Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Can the Cardinals find room for both Matt Adams and Oscar Taveras in the 2014 lineup?

Everyone assumes that Oscar Taveras is the heir apparent to take over for Carlos Beltran in right field in 2014.  However, with the way Matt Adams has started out of the gate this season, its entirely possible that Adams starts at first next year with Allen Craig moving to right.

But, if that should happen, where does that leave Taveras?

Its a nice problem to have, as it shows the Cardinals depth and overall talent level is high.  But, when you have a special talent like Taveras and a masher like Adams, you want their bats in the lineup as much as possible.

Something has got to give...

....which brings me to John Jay.

Jay has been an excellent table setter for the Cards over the last 3+ years, hitting a combined .295/.353/.398 in either the leadoff or #2 spot in the order.  However, he has little power and little speed and could easily be replaced by Taveras.

For his part, Taveras has shown he is capable of playing center field, having started nearly 60% of his minor league games there, and, while probably not as good defensively as Jay, he should be an improvement offensively.

Now, I'm not in a rush to get rid of Jay or relegate him to the bench, but, if Taveras proves capable of playing center in the majors, it gives the Cardinals the flexibility to potentially trade Jay to fill another hole (such as shortstop).

Add in the fact that Jay will be arbitration eligible for the first time next year and the Cards may want to make a move just to free up some money to spend on other areas.

Of course, the Cardinals could just trade Taveras for Jurickson Profar, as everyone keeps suggesting they do.  But, I already covered that last week and don't think its such a great idea for the Cards.

In any case, the Cardinals will need to sort out this logjam, probably over the winter, and it will be up to John Mozeliak to determine the best solution for the Cards for 2014 and the future.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a Rangers fan and a bigger Cardinal fan. The Profar for Taveras trade SHOULD be made. It is perfect for both teams. I don't doubt that Taveras is the better hitter. SO! You typically get more production from OFs than you do SSs. Turning our weakest position (SS) into possibly our strongest is the best way to improve this team--now and into the future.
    -Paul H