Oct 26, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams (53) hits a double against the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning of game three of the MLB baseball World Series at Busch Stadium. Image Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Is Matt Adams expendable?

St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist Bernie Miklasz warned us a while ago that the St. Louis Cardinals should trade Matt Adams at the own risk. Miklasz made this warning before the acquistion of Peter Bourjos and before Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus went off the market.

Adams is expendable. If all goes as expected, Oscar Taveras will be the right fielder on Opening Day rather than spending more time in Memphis. It’s always possible that Taveras gets more seasoning in Memphis being that he only played in 47 games last year–all but one in AAA. I feel that having Taveras playing every other day in platoon situations would not be to his benefit during the upcoming season.

There’s the question of whether Taveras projects better as a corner outfielder rather than center. In 5 seasons in the minor leagues, Taveras logged 211 games in center and 70 in right field.

With Carlos Beltran‘s time with the Cardinals at an end, right field is, in theory, free. You could play Allen Craig in right with Adams at first but I don’t see that happening in the long term. A lot of that has to do with his injury history.

As Bernie writes, even if Taveras does move over to center, Stephen Piscotty is expected to arrive in late 2014 or in early 2015. For the Cardinals, it is always a good idea to have a backup first baseman to Allen Craig on his days off. This season, Craig started the lion’s share at first while Adams logged in 60 games. If you have to, Matt Carpenter can play first base. With Jhonny Peralta and Daniel Descalso, it’s now possible to also play Carpenter at first.

Prior to the acquisition of Bourjos from the Angels, I would have said that Taveras will play center and Piscotty starts in right field come the start of 2015. Now? It’s kind of hard. Piscotty could come off the bench though. Adams, in theory, remains blocked due to Craig’s injury history as Craig is better off at first base than the outfield. However, I trust in general manager John Mozeliak to make the right call.

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  • CardsFanInChitown2

    I enjoy reading the articles on this website, however, I strongly disagree that Matt Adams should not be a part of the Cards long term plans for the next 5 years. In the post PED era, 30 HR guys (like Adams can easily be) are not a dime a dozen like a decade ago. There weren’t many last year and that’s not going to change. Having a 30HR 100RBI guy who hits .280 and making 550K a year is such a luxury they have to embrace that and Mo knows it. I would bet Craig would be traded before Adams as insane as that sounds, it would be much smarter considering the make up of the team as it is.

  • Mike Brennan

    Not that I would but the old age in the outfield seems to be our left fielder. I find myself wondering with all the youth coming up in the outfield when does Matt Holiday get moved?

  • Scott B

    I think long term Craig needs to play 1B with Taveras and Piscotty close to STL and Jay platooning with Bourjos plus Robinson looking like an improving back-up. Matt Adams would be great trade bait, maybe with Lynn or somebody for perhaps Max Scherzer?

    • digitaldebris

      Are you kidding? Why Max Scherzer? We don’t really need another starting pitching.

  • Boourns76

    As a Red Sox fan, I’d love to see my team trade for Adams. That being said, I think your team looks pretty sweet if it just stands pat and lets Beltran leave. Give Taveras a shot at CF (he certainly seems ready), and move Craig to right. You’ve now got a pretty sick lineup if Kolten Wong can hit at all, with none of the obvious weak spots (Kozma, Freese, Jay) that you had last season, and the same fantastic pitching.

    You guys have one of the best-run teams in baseball, enjoy it.

  • Walter Nunn

    Adams is not expendable because of his demonstrated power and productivity with RISP, plus his potential for home run production. With Beltran gone, our greatest returning home run hitter is Holliday with 21. And Taveras hasn’t played a major league game yet, so it’s premature to assume he’s going to be as good as expected.

  • Michael Banks

    Mike Brennan moving Matt Holiday would be logical except he has a no trade clause and good luck getting him to waive it. As for Adams I am torn. If he is pitched to the right way he won’t have the success he did in limited action last year. He has zero power except when the ball is low in the zone. Once pitchers realized that he was owned in the playoffs. Now that the entire league knows not to pitch him down how great will his power numbers be? He might still get base hits but if pitchers can avoid mistakes and negate his power then I think they’ll be ok with that. He also has many cold zones over the plate. I have a hard time seeing him hit .280 or hit 30 home runs unless he vastly improves his swing and closes up some of those holes while developing power in other areas other than low pitches. I think he would be a more natural dh but at the same time we have no glaring need so who would we trade him for? The only thing we might be lacking is a better back up and/or successor to Molina. Other than that our mlb club and AAA affiliate seem to be fully loaded to overflowing with players. I guess it will work itself out over time.