St. Louis Cardinals Hot Stove: Five trade candidates at first base

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Roster Weaknesses

With apologies to … everyone, the starting rotation is not a weakness, not even after the Lance Lynn news. Just look at it:

  1. Adam Wainwright, RHP
  2. Carlos Martinez, RHP
  3. Michael Wacha, RHP
  4. Jaime Garcia, LHP
  5. Tyler Lyons, LHP

That’s not bad. Everyone has to stay healthy, of course. And the Alex Reyes suspension isn’t

A common sight from the 2015 season. Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

great, given that it might delay his ascention to the rotation. But I think half the teams in the big leagues would happily take these five guys.

What sucks is the offense. A full year of Piscotty, Grichuk (if he stays) and even Pham will help. The Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox have expressed an interest in trading for Brandon Moss, but if he stays he may have another good year in him. But really, the team needs an upgrade, either at first or short.

Jhonny Peralta is stealthily troubling. You’ll look at the 33-year-old’s .277 average and 17 dingers and see that both compare well among big league shortstops. You’ll notice he made his second All-Star Game in 2015. But what you might miss is that he really had only one great month, May, when he hit .306 with 6 homers and 18 RBI. His production dropped off a cliff in the second half. I worry a steep decline will come even earlier next year.

Then there was first base, an offensive (in every possible way) black hole for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2015. Collectively, Cardinal first basemen hit .238 and slugged just 18 home runs, both ranking 26th among the 30 Major League teams. We could hope for a miraculous come back by erstwhile starter Matt Adams, but he doesn’t have a body of work (or body) to inspire much confidence.

Next: Trade Partner #1: Oakland Athletics