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It's about Baseball, and Off-season Sports

Matt Adams, First of Five Cardinals AE to Ink A Deal. Cardinals Caravan Canceled Friday and Saturday

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Cardinals announced yesterday, 1B Matt Adams was signed to a 1 Yr/$2.8 MM per Baseball Reference. He was among the five arbitration eligible players to be signed this off-season. Carlos Martinez, Trevor Rosenthal, Kevin Siegrist and Michael Wacha still to be finalized. 

Adams, who has experienced injury in his past three seasons - elbow issues, hamstring injury and in 2015 a season ending quad injury which required surgery - he has yet to see a full season of play. Currently, with the Cardinals, even with conditioning in this off-season, a full season of play will be put on the back burner. He is expected to be back-up for first base, a bench hitter for the Cardinals in the 2017 season "if" not traded. There has been some interest shown for the left-handed hitter during this off-season. This was his second year of eligibility. 

CARDINALS CARAVAN HAS BEEN CANCELED FOR FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

Many Cardinals fans that were expecting to see their players during this weekend's Cardinals Caravan will be disappointed. Due to severe icy conditions predicted across the Midwest; and, for player, emcee and staff safety, the events have been canceled for today and tomorrow

Cardinals ~ After Free Agent Hunt And Peck; Now, Arbitration Eligible Five. MLB Team Counter Offer Deadline Today

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Free Agent Frenzy has died down, St. Louis Cardinals locked in CF Dexter Fowler; and, had been linked to others by "rumors". The MLB Arbitration Eligible (AE) period is upon each of the 30 teams to players who have had three years of service. The Cardinals still have five players yet to be signed that are arbitration eligible. And, usually, a one year contract is negotiated. First year AE, pitchers Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha and Kevin Siegrist. Second year AE, pitcher Trevor Rosenthal and 1B Matt Adams.   

Pitcher Carlos Martinez, first year arbitration eligible, one of five Cardinals to file contract consideration. Monday, January 2, 2017 was the deadline for AE players to file.

The past Monday, January 2, 2017, was the deadline for AE players to file,  with their respective teams, salary considerations. Today is the deadline for a team to counter offer.

Last season, Cardinals fans expected closer Trevor Rosenthal to be inked with an extension. His 2014/2015 seasons with 45/48 saves, respectively. Surprisingly, it did not happen. Surprisingly, 2B Kolton Wong in his first year AE was extended with a 5 Yr/$25.5 MM contract. Rosenthal sustained injury this past season and Wong, defensively sound, did not produce at the plate as expected. Money well spent, time will tell if the adjustments Wong supposedly is making this off-season will give him an offensive "break-out" season in 2017.  

This season, out of the five Cardinals players arbitration eligible, fans are waiting to hear that an extension has been inked with starter Carlos Martinez. Last season he was the heart of the Cardinals rotation. Closed 16-9/3.04 ERA with 174 strikeouts. In 2015, 14-7/3.01 ERA with 184 strikeouts. Since this is his first year of eligibility, an extension would be a minimum of three years to take him out of the AE negotiations for the next three seasons. However, I would look for a five year to delay his free agency as is set in 2020, currently. He is consistent, solid, firey, and the only one of the five that is worthy, in my opinion. He has the potential to be Cardinals new "Ace" on the hill. Of course, the bottomline will be the money. To me, 5 Yr/$25-$35 MM would be in the ballpark of a "fair deal", with graduated monies, throw in a team option for year six, maybe seven. Not enough? Give me your timeline and figures. Being a controlled salary for the past three seasons, last season Martinez earned $539,000. 

Since today is the deadline for teams to counter offer to those who have filed, look for negotiations to heat up between now and mid-month, with signed contracts in place. Look for one year deals for Cardinals Wacha, Siegrist, Rosenthal and Adams. The Arbitration Hearings don't begin until January 30, 2017 and will go through mid-month of February. The last Cardinals attended the hearings was in 2013 with David Freese

So Cardinals fans ~ stay tune. 

Blues Take Command Over The Blackhawks, 4-1, in 2017 Winter Classic

With rain in the forecast for the St. Louis area on the second day of our new year, Mother Nature did not delay play for the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. The NHL made the announcement early yesterday morning, the game would go on as scheduled. St. Louis Blues hosted the Chicago Blackhawks at Busch Stadium in front of a packed stadium of 46, 456 fans. Light rain fell early in the match-up, but soon dispersed as the "show went on". I would guesstimate there were close to the same number of fans that filled Cardinals Ball Park Village and the streets around the stadium. Quite the historic event for the city as Blues celebrate their 50 Anniversary; and, first ever to host a Winter Classic in Busch Stadium. 

St. Louis Blues thank their fans with a win over the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-1, Monday, January 2, 2017

I can not do this event justice, as I am not a certified hockey fan. But, after watching the Winter Classic Alumni Game and yesterday's game, I found that I enjoyed both. However, with that said, I will not attempt to go into a large amount of detail. I'm afraid should I do so, I'd be eaten alive by those who know the game well. So just a handful of highlights I will share, without too much damage, or disagreement. 

The Blackhawks started off with the first goal early in the first period by Michael Kempny, which quieted the enthusiasm of the Blues fans just a tad. Even though, the Blues did not back down, going into the intermission tied, 1-1; they came back with the next three to take the win. 

Even though not a hockey specialist, I quickly realized, Blues Vladimir Tarasenko was the player of the game, first with his go-ahead goal. Then added another for St. Louis.

"Vladimir Tarasenko scored two late goals in under two minutes as Jake Allen made 22 saves to lead the Blues to a 4-1 Winter Classic victory"  A great grab by Blues goalie Jake Allen, for what I'm presuming was one of his "saves". Regardless, a great play. Watching; and, Blackhawks goalie, Corey Crawford, disappeared. Watching this historic extravaganza and no goalie?  Blues Alexander Steen scores the "empty netter" for the final goal and win for the Blues. Still amazed - no goalie? That one threw me. But, with information shared I learned not uncommon for a team to remove their goalie, with a deficit on the board, to put an additional defender on the ice to help score. Crazy. All I know is that the move for the Blackhawks didn't work out so well.  

I have a lot to learn about this sport. I'm sure there are others out there that will give a 'seasoned' hockey fan more stats and numbers. Me personal, I'm not going to set myself up for crucifixion. Already went through that when blogging about the "possible" postponement due to warmer temps producing rain in the forecast. For me, however, it was a great game yesterday, as much as the Alumni Game on New Year's Eve. Two back-to-back wins for the St. Louis Blues. Alum's 8-7 over their counterparts for the Blackhawks; and, the Blues current team, 4-1, win. A great way to close 2016 and begin 2017. I enjoyed both thoroughly. 

St. Louis Blues ~ 50 years on the ice.

Maybe this will set the pace for our St. Louis Cardinals in their upcoming season. But, for yesterday; and even today, I'm sure St. Louis fans are still on a hockey high. Congratulations to the St. Louis Blues. Way to go. My friends, who so enjoy this sport, may just make a hockey fan out me yet. 

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