The K-Zone: Trade Whispers


Feb 22, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak watches Spring Training workouts at Roger Dean Stadium. Image Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Are the Cardinals actively looking to make a deal right now with GM Jeff Luhnow and the Houston Astros?

The following tweet was sent out on March 16th by one of the more notable baseball insiders in the business:

"Peter Gammons ‏@pgammo16 MarCards are asking about a SS as well as P. Interested in Lucas Harrell and Bud Norris of Astros"

With Furcal’s injury, it comes as no surprise that they would be kicking the tires on potentially available shortstop options, but it makes little sense that they would be in pursuit of additional rotation help considering the stockpile of young arms they already possess in their farm system. What would such a move mean, if anything, with regards to the rotation battle they have going on currently? In my estimation, I don’t think this would have much to do with the #5 spot in the rotation. The Cardinals seem fairly committed to letting Shelby Miller, or Joe Kelly, man that spot this season. However, it may be signalling a proactive stance in the event that noticeably much slimmer Lance Lynn can not rebound from his Spring Training struggles while trying to master a new delivery that is tailored to his newly gained flexibility as reported by St. Louis Post-Disptach writer Derrick Goold yesterday.

Lynn’s spring has been less than stellar to say the least. In 4 starts, Lynn has pitched a total of 12 innings and has posted a 1-3 record, 7.50 ERA, and a .370 batting average against while allowing 10 earned runs on 20 hits including 2 home runs, and 3 walks against only 5 strikeouts. Needless to say, he hasn’t been himself, and this might just be the reason the Cardinals are reportedly thinking of making a deal to bring in another starting pitcher.

Is it possible that this potential move is the platform by which the Cardinals would jettison power hitting Matt Adams, a prospect that GM Jeff Luhnow most surely covets who is currently blocked at the major league level in the St. Louis system?  Would Lucas Harrell, who has exactly 1 full season as a Major League starter under his belt in which he went 11-11 with a 3.76 ERA and 140 strikeouts in 193.2 innings pitched, or Cardinal Killer Bud Norris, who sports a 4.4+ ERA and has amassed 499 strikeouts but has not bested .500 in any of his 3 full seasons as a starter, be enough to justify moving a legitimate left hand power hitting prospect?

It’s unclear who the shortstop target in the Astros organization might be, but one name you can eliminate immediately is former frustrating Cards prospect Tyler Greene who could never put it all together during his time under the Arch. Greene aside, one would have to imagine that every other SS prospect not named Carlos Correa in the Astros farm system is on the table for inclusion in any deal after Luhnow spent the #1 overall pick on him in this past years draft. Again though, would a SS prospect from the Astros farm system really be an upgrade over the likes of Greg Garcia or Ryan Jackson? Apparently, the Astros didn’t think highly enough of any of them when the draft rolled around because they took the aforementioned Correa instead of an impact starting pitching prospect.

It will certainly be interesting to see if this seemingly off hand tweet from Gammons gains any traction before the end of Spring Training. From my vantage point, sometimes the best moves are the ones not made.