Quick Hits: PECOTA Projections

Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections are out. They have the Cardinals finishing 82-80 in third place in the NL Central and 10 games back of the division winning Cubs.

It’s not a glowing endorsement from PECOTA, though last year they projected the Pirates to go 81-81 and they won 97 games last year. So there’s that.

Part of the problem is that projection systems will find it difficult to project the Cardinals because of the injuries that plagued them last season. They won’t reflect full seasons from guys like Adam Wainwright or Matt Holliday or even new additions like Stephen Piscotty or Randal Grichuk.

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Adding Leake shores up rotation

John Mozeliak finally got someone to take his money. And while Mike Leake certainly isn’t David Price, he will do the trick. With the deal happening quickly today, the Cardinals introduced their first Major League free agent acquisition in an afternoon press conference at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals and Leake agreed to a 5 year, $80 million deal that has a mutual option for 2021 that would make the contract worth as much as $94 million, according to reports. That deal makes the largest deal that the franchise has given out to a player who had never played for the franchise before.

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How the Cardinals turned a strength into a weakness in four easy steps

Step 1: Waive Peter Bourjos
Step 2: Trade Jon Jay
Step 3: Lose Jason Heyward in free agency
Step 4: Have Randal Grichuk undergo sports hernia surgery

Easy peasy, right?

When the 2015 season wrapped up a month and a half ago, the Cardinals had five players on the roster that you could be comfortable with playing center field everyday. Now a week before Christmas and the only one that could go out there and play center field today is Tommy Pham. Which is ironic, considering injuries have basically defined his minor league career.

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Heyward chooses the Cubs

The news broke early this afternoon. Jason Heyward will be the newest member of the Chicago Cubs. Reports are that he turned down a pair of offers expected to have been around $200 million over 10 years from both St. Louis and Washington to accept an 8 year, $184 million deal with the Cubs with a pair of opt out clauses. Those opt out clauses come at the end of the third and fourth years of the deal, so he could see free agency again as a 29 or 30 year old player.

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Cardinals add Gyorko, solidify middle infield

John Mozeliak pulled off his first move of the winter meetings in typical John Mozeliak style. All was quiet, until it happened. That move would be adding infielder Jedd Gyorko and cash from the San Diego Padres in exchange for outfielder Jon Jay. And at first glance, it seems like a great deal for the Cardinals.

Middle infield depth was something that Mozeliak spoke of needing to find this offseason to help handle the duties at second base and shortstop. Both Kolten Wong and Jhonny Peralta saw their usage skyrocket this season as a result of the struggling offense and injury plagued roster. As a result, their performances slipped heavily in the second half of the season.

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