St. Louis Cardinals: Acquiring a Rental Shortstop is Not a Good Idea

michaeldavidmiles
Feb 18, 2016; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny (right) listens as general manager John Mozeliak (left) talks with chairman and chief executive officer William O. DeWitt, Jr. (center) at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 18, 2016; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny (right) listens as general manager John Mozeliak (left) talks with chairman and chief executive officer William O. DeWitt, Jr. (center) at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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The St. Louis Cardinals have been linked in recent days to short stop trades of the like of Erick Aybar, Ruben Tejada, and- as recently as today- to Nick Ahmed.  Should the Cardinals make a grab of one of these?

According to GM Mozeliak, the St. Louis Cardinals are just kicking tires at this point in the trade discussions but is it wise to bring in a player to replace the injured Jhonny Peralta if Peralta is set to return in June or July?  If yes, do the names that have circulated make sense or are they merely rental solutions until Peralta returns?

As a quick point of reference, Peralta is projected to post a 2016 slash line of .269/.331/.427 and a 1.9 WAR.

We writers have batted the proposed trade names around and it seems that our consensus is that a rental simply doesn’t make sense.  In other words, why spend big to get a rental when the team has “rental” options already on the squad.  Does this make sense?  Let’s dig in the numbers.

Offensive Comparisons

Internal Options

Jedd Gyorko is the incumbent who seems angled to take the brunt of reps at short stop but the team also holds Aledmys Diaz and Greg Garcia.  These are their projected offensive lines:

Gyorko- .241/.298/.400; as it compares to Peralta- .028 points lower/.033 points lower/.027 points lower

Diaz- .254/.297/.379; as it compares to Peralta- .015 points lower/.034 points lower/.048 points lower

Garcia- .249/.325/.396; as it compares to Peralta- .020 points lower/.006 points lower/.031 points lower

Rental Options

At first, Erick Aybar seemed the player of immediate interest which then quickly changed to Ruben Tejada but perhaps is now eclipsed by Nick Ahmed.  These are their projected offensive lines:

Aybar- .269/.307/.365; as it compares to Peralta- 0 points lower/.024 points lower/.062 points lower.  Is Aybar an improvement over Gyorko?  .028 points higher/.009 points higher/.035 points lower but, in my opinion, any increases here aren’t worth the price it will take to get him nor will they dramatically improve the team where Gyorko might.

Tejada- .247/.321/.327; as it compares to Peralta- .022 points lower/.010 points lower/.100 points lower.  Is Tejada an improvement over Gyorko?  .006 points higher/.023 points higher/.073 points lower but, again, are these improvements worth the cost?

Ahmed- .240/.287/.348; as it compares to Peralta- .029 points lower/.044 points lower/.079 points lower.  Is Ahmed an improvement over Gyorko? .001 point lower/.011 points lower/.052 points lower– seemingly identical to Gyorko…

Thus far, the three candidates for rental do not seems to be significant enough of improvements over the names already on the squad.

Defensive Comparisons

For the comparison of defense, Peralta holds a career fielding percentage at short stop of .980 across thirteen seasons and 1,452 games at the position.

Internal Options

Gyorko holds a career fielding percentage at short stop of .990 across one season and 29 games at the position.

Diaz holds a career (minor league only) fielding percentage at short stop of .953 across four seasons and 216 games at the position.

Garcia holds a career fielding percentage at short stop of .971 across two seasons and thirteen games at the position.

The lack of MLB experience held by the internal options could well be what is prompting the search externally.  So let’s look…

Rental Options

More from St Louis Cardinals News

Aybar holds a career fielding percentage at short stop of .973 across ten seasons and 1,134 games at the position.  A .007 percentage decrease compared to Peralta and a .017 percentage decrease compared to Gyorko.

Tejada holds a career fielding percentage at short stop of .976 across six seasons and 431 games at the position.  A .004 percentage decrease compared to Peralta and a .014 percentage decrease compared to Gyorko.

Ahmed holds a career fielding percentage at short stop of .976 across two seasons and 147 games at the position.  A .004 percentage decrease compared to Peralta and a .014 percentage decrease compared to Gyorko.

Ahmed holds the least experience at short of the rental options but the others are certainly more experienced when it comes to appearances at the position over the internal options but does this alone call for cause of trade?

Summation

I, like many of our writers here at Redbird Rants, simply do not understand the excitement or cause for rentals.  I like mention of Aybar (wrote an article about this already), but I’m afraid his cost is too high and his improvement to the team is not necessarily warranted.  While I usually feel that Mozeliak is providing political answers when he says that the team is kicking the tires or is in a wait-and-see mode, I now hope in this case these are truth statements.

Next: Mets’ Ruben Tejada Drawing Interest

Please, Mo, do not jump at one of these trades.  Please, Mo, let us see what Gyorko and Diaz (maybe even Garcia too) can do this spring and through April before we decide if the team is really in need or not.  And, lastly, please Gyorko and Diaz hold down the fort and allow Jhonny to heal!

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