September 3, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher James Shields (33) in the dugout between innings against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Could Rays, Cards be off-season trade partners?

Today I will continue looking at possible off-season moves.

MLB Trade Rumors suggested last week that Skip Schumaker may be on the way out in St. Louis, just as I did yesterday when I discussed Skip Schumaker’s future in St. Louis.

The purpose for my critical look at the Cardinals roster is not to suggest dismantling the team and disrupt the Cardinals chemistry. My goal is to generate discussion and get fans to look critically and realistically at next years possible roster makeup. The reality is Skip may not be around next year. I won’t like it any more than you Redbird Rants faithful either.

So what do the Cardinals have to offer? The short answer is there is a lot of if’s involved. The general consensus around the United Cardinal Bloggers–and also featured here at Redbird Rants– is that Matt Adams is a potential trading piece this off-season.

Now to the if’s, some of which is a reiteration of yesterday’s piece I wrote. My apologies for being redundant to those of you who read yesterday’s piece.

  1. IF… Schumaker and Adams have not been traded by spring training, look for Mike Matheny to promote a competition for playing time in 2013. This would get the most out of all the players.
  2. IF… Kolten Wong and Oscar Taveras make a strong case for the Opening Day roster–or early season promotions for that matter–look for Schumaker and Adams to be dangled as trade bait.
  3. IF… The Cardinals do not make any free agent signings at shortstop or the rotation, look for those spots to be filled via trade, with Schumaker and Adams as trade candidates.

That’s a lot of if’s. It’s suggested that the Cardinals may want to make some additions to the rotation or seek a left-handed reliever.

Over at one of our other Fansided blogs, Rays Colored Glasses, Schumaker was suggested as a possible trade target. To expand on Dereck Violante‘s mention of Skip, the Rays are also known to be looking for a replacement to free agent Carlos Pena at first base. The Rays meanwhile, according to MLB Trade Rumors, are open to shopping up to 4/5 of their rotation.

Being young and having years of team control left, lefty Matt Moore would cost the most in terms of players to acquire, so I’m ruling him out right off the bat. Jeremy Hellickson and Jeff Niemann are mediocre options, but solid #4-5 arms in my opinion. James Shields, meanwhile only has a guaranteed year of team control left. His $9M salary (and $12M option for ’14) would be attractive to the Rays to move.

Maybe Adams and Schumaker aren’t enough to get a deal like this done. But Adams power and Schumaker’s versatility have to be attractive to the Rays. I think a deal like this involves more than the three mentioned players, but I’ve provided a starting point for discussion.

I’ve got my thoughts out there. Maybe you can fill in the blanks that could be the pieces to make this deal a reality. Maybe you’re dead set against it. Whatever the case may be, let me know in the comment section below.



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Tags: Matt Adams Skip Schumaker St Louis Cardinals

  • Shane Musser

    you just said Hellickson is a “mediocre “… the kid threw a 3.10 era this year and that was a DOWN YEAR for him, that and he plays in the al east that has 4/8 of the top offences in baseball. Yes he was only 10-11 but the rays scored a average 2.9 runs when he was pitching, kinda hard to win under those conditions as a pitcher…

    • RobbSaul

      To clarify, I was not talking “mediocre” talent. I am talking a “mediocre” option for the Cardinals. Not my favorite of the 4 mentioned starters on the Rays.

      • Justin Jay

        Would you prefer Shields? Why? Because his K/9 are better? Come on man, the fact is Hellboy is the more consistent pitcher. I’ve seen enough of Shields to know that he’s good, but not at the level of Hellickson. Hellickson’s 1st 2 years were better than Shields. He should be #2 on the list of the available 4 and should only improve with Cardinals. But unless you plan on throwing Matt Carpenter and/orMatt Adams along with Schumaker, there’s no way the Cards are landing any of them.

        • RobbSaul

          K/9 is no factor. Out of the 4 he would be the easiest to acquire without the Cardinals selling the farm.

  • Justin Jay

    I’m with Shane on this. How can you possibly call Hellickson mediocre? He had absolutely no run support at times during the season! Hellickson is EASILY a #2 starter on most teams. EASILY

    • RobbSaul

      I covered what you brought up in both your comments Justin. In the post I suggested right off the bat a Schumaker/Adams package. I also said that the trade would possibly require more than just Schumaker/Adams for Shields.That’s where I wanted readers get creative and fill in the blanks on the rest of the deal.

      As far as the mediocre comment, I clarified in response to Shane that I was referring to Hellickson as being a mediocre solution for the Cardinals. Why? His trade value due to team control and low salary would require more in return for him. With Wainwright, Carpenter, Garcia, Lynn and Miller, Lynn would likely go to the pen and Hellickson would probably be a 3-4 starter. You’re right, most teams he is a #2, EASILY. I agree. Matt Moore, who would be my first choice, is nearly untouchable, though the Rays said they are willing to listen to offers for him. But I wouldn’t give up the whole farm to get him, because the rotation is not a glaring need for the Cardinals.

      Shields on the other hand only has one more year left on his contract and a 2014 option. It won’t take as much to acquire him. The Rays don’t plan on re-signing him and have been dangling him as trade bait for nearly a year.

      So left with a choice do I choose Shields? Yes. Do I prefer him over Hellickson or Moore? Hell no! I just don’t see the need to trade away the whole system, when a back of the rotation arm is all that is needed. If they don’t get one, I feel fine with them standing pat with what they have now.

      It’s not always about talent. It comes down to cost as well. That’s not just in dollars and cents, but in MLB players or prospects needed to swing those deals.

      • Justin Jay

        Hey dude, sorry. I’m still new to using this whole fansided system of posting. Anyway, you are spot on in terms of acquisition and ceiling limits. Hellickson is a #2 right now, but he’s on a team of guys that are potential Aces (Moore and Archer… Cobb probably is a #2, but with more upside than Hellboy.).

        To acquire Shields though… knowing what we know now from the Royals trade… it might have cost the Cards more than you thought to acquire him. And honestly, with guys like Miller, Rosenthal, and Wacha in your system (I mention the last 2 because I’m sure you know there’s talk to make 1 or both a starter), do you really need another arm anyway?

  • Connor Allen

    One of the weakest positions for the Rays last year was catcher and with the signing of Rob Johnson, the cardinals now have a little depth there. The Cards could look to shop Bryan Anderson or Stephen Hill in this package. Also I think they should look to deal Kozma. I don’t think he will ever hit better than he did last season and with the Cards looking elsewhere and some prospects coming up, he is expendable.