Notebook: GM Meetings, Day 3

And were off on the penultimate day of the General Manager Meetings in Orlando, Florida. As always I recommend clicking through to the articles to support the reporters who are doing the work getting us these nuggets that keep us on the edges of our seats.

And if you’ve been visiting another planet for the last couple days, catch up with Day 2 and Day 1 notebooks as well.

Morrison weighing offer from the Cardinals?

Rob Rains reported yesterday afternoon (and apparently I missed it) when discussing that the Cardinals had talked to free agent first baseman Logan Morrison that he was also reporting that Rains was weighing contract offers from the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Angels.

Morrison is hard to figure out just how much he would command in free agency, so I don’t have a guess that would be worth anything. He’s coming off a 1 year, $2.5 million deal with Tampa that had another $1.25 million in incentives.

Morrison was worth 3.3 WAR over 601 plate appearances last season. Based on my tweet this morning with last season’s WAR/600 numbers, that would have put him in an effective tie with Dexter Fowler as the team’s third most valuable player in 2017. But his previous career high in WAR was 1.1 in 2014. So it is yet to be determined whether that’s repeatable, real change in approach or whether it’s a fluke. In addition, those 601 plate appearances are a career high for a player who debuted in 2010.

With the news that Matt Carpenter has been told to come to camp expecting to be a “super utility” guy, it looks like Morrison might be their option at first base.

Cardinals and Rays have talked about Colome?

Jon Morosi reported this afternoon that the the St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays have discussed closer Alex Colome in trade talks. Derrick Goold added that it’s not the first time the Cardinals have called the Rays asking about Colome either.

The 28-year-old Colome is one of my favorite potential Cardinals’ targets this winter. Colome led the league with 47 saves last season for the Rays with a 3.24 ERA. He has three years of salary arbitration remaining and would likely cost quite a bit to bring in. However, the other options like Wade Davis or Greg Holland pose their own questions. The Rays, who are looking at a franchise high in payroll next season, may have interest in selling off guys who don’t have guaranteed contracts. Colome is projected to earn $5.5 million this season.

There is some concern with his drop in strikeouts from 11.3 K/9 to 7.8 K/9, but he started using his cutter more this year than ever before and saw a huge drop in line drive rates while maintaining an increase in ground ball rates.

Cardinals and Marlins talk about Stanton?

Jon Morosi is also reporting this afternoon that the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins discussed trade concepts based around acquiring Giancarlo Stanton today. Presuming this means anything more than what’s already been talked about for the better part of two weeks, this would seem to indicate there’s some traction there.

Derrick Goold added that the two sides also met to discuss improvements to Roger Dean Stadium, where both spend spring training. The park needs some modernization and the lease requires mirroring improvements.

Cardinals have no interest in Martinez?

Derrick Goold is reporting this afternoon that the Cardinals have no interest in J.D. Martinez and have had internal conversations about Carlos Gonzalez.

I’m not a big fan of signing a player off a career year mainly because you’re likely to overpay for regression. That’s Martinez. His .690 slugging percentage was impressive, but a far cry from the .540 slugging percentage he averaged over the previous three seasons. He also hit twice as many home runs as he did in 2016 in one fewer game. In other words, that’s some unsustainable success.

For Carlos Gonzalez, he struggled last season before finishing it on fire. Unfortunately, he still struggled away from Coors Field. That’s not to mean he might not still be capable of being a productive player. I feel like playing at Coors Field for 81 games a year creates bad habits in hitters. His bat is not the answer the Cardinals are looking for, but it may allow them to make another player available for acquiring someone they need via trade.