UPDATED: No Russell or Stutes

15 Aug

Goold says no Russell.

Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty had been handling the negotiations with Russell’s advisers — Alan Hendricks of the Hendricks’ brothers office — and said that while they spoke about general terms their view of those terms were different. Jocketty said they “talked in neighborhoods.”

I have all the apprecation and respect in the world for Mr. Jocketty, but right now…you suck Walt. I have to think right now Jeff Luhnow is stewing, wherever he is. I know I am. How the heck are you going to go cheap in the draft and in free agency and expect to keep winning? I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.

Updated: 8/16, 6:41 am Mike Stutes also is going back to school. I have no idea what he was looking for, but that’s another pity. Stutes probably isn’t far off talent wise then David Kopp, their 2nd round pick.


25 Responses to “UPDATED: No Russell or Stutes”

  1. Jeff August 15, 2007 at 11:23 am #

    We shall see before midnight, but I just don’t have that much confidence in a text message that Kyle sent to a writer of a blog on Texas sports. He did send a “Hook ’em Horns.” text message earlier to this same reporter as well.

    I’ll be glad when the deadline passes because I’m tired of reading the tea(text) leaves to find out what is really going on.

  2. lopey August 15, 2007 at 11:44 am #

    Sigh…this is a pretty pathetic show, like you said yesterday, they are paying Gary Bennett and Aaron Miles the money that Russell needs to be signed and they aren’t willing to do that?

  3. picklefork August 15, 2007 at 12:26 pm #

    This shows who still has the power in this org. For all those who think Luhnow is poised to take over, this shows Walt still makes the call.

    This was Luhnow’s guy and it shows that the drafting/scouting department isnt directly in-line with the front office.

    I hope Russell goes on to be the a top 10 draft pick next season and has a great MLB career, you get what you pay for and the Cards have been shopping at Dollar General.

    No surprise, but I was officially off the Jocketty bandwagon when he tried to trade 2 prospect for Matt Morris…this just seals the deal.

    Never thought it would happen…but Jocketty can go, whenever he wants!

  4. Jeff August 15, 2007 at 1:03 pm #

    Maybe the MLB rule itself is broken?
    The 4 of the top 5 players have not signed as of this afternoon. If they don’t sign, the system is definetly broken.
    Thank god the Cards didn’t pick a stud in the top 5 and then not ink him.
    (Yes, there is compensation, but next years first round is going to be 45 picks long! Pick 10 is going to be pick 17. What is the use of having two top 10 picks if you can’t even sign one?)
    Link to mlb.com article: link

  5. Matt August 15, 2007 at 1:08 pm #

    Even if he doesn’t have a great MLB career, this is still stupid.

    Someone will believe in the upside, and he might be a key cog in an impact trade they need to make.

    Get the best possible players in your system, you can always trade from a position of strength.

  6. picklefork August 15, 2007 at 1:13 pm #

    Kinda like in poker…werent the Cards pot committed on this one?

  7. Shhh August 15, 2007 at 1:43 pm #


  8. azruavatar August 15, 2007 at 2:37 pm #

    This is truly absurd. I am going to try and look at the cost savings of having players develop from your system at some point this offseason. We don’t know what Russell’s actual demands are but this strikes me as ownership not wanting to pony up.

    picklefork — you are drawing some sweeping conclusions from a very isolated incident. I don’t think this is indicative of a front office rift. There’s nothing that says Russell was “Luhnow’s guy” and not “Jocketty’s guy”. I find it much more likely that Dewitt said we can go overslot x% draftees and Russell wants more than that x%. The idea that Jocketty just can’t get it together or is against Luhnow is totally beyond our purview of the situation.

  9. Lou Schuler August 15, 2007 at 2:55 pm #

    I don’t know how disastrous this really is.

    I thought the Cards were well on the way to building a top-tier prospect pipeline in the late ’90s when they took big-money gambles on Boras guys like Chad Hutchinson and Nick Stocks.

    In ’99 and 2000, the Cards were 6th in MLB in the amount of money they spent on signing bonuses.

    By the end of 1998, the Cards had paid three of the top seven bonuses of all time for players signed by the team that drafted them: $3 million for Drew, $2.5 million for Ankiel, and $2.3 million for Hutchinson.

