lar at Wezen-Ball followed up on his post from this morning about Tom Boswell and the “Jose Canseco milkshake” comment from last night’s episode of “The Tenth Inning.” The upshot: Boswell had reported the “Jose Canseco milkshake” incident at the time.
The implications: I don’t think any, really. At least for the purposes I went on about this morning. There was still no mention of the player himself, and no mention of the link Boswell made last night between his milkshake intake and his home run totals. The context lar lays out clearly shows that, at least in Boswell’s mind,
the “milkshake” references clearly meant PEDs of some kind or another.
Most importantly, I think, is that, even if the “milkshake” story was out there 20 years ago, between then and now, that player became a Hall of Famer. And it’s that — more than anything else — which could have and should have led to Boswell revisiting this story after steroids became issue number one in baseball in 2002.
I mentioned the relevance of the Hall of Fame angle this morning so I won’t repeat it here. Rob Neyer expanded on that this afternoon and made a couple of excellent points about how those writers entrusted with the Hall of Fame vote should deal with this information going forward. Both lar and Rob’s pieces are must-reads if you care at all about this topic.
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.
The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.
St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.
The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.
Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?
Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.