There are ten days left until the July 31 trading deadline so St. Louis Cardinals trade rumors have hit their peak.
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Some of these trade rumors are wishful thinking. Others don’t get started until a member of the media, be it the national media or the St. Louis beat writers, reports on something that they heard.
Where do we stand now? I don’t think that the Cardinals will get Troy Tulowitzki. We know that Tulo wants to play for a contender but the Colorado Rockies ownership isn’t keen on trading the face of the Rockies.
What about Florida Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton? Never say never but I just don’t see this one happening. True, the Cardinals would trade Oscar Taveras, amongst others, to get a proven talent such as Stanton.
All eyes are on Tampa Bay Rays left-handed pitcher David Price. I think what will push the Cardinals over the edge to really be aggressive is today’s news from Michael Wacha‘s MRI. The MRI was encouraging news for Wacha but he’s going to have to build up the arm strength before pitching in another game for the Cardinals. At the moment, Wacha won’t pitch in a game until September.
During last night’s game on ESPN, ESPN senior writer Buster Olney reported that one executive said that the three teams that will be the most aggressive on obtaining Price are the Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Seattle Mariners. Here’s where it gets tricky: the Rays are six games out of a playoff spot.
Olney writes in a new column today:
"The addition of Price would give St. Louis a left-handed twin to Adam Wainwright and make the whole pitching staff better by removing stress on a bullpen that has had to suck up a lot of innings. The Cardinals rank 29th in runs scored, and it’s still unclear how good they might be. But with Price and Wainwright, they would be strong contenders to reach the World Series again."
Make no mistake, a 1-2 tandem of Wainwright and Price would be awesome. Both pitchers have the ability to go deep in the game–something that we are not really seeing from Carlos Martinez as he moved into the rotation. Shelby Miller has been placed in the bullpen after the All-Star break so there’s a question of what kind of impact he will have down the stretch.
As we saw in the recent trade between the Oakland Athletics and Chicago Cubs, there will be prospects that will be given up.
"It’s hard to imagine the Cardinals making a Price trade without including Oscar Taveras, at a time when St. Louis — like the Dodgers — needs to get younger and add power. Taveras is young and has power. The Rays would want more than Taveras as well, probably insisting on some of the Cardinals’ great young pitching."
This is where people get turned off by such a potential trade. Unless an Evan Longoria is included in what could be a Cardinals-Rays megadeal, I just cannot envision the Cardinals trading away Taveras and his power bat. Such a deal for Longoria would move Matt Carpenter back to second base and Kolten Wong out of a job unless he is sent packing to Tampa Bay.
Longoria turns 29 in October and is signed for a 15-year deal valued at $144.5 million. The deal runs through 2022 with a team option for 2023. His numbers are down this season, too. Could a change of scenery be what is needed?
The Mariners have essentially been ruled out because Price won’t sign a contract extension with them. They would be trading a lot to get a player for fifteen months. The Cardinals, because of the depth in the farm system, are able to risk making a move. Unless the Mariners go crazy with sending prospects to Tampa Bay for 15 months of Price, the Cardinals probably stand the best chance of landing one of the best pitchers out there.
The Chicago Cubs probably don’t make the postseason and there’s no denying that they would be interested in the Rays pitcher. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cubs had hired the former Vandy pitching coach, too. Will it make a difference for the Cubs at all? We’ll see.