    Even if you include the four loophole guys from the ’97 draft, the Cards still had three of the top 12 compensation packages given to guys who were subject to the draft.

    And what do the Cards have to show for it? Ankiel is the only one still with the team, albeit at a different position. Drew brought us Wainwright in trade, which was a nice turn of events. Hutchinson flamed out. Stocks got hurt.

    Our first two picks in the 2000 draft, Shaun Boyd and Blake Williams, got a total of $3 million in signing bonuses, and didn’t even make it to the majors. Chance Caple got $1.2 million in ’99 and got hurt.

    You guys can probably think of many more examples.

    So I don’t blame the Cards for making sober assessments of risk and reward before signing guys with major holes in their games. They’ve made a lot of agents and failed ballplayers rich over the years.

    If they come to regret not signing Russell for first-round money, then maybe they’ll adjust their risk-reward ratio and get more high-upside guys into the system.

    If it turns out to be a colossal mistake, along the lines of drafting Paul Coleman ahead of Frank Thomas, then the people who made it will pay the price, in which case we have to hope better people will take their place, and better decisions will be made.

    At least, that’s the way it works in most businesses.

  10. azruavatar August 15, 2007 at 3:09 pm #

    You can come up with anecdotes like that for any team. No one has a 100% dead on scouting track record. Kyle Russell has more power potential than anyone in the system now. That includes Mather, Hamilton, Rasmus — anyone. He’s drawn comparisons to Adam Dunn sans the crappy defense.

    I want to give the front office the benefit of the doubt but I just don’t see a lot of high upside players from this draft. That concerns me.

  11. Matt August 15, 2007 at 4:14 pm #

    Just because they swung and missed with the bonus babies a few years ago doesn’t mean that’s the wrong way to draft.

    The money spent wasn’t the problem, it was talent evaluation and some bad luck. There will always be busts, but I still prefer gambling on the upside over taking safe picks with a triple-A ceiling. Or drafting a guy that could one day be a 5th starter in the supplemental round. But he could pitch in high A, right now!

  12. picklefork August 15, 2007 at 4:24 pm #

    Luhnow said in an post draft interview that he got the ok from the front office to make the Russell draft pick.

    He also said that he rated off the charts in his stats based scouting model and was one of their top 20 players as they stacked the board before the draft.

    Every indication I get was, Luhnow pushed for this guy, got the OK to take him and then in the end Jocketty and the Front Office didnt think he was worth the investment.

    So in my mind there is a disconnect at some point with what Luhnow does and what Jocketty does.

    There is no excuse to waste a 4th round pick on a guy 99% of us who followed the draft, knew wasnt going to sign for less then big money.

    We arent a big money team anymore, so why was he allowed to take a big money player?

    Look on the bright side…at least we didnt get another 22 yr old limited upside college right handed sinker baller.

  13. erik August 15, 2007 at 4:38 pm #

    p’fork. i can see what you’re getting at. it does make some sense. russell is luhnow’s guy and walt failed at handling the negotations properly. or at least that’s what i think it’s safe to assume. i think if luhnow were gm, he probably would’ve done everything he could to get it done…but that’s another assumption. the whole thing sucks. i’m really hacked off right now.

  14. azruavatar August 15, 2007 at 4:39 pm #

    Every indication I get was, Luhnow pushed for this guy, got the OK to take him and then in the end Jocketty and the Front Office didnt think he was worth the investment.

    I’ll remind you that Luhnow is part of the front office and I’d be shocked if he wasn’t at least tangentially involved (i.e. Jocketty called him up a few times) on several of the signings. It isn’t like Luhnow handed a sheet of draftees to Walt to sign and then walked away. None of what you say makes Russell “Luhnow’s guy” when he just happens to be the one commenting on him publicly. Your conclusions are just too far reaching.

    I’m not disagreeing that the 4th round pick is confusing; You are looking for a front office rift that just doesn’t fit the facts. Again, it’s more likely that Russell wants over a million and Dewitt wants to toe the MLB draft slot line.

