I realize I’m late to the party. Heck, I’m crashing the party. I’m sure C70 won’t mind. Here are my top 5 stories for 2008:
- Pujols stays healthy, wins MVP. I was one of the prophets of doom going into the season. The story was Pujols’ elbow could go at anytime, leading to a falling sky on Cardinal fans. Instead, he ended the season coming out worth 9 wins above replacement and deservedly won his 2nd MVP. El Hombre never ceases to amaze.
- Cards come out clear winners of Glaus/Rolen swap. I love challenge trades. New GM John Mozeliak showed some boldness by trading fan favorite/touchy-feely Scott Rolen to the Jays for Troy Glaus. Glaus stayed healthy and had his most valuable season as a big leaguer, producing 5 wins above replacement. Rolen did not stay healthy, but did post respectable numbers for Toronto during the 115 games he was. (3 WAR)
- The emergence of Ryan Ludwick. Yet another win for Mo, plucking up some of the F.A.T (freely available talent) of the land in Ryan Ludwick. Luddy figured to be a piece of the puzzle going into the season; what ended up happening was him producing 5 wins above a replacement for a mere $411,000.
- Kyle Lohse signed during spring training, has career year. Lohse looked to be in line for a big pay day in a thin market of free agent pitchers. He waited and waited even into spring training, and it never came, rather the Cardinals came calling and got him for a song. Well, payday has now come for Lohse. Getting Lohse for one-year at $4 M was very savvy. Giving him 4 yrs @ $41 M seems pretty foolhardy. If we’re lucky, Lohse will be worth about 5 wins above replacement during the duration of that contract. It’s not as horrid as the Suppan contract, but Lohse is probably getting paid nearly double than what he’s actually going to be worth.
- Carpenter/Mulder’s lost season. As Pip said, it’s largely because of these two bad contracts that he inherited that is causing Mo to be so standoffish with any sort of rehabbing/injury risk free agent pitcher during this offseason. Hopefully Carp will be back in ’09, but I don’t think anyone is holding their breath.