St. Louis Cardinals: The Erick Aybar solution
With the injury and anticipated length of absence suffered by Jhonny Peralta, should the St. Louis Cardinals find a solution through trade? Is Erick Aybar that soltuion?
We all know now, have read much, and many of our Redbird Rants writers have penned much about the injury suffered to St. Louis Cardinals short stop, Jhonny Peralta. I recommend that you review all of these. To help you with these, here’s a quick bullet list to help you jump right to the articles:
- Jhonny Peralta and the Thumb Injury
- Jedd Gyorko Ready For Expanded Role
- Best/Worst Case 2016: Shortstops
- Should Mo deal for a shortstop?
- Jhonny Peralta injury a blessing in disguise?
- The End of Jhonny Peralta
…just to name a few. It clearly goes without saying that the Peralta injury is big news for the Cardinals and leads many to panic. Panic may fall on the fans, but the organization- stoic as always- seems content to wait things out.
I too had the same reaction: let’s wait and see what develops in spring. That was until I read Dan’s article yesterday and am now worried about any potential injury to Matt Carpenter. In this article, Dan argues for the need for some insurance at third which Jedd Gyorko was the immediate heir apparent until the Peralta injury. Now with Gyorko slated to likely replace Peralta, does that leave third vulnerable?
Gyorko was brought to St. Louis to spell relief for Peralta and/or Kolton Wong and/or Carpenter but is now likely slated to take the bulk of the time at short stop during the 60+ game absence due to this injury. If this stands true, then who serves as backup? Does the organization turn to Aledmys Diaz or Greg Garcia or neither?
Enter the discussions of trading for Erick Aybar. Before digging into this, let’s compare Peralta to Gyorko and Diaz and Garcia.
Peralta is projected to post a 2016 slash line of .269/.331/.427 and a 1.9 WAR.
Gyorko is projected to post a slash line of .241/.298/.400 and a 0.7 WAR; not too much of a difference.
Diaz is projected to post a slash line of .254/.297/.379; a weaker projection and one that is of a player with no MLB experience (is Memphis a better place for Aledmys?).
Garcia is projected to produce a .249/.325/.396 and a 0.3 WAR.
Even in spite of these seemingly-close statistical numbers above, rumors have surfaced of the Cardinals interest in Erick Aybar. Aybar, a 10-season veteran (Peralta is a 13-season veteran), certainly would be interesting for the Cardinals. Aybar is signed by the Atlanta Braves for the 2016 season but not beyond for $8.5MM ($2.5MM paid by the Angels) so he could be had for the single season to fill the need.
More from St Louis Cardinals Rumors
- Cardinals: Pros and cons of free agent targets for St. Louis
- Cardinals: Alex Reyes and Delvin Perez should be cautionary tales
- Cardinals: One move they don’t want to see each NL contender make
- Cardinals: 6 stars St. Louis should trade for this off-season
- Cardinals: Should Cody Bellinger be an option for St. Louis?
Looking at his numbers, Aybar is projected to produce a 2016 slash line of .269/.307/.365 and a 1.7 WAR. These numbers would almost 100 percent replace Peralta immediately and would be an upgrade over the internal options already in the organization. To add to this, bringing Aybar would allow Gyorko to return to his intended utility backup role supporting third, short, and second.
What might this cost? Atlanta is in a rebuilding mode so best guess is that they may desire some semi-major-league ready players. Would the Cardinals be willing to part with players such as Patrick Wisdom or Tim Cooney (already MLB-ready) or maybe even a Jonathan Rodriguez or Deck McGuire? Best guess is that a package would certainly be necessary but might not take too many out of the farm.
An interesting read could be gleaned from today’s spring training game in which the Braves traveled to play the Cards. In this game, Atlanta trotted out Aybar (veterans typically do not travel– at least not this early in spring) as the starting short stop. Do you think conversations have already happened or is Atlanta just dangling bait?
Don’t ask GM Mozeliak because he is very good at political answers. To that tune, Mo has said that the organization feels comfortable with the players on the squad already. Of course, I’d say that too if I were in negotiations in an effort to keep cost low.
Next: Goose Gossage’s Comments Represent Divide
At the end of the day, I don’t really see this happening. Two seconds later, I find myself thinking this is a great idea and would love to see it happen. I believe the biggest struggle comes in July when Peralta returns but maybe the best thing to have is a solid option in the form of Aybar to help ease Peralta back into action. Follow me on Twitter and let’s discuss and watch as this does or does not happen.