steeler…traded to NE Patriots last year upset Pittsburgh fans/team by stating that the Pats staff is better than the Steeler staff.  “The only thing that’s really opposite is that in New England, it’s more regimented, it’s more disciplined,” said Harrison. “The coaching is better, to be honest with you. The plans they put together are better. And they don’t ask their players to do anything that’s outside of the realm of what they feel their capabilities are. So when you do that, and you switch a lot of players in and out for certain things that you want to get accomplished, you get things done and that’s what they have over there.

….Justin Verlander…Astros Pitcher(AL)…“I would take the DH out, even though I know the National League is talking about implementing the designated hitter,’’ Verlander said. “For my pitching purposes, it’s fun to face guys like me who can’t hit. But I do think, for instance when we were in the World Series, the Houston Astros are playing the Dodgers, when we are at Dodger Stadium, we were a little behind. We were not used to hitting, bunting and things like that.  “When you’re playing a championship, that determines the best team in the world, it should be an even playing field. It’s the only sport like that with different sets of rules in different leagues.

….Kyle Schwarber… estimates that he takes anywhere from 30 to 50 swings on an average day — and he figures he took about 10 times that many in the Home Run Derby last Monday, which is why his arms were sore in the days after the event. Apparently, Mgr Joe Madden makes batting practice optional for all of his team after Aug 1(approximately)….he realizes the wear & tear of the long season BUT if a player is struggling at the plate, he certainly should take extra BP of his own choice….that is…is he wants to remain in the MLB….it’s HIS personal career and HIS personal decision to work on HIS deficiencies. Not every player needs to go through those multiple swing days, day after day, for each and every day of the season.

Thanks for reading the blog….hope many of you will respond…to any part of the blog….either send it to me and I’ll get it posted or…put it on the site yourself…Thanks again!


Very timely article…
Following Matheny being let go, both Dewitt & Mo stated via numerous media outlets, that they felt this was a playoff team. Being positive is admirable, but even the novice fan didn’t buy it.
Mgmt is too proud to take the Astros/ Marlins approach. REBUILD!  StL fans are so accustomed to winning/ playoff baseball, it would  not be pleasant for Front Office
I feel for Mike Schildt… a weak roster that all the positive thoughts won’t fix.
Feel he’s a place holder until roster is flipped.
Aside from Miles Mikolas, off season deals were not successful.
C Martinez will never live up to “ ace” handle in StL.
Wacha simply can’t stay healthy.
Waino is probably heading into retirement after the season.
Flaherty, Gomber, A Reyes, Weaver & Poncedeleon  could be a nice, young rotation, with Dakota Hudson waiting in the wings.
J Martinez, Gyrko, Pham, & Ozuna join C Martinez on the block. Too much $ to lose dealing Fowler.
They like Wongs defense so I suppose he stays.
Molina & Carpenter appears untouchable at this point.
Munoz is pushing G Garcia for the utility role.
I like Hicks, Brebbia & a healthy Lyons , perhaps Tuilavala to be joined by TBD lefty/ righty legit pen stoppers. Cecil, Bowman, & Holland need to be moved
Norris is closer now, but I’d sell now due to his age/ 1 yr contract.
Bottom line… youth ,along with impact free agents and a few holdovers is perhaps the necessary strategy, to invigorate the disappointed fan base.


  1. Hi Bob! RIP STL Cardinals 2018 season.

    By the way, how long before Matheny lands another mgr job?

    Who picks him up, you think?


  2. Fowler, Cecil, Wong and Ozuna trade them all.

  3. Good afternoon, laughed when I saw this statement. “He had a rich vocabulary …not usually found in South St Louis…we weren’t rich in ANY way…especially in words longer than 4 letters.”

    I’d say trade Fowler, Jedd Gercho, Cecil if anyone would take him and get the most out of Carpenter and trade him. I believe we are done in 2018.


  4. Another entertaining blog. Martinez is definitely gone to an AL team as a designated hitter candidate. I would trade Carlos Martinez because he might bring a quality player or two in return, and I agree with you: he will never be a No. 1 starter. His emotions will always overshadow his talent. I would also trade Ozuna. I’ve seen on a couple of occasions after he walked or had gotten one of his rare hits that Marmol, the first-base coach, approached him to give him instructions, like he does with all runners when they reached first, and Ozuna completely ignored him. He is not ever going to approach the stats he had last year. He also might deliver a quality player or two. I would also explore trade options for Pham. I would play O’Neil and Bader and see what they can deliver. Mo also needs to get rid of the evidence of his bad investments so he can save his job by appearing to shuffle the deck. Keep ’em coming, Bob.


  5. John Sondag says:

    I love the vocabulary comments. It is so typical of Mozeliak to talk in riddles and with 3+ syllable words–what do you expect from a guy that wears a bow tie. We haven’t done a good job of evaluating talent, making good trades or signing productive free agents since Luhnow went to Houston to revive that franchise. Time for the DeWitt’s to clean house in the front office.
    I would be a big time seller and try to package Carpenter and both Martinez’s with our albatrosses Fowler and Cecil. I would also try to move Carson Kelly and Patrick Wisdom.

  6. If your answer isn’t understandable, people won’t know when you’re wrong.

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