photo by @cardinalsgifs
My take all along has been that the Cardinals should sign Robert, no matter the price. Indications on social media from White Sox stakeholders seem to place the Sox in a pretty confident position in their offer for Robert–but the Cardinals cannot afford to be outbid. When the Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees and Red Sox are ineligible to bid due to international spending restrictions on those clubs, the Cardinals have to take advantage. Money should be no object.
This isn’t a $300 million discussion like would be the case months down the road for a Manny Machado-type player. This is expected to be a much lesser acquisition price, even when factoring in the luxury tax implications that would cost the Cardinals beyond the salary of the player.
As for whether he would be in the bigs right away, probably not, considering he is only 19 years of age. However, based on the description of his talent, it may not be long before he is making his mark on major league pitching. When he does, it should be with red birds across his chest.
I feel like I may have been parsing through different Twitter feeds than Laura, but I appreciate her question. In my experience, the absence of Oquendo has been a hot topic on Twitter and even on local sports talk radio. The Cardinals have struggled with base running and defense since the start of 2015, when the Secret Weapon stopped coaching full-time with the major league club–it’s fair to wonder whether the team misses his influence.
I certainly think there’s something to it; players like Aledmys Diaz certainly have a comfort level with Oquendo from his time in the organization, and it’s not wild to imagine that the Cardinals younger players could benefit from more time around the defensive guru. That said, the influence of a coach can only go so far; in the end, the areas that the Cardinals struggle with will have to be solved by the players on the field. Responsibility has to fall on their shoulders.