  15. azruavatar August 15, 2007 at 4:42 pm #

    Wow. I just totally don’t get the front office rift thing from this circumstance. I appear to be in the minority though. . .

  16. erik August 15, 2007 at 4:46 pm #

    the rift has already been noted by local and nat’l media alike. i don’t think walt was doing this as a jab at jl, but i think luhnow would’ve done more in negotiating then walt did. i mean, it took them how long to get an official offer, if he ever got one? i don’t know what happened behind closed doors so i can only draw stupid conclusions.

    just put yourself in luhnow’s shoes and ask yourself how you would be feeling right now. you pick the guy. take a calculated risk. and the guys who are threatened (reportedly) by you don’t do the job it takes, and down play the abilities of a player you were thoroughly sold on.

    russell would’ve been a feather in luhnow’s cap, now he’s gone because these guys can’t get on the same page. it’s ludicrous.

  17. snakestl August 15, 2007 at 4:49 pm #

    It’s not a big deal. The guy hasn’t shown any ability to hit with a wood bat and, if there’s one thing the Cardinals have, it’s OF prospects. Move on.

  18. mateodh August 15, 2007 at 5:16 pm #

    Mark McCormick sighting! Pitched a perfect inning for the GCL team today, struck out one. Let’s hope he stays on the mound from here on out, and can finish with something encouraging.

  19. picklefork August 15, 2007 at 5:18 pm #

    If the guy is so bad with the wood and is going to be expensive, why was he picked in the 1st place?

    Again to me its either them being cheap or them being poor talent evaluators.

    Either way, its not a good scenario.

  20. Mike August 15, 2007 at 5:39 pm #

    How is this Jocketty’s fault? He needs Dewitt’s approval to sign these kids.

  21. Paul August 15, 2007 at 5:54 pm #

    McKormick??? Awesome! Hope he can stay healthy and advance quickly

  22. whiteyball August 15, 2007 at 7:42 pm #

    Russell’s teammate, Brad Suttle, was also a fourth round pick and got 1.3 million from the Yankees. Suttle, too, is represented by the Hendricks. His bonus in a record for a fourth round pick. Russell is considered to have a higher upside but Suttle is supposed to be a safer bet to hit at the higher levels. So, I would guess that Russell was asking for this much or more and the Cardinals were not willing to set the $$ record for a fourth round pick. Do you want to give a record bonus to a guy who has tremendous power, but strikes out quite a bit and has struggled with wood bats?


  23. erik August 15, 2007 at 9:16 pm #

    i think the bottom line is we can speculate all we want, but we don’t know who’s fault it really is. the hendrick bros could be asking for too much jack, dewitt could be being cheap, walt could not be sold on him and therefore unwilling to negotiate more…who knows for sure? after calming down a bit and getting my emotions out of it, it’s not the end of the world. yes, russell struggled with wood bats but i still think he’ll be fine and his upside was worth spending what they would spend on a run of the mill reliever or a bench player. apparently the cardinals didn’t. that’s the bottom line. just hopefully he doesn’t go to the cubs or the astros or something like that. 🙂

  24. lopey August 15, 2007 at 11:37 pm #

    I’m not sure i buy this entire “rift in the front office thing” either, azru. the main thing is, like whiteyball mentioned, they had to know that this guy was going to want some big bucks since he has great power potential (and before people scoff at an Adam Dunn comparison they might be interested in knowing that Dunn is projected to finish top 5 in Homeruns in the major leagues this year). So why did they even waste the pick if they weren’t willing to break the bank from the get-go? They could have just picked some college senior with triple a potential and signed him at the slot price instead of just flat out wasting a 4th rounder.

    Then again, maybe they wanted to draft him just so they could keep someone else from drafting him and wait and see how his next college season goes? Seems unlikely, but i’ve seen crazier things happen i suppose.

  25. Grant August 16, 2007 at 2:53 pm #

    I don’t know what to think about the leaders of this organization anymore. They won’t spend money on Free Agents (good ones anyway), or on the draft. I hope there is a change in philosophy before Albert becomes a FA.

    As for Stutes, I’m not that upset he didn’t sign. From what I saw of him, we have enough pitchers like him in the system already. His stuff reminded me of Josh Kinney.

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