St. Louis Cardinals Rumors: Is Jon Jay now a likely trade chip?


Earlier this week, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch broke down the forthcoming logjam in the St. Louis Cardinals’ outfield, which could shape the team’s moves in the next month.

As Miklasz points out in his piece (which is definitely worth a read), manager Mike Matheny is going to have his hands full with outfielders here in the near future.

Veteran left-fielder Matt Holliday is set to return in the next few weeks, either right before or immediately following the All-Star Break in mid-July.

Holliday joins the likes of Randal Grichuk, Jason Heyward, Peter Bourjos and Jon Jay vying for time in the Cardinals outfield this season – with two of the team’s three outfield spots firmly locked down.

Holliday, as Miklasz makes clear, has left-field locked down. Heyward will continue to handle things in the other corner-outfield spot, given he’s been the Cardinals’ most dangerous hitter of-late.

Which leaves center field up in the air.

I’ll come right out and say that I would keep Grichuk in the lineup on a daily basis; just shifting him over to center. Matheny could then employ Bourjos as a spark plug off the bench, filling in for one of the team’s starters on needed days off.

The biggest obstacle to this plan?

The St. Louis Cardinals’ manager’s allegiance to long-time players. The Post-Dispatch columnist makes a good point – one that I most certainly agree with.

"I respect Matheny’s loyalty to players; it’s one of his strengths and the source of his players’ loyalty in return. But common sense should apply here. Again, it’s nothing personal. But If Jay isn’t physically capable of swinging the bat in a way that helps the team – or himself – what’s the point of sending him out there to fail? That doesn’t do Jay any favors."

Which brings us to the looming question: what to do with Jon Jay.

With the plethora of options on the 25-man and prospects like Stephen Piscotty nearing big-league-ready, Jay is now expendable.

That, coupled with his struggles following offseason wrist surgery, seem to make the 30-year-old the likely odd man out.

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Last season, Jay batted .303/.372/.378 in 140 games for the Cardinals,  providing a spark for the National League Central champion club.

He’s not set to hit free agency until after the 2016 season, so despite his meager .576 OPS and lingering wrist issues, given his previous years of success, it shouldn’t be hard to find a willing suitor.

In a straight-up one-for-one swap, it’s unlikely St. Louis lands anything of major value in return for Jay – at least not until he proves he’s 100 percent healthy and ready to go.

But if packaged correctly, the St. Louis Cardinals could add more depth for another deep postseason run while relieving the logjam in the outfield.

Next: Cardinals' Lance Lynn overshadowed by his peers