The UCB Roundtable continues here!

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The question today; Mulder’s contract has been bought out. He has been terminated. What other current Cardinal contracts would you like to see bought out or terminated?

Well, I think the obvious one is Adam Kennedy.

The problem with contract termination in baseball is that the contract is guaranteed.  So they can terminate all they want, but they’re still paying the salary, so what’s the point?

The only advantages I could ever see to an outright release would be if there was ever a rift between upper management and on-field management over who should be getting playing time, and the GM decided to release a player so the manager couldn’t use him.  Right or wrong, this is what comes to mind immediately for me when I think of ensuring that the Cardinal youngsters get the proper opportunity under LaRussa’s management (although he certainly showed a willingness to go with some youth in 2008).

The other case would be Kennedy’s – it’s clear he had found LaRussa’s doghouse over the course of the season, and has expressed his desire to move on.  I guess if you were worried about him “pulling an Edmonds” or something, it might be worthwhile to just bury him, despite his wishes.  In this case, what’s the point of him taking up a roster spot?

From Pitchers Hit Eighth

It’s tough to come up with one other than Adam Kennedy.  I’d probably lean toward Joel Pineiro, though, if we had to make another selection.  Pineiro’s not likely to be of much use, save perhaps keeping a prospect in Memphis, and he’s going to tie up more than he’s worth

Words of C70 at the Bat

It’s Adam Kennedy, and only Adam Kennedy.  There are a handful of guys on the team that I wouldn’t miss if they were traded, however.  Those would include Brad Thompson, Chris Duncan, Joel Pineiro, and Ryan Franklin.  Good luck dumping that group on someone huh?

Mike on the Cards enlightens us

To me, it has to be Jo-El. I know, everyone just wants Kennedy to disappear, but in truth, his glove was good enough that he was actually almost tolerable. Plus, there isn’t really anyone kicking down the middle infield door in the Cards’ minor leagues.

El Pinata, on the other hand, could be replaced by Brad Thompson, Mitch Boggs, Clay Mortensen, Jess Todd, or my dead grandmother and the Cardinals wouldn’t lose any performance. He’s set to make 7.5 million this year, I believe, and I didn’t see anything last year to make me think that five and change ERA he vomited up there was the result of anything but good old fashioned suck.

In short, yes, I would looove to see an upgrade in the MI over the scrappy, caucasian hydra the Cardinals ran out there last year, but Kennedy adds enough value with his glove that I can stomach another go ’round with him. Pineiro, in my ever so humble estimation, is the player on this roster who would best serve the Cards by not being one.

Written by Riverfront Times

Let’s face it, the Cardinals have paid Chris Carpenter $19 million to pitch 21 1/3 innings over the last two seasons, and they’re on the hook for another $58.5 million over the next four seasons for an oft-injured pitcher who turns early 34 next season. Who among us doesn’t love the Carpenter? Nobody, but it looks like the pundits who questioned this deal were right. Now, $14-15 million a season when Carp’s on his game is good deal in today’s market, but how many 180-200 inning seasons does he have left?

Cardinal Diaspora’s words of wisdom

Adam Kennedy’s roster spot is worth more than the $4 million he is due. I remember a few years ago a good article on how the Red Sox felt compelled to play Doug Mientkiewicz (typed that without looking, btw) because he was on their roster earning money, though it probably wasn’t in their best interests (sorry I can’t find the link for you all). I think the same applies to Kennedy, who will necessarily get playing time if he’s on the team in 2009 (not likely). If he offered any positional versatility at all (corner outfield doesn’t count), such as third base, he could be justified. The team can do more with a roster spot reserved for a player who can only play second base against righties.

As for the others mentioned, Pineiro’s contract is bad, but he can at least provide some return on it; eating $7.5 just isn’t an option for a team not named the Yankees, Red Sox or Mets. Ditto Carpenter, obviously, but trading him (outside the scope of this question, I know) — giving him away — makes very good sense. Good luck finding a buyer, though.

Fungoes

Piniero’s $7.5M gagger of a contract for next year is the clear winner to me (and love the El Pinata nickname, by the way).  I’d dump that.  Kennedy?  $4M is a lot, especially for a part time player, but he’s only part time based on how LaRussa has decided to use him.  That contract doesn’t bother me.

If Carpenter doesn’t recover from his 2008 injuries to throw 150+ innings a year for the remainder of his deal, then, sadly, he’ll jump onto this list too.

And to beat this dead horse again, but the Lohse deal will eventually come back to haunt us.  His WPA/LI of 1.70 last season was definitely serviceable, and he has shown improvement over his recent past seasons overall; but if he regresses to the pitcher he has been, instead of improving on the pitcher he is now, this deal will far outdistance the $7.5M we gave to Piniero (or lit on fire in the middle of the street, I can’t decide which) as one we regret.

Stan Musial’s Stance

Wow, these guys know their stuff. Feel free to look at past and then be prepared for future discussions of this knowledgeable group.