Its no secret that the Cardinals have a surplus of outfielders in their system, from major leaguers Matt Holliday, Jon Jay, Peter Bourjos and Allen Craig on down to their AAA outfield of Oscar Taveras, Randal Grichuk (who are both currently on the major league roster) and Stephen Piscotty.
In a recent article, Bernie Miklasz indicated that something's got to give, hinting that a trade is the logical thing to do.
But who might the Cardinals trade and what do they need in return?
Well, Darren Wolfson says that the Twins have interest in Jon Jay and that the Cardinals would probably ask for reliever Casey Fien and a prospect in return. This makes sense for the Cards as they certainly could use the bullpen help and it could open up the possibility of Taveras splitting time with Bourjos in center.
Jon Heyman speculated a while back that the Cardinals could trade either Matt Adams or Allen Craig. However, if the Cardinals were to trade one of those guys, they would be looking for more than a reliever in return.
According to Miklasz, a scout suggested to him that the Cards could try to make a big splash and acquire a "formidable starting pitcher" to complement Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha in the rotation. Two of the biggest starting pitching names that have been rumored to be on the block are the Cubs' Jeff Samardzija and the Rays' David Price.
The Cubs don't seem to be willing to pony up the money necessary to extend Samardzija, who is signed through the 2015 season. However, the Cubs already have a couple of talented outfield prospects in Albert Almora and Jorge Soler. Do they really need another outfielder and would they want to trade within their own division?
As for the Rays and Price, they could certainly use another outfielder, as they are currently employing David DeJesus in left field. While he's a decent outfielder, he doesn't have the power normally associated with a corner guy.
That's not to say that Craig or Adams would be enough to land a pitcher like Price. Most likely it would require some prospects as well. For example, when the Rays traded James Shields and Wade Davis to the Royals a couple years ago, they acquired the Royals top prospects Wil Meyers and Jake Odorizzi, along with a couple other prospects (Mike Montgomery and Patrick Leonard).
Are the Cards willing to part with some of their top prospects for Price, who is only under team control through 2015?
Both Price and Samardzija are more valuable than most players on the block this time of year, as they are under team control beyond 2014, but that just means that their teams will be looking for more in return as well.
In any case, this situation bears watching and I'm sure there will be many more rumors floating around as the July 31st trade deadline gets nearer.