roy halladay long getty

Roy Halladay is not happy with Mitch Williams

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Since Roy Halladay started the 2012 season off with a whimper, he has heard theories on quick fixes from all corners of the globe. Bloggers (present company included), talk radio hosts, Internet commenters, and TV pundits have all speculated as to what went wrong with the two-time Cy Young award winner and how he can fix it.

MLB Network’s Mitch Williams has been among the more vocal critics of pitching coach Rich Dubee. Williams, who made a name for himself with uncanny mechanics as the Phillies’ closer between 1991-93, suggested Dubee should have seen Halladay’s mechanical flaws and that the Phillies ought to find a new pitching coach when he appeared on 94.1 WIP this morning, according to Todd Zolecki. When asked by the media to comment, Roy Halladay — normally reserved and succinct — had a lot to say about Williams.

“Coming from the mechanical wonder,” Halladay said. “Yeah, I strong disagree. To come from a guy who’s not around, who’s not involved. He’s not involved in the conversations … honestly has no idea what’s going on. He really doesn’t. He has no idea what’s going on in the clubhouse, on the field between coaches and players. To make comments like that, it’s completely out of line. It really is. Rich Dubee, when I first came over, he taught me a change up. If I hadn’t had that coming over here I wouldn’t have had the success I’ve had over here. Especially dealing with the injuries I’ve dealt with, if I didn’t have that pitch, if I didn’t have him working with me, I really would have been in a lot of trouble. In my opinion, it’s a statement that I feel like he needs to make amends for. I really do. There’s very few pitching coaches that I respect more than Rich Dubee.”

There’s a lot more if you head over to Zolecki’s post on MLB.com. Among other highlights, Halladay calls Williams “arrogant”. Dubee, who had gotten upset with Williams for interfering with his pitchers during spring training, suggests “maybe I hurt his feelings”.

This isn’t the first time Dubee has snapped at the media for wondering about Halladay. On April 21, he refused to speak to the media about Halladay’s improvement, telling them to “let Roy be Roy”.

Halladay’s 2013 season has been a mixed bag. In his first two starts, he allowed 12 runs in 7.1 innings. In his next three, he allowed four runs in 21 innings. In his latest start, he surrendered eight runs to the Indians in 3.2 innings.

Cardinals, Dexter Fowler agree to a five-year, $82 million deal

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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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.

Are the Cardinals about to go on a free agent binge?

John Mozeliak AP
Associated Press
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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.