Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Who are the Cardinals trade chips?

After taking a look at who the Cardinals might pursue at the trade deadline a couple weeks ago, its time to think about who the Cards might trade to get some of those players.  This is not to say that any of these players will be traded in July, but that these guys are, for various reasons, potential trade chips for the team.

First Tier - The Blockbuster Guys

These guys would only be traded in a blockbuster type deal.  I'm thinking along the lines of Cliff Lee, Jurickson Profar or Giancarlo Stanton.

Oscar Taveras

The Cardinals top prospect is likely untouchable, but if it meant getting a player that the team could control for several years, such as Profar or Stanton, I'm sure the Cards would at least consider it.  Taveras is considered the heir apparent to Carlos Beltran in the Cardinals outfield.  However, the emergence of Matt Adams could make Taveras expendable.

Carlos Martinez

Martinez is pitching well at AAA and could be a staple in the Cardinals rotation for years to come.  However, with the abundance of young power arms in the Cards farm system, the team could decide to move him if it meant getting a guy like Lee in return.  There have been questions as to whether Martinez is better suited for the rotation or pen going forward and if the Cardinals don't think he is suited for the rotation, they could make the move.  They just don't want to end up making another Dan Haren for Mark Mulder type of deal.

Second Tier - The Big Deal Guys

These are guys who probably wouldn't be used in a blockbuster type deal, but could get the Cardinals a quality player in return.

Matt Adams

Adams has proven that he is major league ready, but as he is blocked from a starting gig this year and Oscar Taveras is coming up behind him, the Cardinals could make him available for the right piece.  It would have to be someone like Matt Garza, Bud Norris or possibly Ricky Nolasco.

Kolten Wong

Wong is another guy who is blocked at the major league level, which could make him expendable.  As one of the Cardinals top 10 prospects, the team would like a good player in return.  The Phillies could be a possibility if the Cardinals want to upgrade at short with Jimmy Rollins or perhaps Wong could be used in a bigger deal.

Bottom Tier - The Missing Piece Guys

These are guys who the Cardinals might move just to get the final piece to their playoff puzzle, such as another bullpen arm.  Something along the lines of the Cards Zack Cox for Edward Mujica trade last year.

Sam Freeman

Despite posting good numbers at AAA Memphis so far this year (3.30 ERA in 54.2 innings), the Cardinals have passed on Freeman on several occasions when looking for bullpen help.  At age 26, he is no longer considered a prime prospect, but he still throws in the mid-90's and could develop into a good setup man at the major league level.  The Cardinals could potentially swap him for someone like lefties Wesley Wright or Oliver Perez.

Seth Blair

Blair has fallen behind other starting pitchers in the Cardinals organization due to injury and could be trade bait as a result.  He throws 92-94 mph with a potential plus curve and could garner a reliever in return, such as Steve Cishek or John Axford.

These are just a handful of the players the Cardinals might make available at the trade deadline.  With the best minor league system in baseball, the Cards have an abundance of talent to draw from to get a deal done.


  1. I don't get how Rollins is any kind of upgrade at SS. He's batting .261 with a sub .700 OPS and he's making 11 million a year. His stolen base speed is gone and has been in significant decline for 3 years. Rollins is only 10 points of OPS+ over Kozma. Rollins's UZR/150 is 5.9 and Kozma's is 11.9. So for only an extra 10.5 million annually, you can have an old washed up player who is equivalent to Pete Kozma now.

    Mozeliak wouldn't pull that trigger in a million years.

  2. You're right, that was probably a bad example. I was trying to come up with some scenario that made sense (and failed).

    I think if Wong ends up going to the Phillies, its more likely as part of a package of players for Cliff Lee.

  3. Cards DO NOT NEED PITCHING! We need a CF and a SS WHO TEH "F" wants cliff Lee FOr is it 30-36 million a yr?

  4. kolten wong won't be traded either as next year matt carpenter will move to 3rd and wong at 2nd. freese is due another raise and is hardly producing to the level is salary will raise. though matt carpenter doesn't have the power freese does, his defense is better and has a much higher average and OBP. he's become a great leadoff hitter and i can see wong hitting in the 2 spot next year