St. Louis Cardinals Hot Stove: 4 Under-the-Radar FA, Trade Targets

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Ender Inciarte, CF

Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals have a minor league system stocked full of good starting pitching but no hitters on the rise to possibly help out the big league team in 2016. The Arizona Diamondbacks, meanwhile, have a surplus of young big league hitting talent and are on the lookout for young, controllable pitching. See where I’m going here?

I zeroed in on Ender Inciarte primarily because he’s a contact hitter who’s also one of the best base runners in the game. Last year, his 6.5 baserunning runs was third in all of baseball, behind teammate A.J. Pollock‘s 7.9 and the Cincinnati Reds’ Billy Hamilton‘s 10.9. Too bad Hamilton can’t hit the broad side of a barn, right?

Arizona scored the second-most runs in the National League last year, while its pitching staff undid much of that by posting one of the league’s highest ERAs. So Arizona wouldn’t mind trading one of their run scorers to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitching help. And the St. Louis Cardinals minor league pitching depth wouldn’t be hurt too much by losing a starter or two.

Particularly if what the St. Louis Cardinals get back helps them get to the promised land again.