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.

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. Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

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.