Keep “Big City” in the City
By Hamm Hooper
In the past couple weeks; there have been rumblings that the Cardinals are interested in trading for Tampa Bay ace David Price. One can only imagine that this interest intensified in the front office when it was revealed on Sunday that both Jaime Garcia and Michael Wacha were placed on the disabled list, leaving a gaping hole in the starting pitching staff. While no one should be surprised at the Garcia injury, the Wacha injury is alarming and it is unclear what exactly the injury is. According to some reports, the injury is either a skeletal injury or a muscular injury, with the skeletal injury being preferable to a quicker recovery. If Wacha were to have a muscular injury, he would ultimately need surgery and be out longer than the Cardinals originally projected.
These injuries have made the idea of acquiring Price more realistic. Some mock trades that I’ve seen have Price coming over for a package deal of Matt Adams, Joe Kelly, and a couple of other prospects. To me, this would be a horrible trade for the Cardinals, primarily because Matt Adams is involved. Matt Adams is hands down the Cardinals best offensive player right now, which he put on display last night as he mashed two home-runs and tallied six RBI’s. Since coming back from the disabled list, Adams has already hit five homers in eleven games. Adams play is not limited to these 11 games, however. In his first full season as a starter, “Big City” is hitting .328 with eight home runs and 31 RBI’s; all of which rank high among Cardinal hitters.
One can certainly see the reasoning behind a trade for Price. While he is not having a great season, Price has typically been a dominant pitcher and a potential playoff rotation of Wainwright, Wacha, and Price would be tough to beat. Trading either Adams or Allen Craig would also open up an everyday playing spot for Oscar Taveras who continues to thrive in Memphis. Yet, the Cardinals troubles aren’t because of pitching, it’s because of their offense. In the MLB, the Cardinals rank third in ERA, first in WHIP, and ninth in quality starts. The Cardinals also have 15 shutouts on the year, six more than any other team. Their offense, on the other hand, ranks 26th in Runs, 18th in Batting Average, and 28th in Slugging Percentage. Those low offensive numbers make the idea of trading away their best offensive player ludicrous. If anything, the Cardinals should be looking to trade for a quality offensive player to fill a hole in either second or third with Matt Carpenter playing the other position.
With the Cardinals only being 4.5 back of the Brewers and playing well of late, the front office should not jump the gun and trade for Price. With the emergence of Lance Lynn and the coming return of Joe Kelly, the Cardinals rotation should stay afloat until more news on Wacha surfaces. Couple this with the continued improvement of Carlos Martinez as a starter and an offense that appears to be finding its groove, the Cardinals should remain in contention for the playoffs.