Two weeks ago I would have told you that the Cardinals had finally found their footing after going 8-1 in their last nine games and climbing to within 3.5 games of the Brewers. I would have told you their offense is fine as they boasted high scoring games against New York and Colorado. Today, I’m worried that the Cardinals might not score another run this season.
In their last five games, the Cardinals have scored only four runs and have been shutout in three of those games. They are in the midst of a 23 inning scoreless streak and have fallen a daunting 6.5 games back of the Brewers. Everyone predicted that the Cardinals offense would regress after a historic year in 2013, but I’m not sure anybody would have guessed that they would be this bad. Right now, the Cardinals rank 28th out of 30 teams in runs scored and are only hitting .248 as a team. I can smell the stench of those putrid numbers coming out of St. Louis all the way in Washington D.C.
Yet, the glory of the extra wild card is that the Cardinals are still within striking distance of a playoff berth as they sit only 1.5 games of the Dodgers and Nationals. With the offense performing this badly, it’s time to squash the rumors about trading for David Price and focus on adding an offensive player to spark this lineup. Ideally, the Cardinals would want to add either a second basemen or third basemen with Matt Carpenter playing the other position.
There is only one real requirement when looking for a team to tango with and that is those teams are out of the playoff race. With no hopes of post-season baseball, clubs are usually more open to trade away their bigger name players to see what sort of quality and quantity they can get in return. Below is a list of players and the state of their respective teams that the Cardinals could trade for to bolster their weak offense.
Player: Chase Headley- .202 AVG, 6 HR, 24 RBI
State of Padres: Irrelevant for past eight years
To get the elephant out of the room, yes, Chase Headley is having an absolutely terrible season. But lets not forget that it was only two years ago when Headley mashed 31 home runs and 115 RBIs. I can’t imagine it can be very motivating to play for a team that is on its way to a fourth consecutive losing season, so maybe Headley simply needs a change of scenery to regain his 2012 form. Due to his dismal season, the asking price shouldn’t be too high for Headley if the Cardinals want to take a risk on him. Place Headley on a contender like the Cardinals and he could provide the punch the offense needs.
Player: Adrian Beltre- .332 AVG, 9 HR, 42 RBI
State of Rangers: Banned the “Wave” because they’re so bitter about the season
Adrian Beltre is a borderline Hall of Famer and is currently having another great season for the Rangers. He leads the team offensively in batting average, home runs, runs batted in and on-base percentage. It would be an understatement to say that the Cardinals could use a little bit of his offense in their lineup. The Rangers are also suited to be sellers during the trade season as they are 2-11 in their last 13 games and 13.5 back of the A.L. West leading A’s. They also have a stud third basemen in the minors that they could bring up if tempted into an offer for Beltre. The Cardinals might not be willing to give up a lot for the 35 year-old third basemen who is being paid quite well until 2016, but there’s no denying that Beltre would be a huge boost for the Cardinals.
Player: Chase Utley- .292 AVG, 6 HR, 38 RBI
State of Phillies: Even the Phanatic can’t catch a break
Again, another older player that might be a stretch for the Cardinals to acquire, but there is no denying that Chase Utley has been raking this season for a lifeless Phillies team. Imagine the Cardinals lineup with Carpenter batting leadoff and Utley in the two-hole…screw it lets trade the farm for him right now. The Phillies are in desperate need to rebuild their roster and should be in selling mode with big name guys such as Utley, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee that teams would salivate for. The asking price would be high, but if the Cardinals believe their window to win a championship is now, they should make a power move for a power bat.