Cardinals Rumors: Should St. Louis trade for Justin Morneau?


After losing Matt Adams for the year to injury, should the St. Louis Cardinals shore up the infield for a deep postseason run by dealing for Justin Morneau?

Shortly after the news broke that St. Louis would be without Matt Adams for the rest of the season, I penned a piece explaining why it would be a catastrophic mistake to trade for Phillies slugger Ryan Howard.

If you haven’t read it, here’s the gist of the piece:

Howard is too expensive and would serve as dead weight to the team once Adams returns next season.

Short, sweet and to-the-point.

Now, in a piece a couple days back, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports offered a plethora of trades that he believes should be made ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.

One of those involved the St. Louis Cardinals, with the Redbirds acquiring Colorado Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau for an undisclosed return.

While I adamantly railed against the Cardinals trading for Howard, I’m less inclined to do so in this instance.

Let’s take a closer look at Morneau.

Last season with Colorado, the now-34-year-old first baseman won a batting title – the first of his big-league career. He put together a .319/.364/.496 line in 135 games, hitting 17 long-balls and driving in 82.

Needless to say, it wasn’t a bad season.

He absolutely raked against right-handers, posting a .927 OPS in 411 plate appearances. Fourteen of his 17 home runs came against righties, as did 25 of his 32 doubles.

Even with all of this in-mind, I can’t say adding Morneau is a good idea for a Cardinals team that had been repeatedly punched in the gut by injuries to key players.

This year, the former Minnesota Twins slugger has appeared in just 27 games for the Rockies, hitting just three home runs to go along with his still-sound .290/.317/.450 slash-line.

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He’s been battling concussion symptoms for most of the year, essentially washing out his final year of his two-year deal with Colorado.

ESPN offered these details of-late on his recovery efforts:

"Morneau has been doing cardio and neck strengthening over the last 10 days or so, and while he and the Rockies believe he will make it back this season, there is still no timetable for his return. Ben Paulsen and Wilin Rosario will continue to get starts at first base while Morneau tries to work his way back."

There’s no proof suggesting that he’ll even be back on the field anytime soon for the Rockies. And that is the biggest reason why I have serious doubts for the Cardinals making such a move.

I don’t doubt that Colorado would look to get something for him. They already dropped the ball on trading Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, so this would be a save-face measure regardless, but it does make sense.

If St. Louis feels comfortable with the medicals moving forward, Morneau would be the perfect option to fill the void with Mark Reynolds over at first base.

But, simply put, this team can’t afford another injury. While they’ve managed to continue rolling, despite their countless sidelined pieces, eventually, it’s going to slow them down.

Next: Is White Sox' Samardzija a viable trade target?