In a sign that perhaps Stephen Piscotty could be the future right fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, GM John Mozeliak could be seeking a short-term replacement at this week’s GM Meetings.
The outfield prospect is still a year away from requiring Rule 5 protection so the Cardinals do not need to rush him to the big leagues but they don’t want to block him either.
Mozeliak spoke with the media while in Surprise, Arizona.
"“For us, I feel we could just play with what we have,” Mozeliak said Monday while watching an Arizona Fall League game featuring a handful of his team’s prospects. “But that puts you in a pretty fragile state if something were to go wrong. That’s something we’re working through now in the market and with different trade possibilities, too. The thing that is tough is addressing that without taking away opportunities for certain players. If we were to go all-in on something it might change the situation (or block) another player.”"
It seems like Mo could be satisfied with some sort of platoon in right field. According to the article by Derrick Goold, the team appears to be “comfortable with the incumbents” at first base and right field. At the same time, however, there could be some vulnerability. Last offseason, the Cardinals signed Mark Ellis to a one-year deal even though Kolten Wong was set to start the season at second base.
"“We’re more exposed at first base or a corner outfield spot if we’re not having success,” Mozeliak said. “If you have the opportunity to get impact, you should try, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we will have that opportunity. And it might not be this year. It might be next year that we chase it. That part of it is definitely fluid.”"
Whether or not they land a short-term right fielder, the team is still planning upgrade their bullpen with a left-handed pitcher and increase the depth on the bench.
For now, the Cardinals plan to sign or trade for an outfielder that could serve in a role similar to that of Carlos Beltran. Beltran held the place of right field for two seasons, ultimately paving the way for Allen Craig.
"“I feel one of the successes that we’ve had is we haven’t really blocked’’ young players, Mozeliak said. “Players have had the opportunity to play. I’m hopeful that we don’t have to go down that path. So it’s more of a situation if we could find a way to get a stopgap to give us protection instead of something long-term. I think that would be safe. … There are a lot of different ways to address this. How we’re trying to pin down (possible moves) is tough because there are so many different ways we could look at this.”"