St. Louis Cardinals: Time for a move as deadline approaches?

Jul 16, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Colorado Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez (5) in the dugout against the Atlanta Braves in the sixth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 16, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Colorado Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez (5) in the dugout against the Atlanta Braves in the sixth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

The MLB trade deadline is roughly a week away and the St. Louis Cardinals must decide if they are going to make a move (dare we say a splash?) as time expires.

Baseball trades are some of my favorite things.  I love the off-season for them, I love spring training for them, and I especially love the roller coaster crescendo into July 31 for them.  This season, I’m left scratching my head with wonder over our St. Louis Cardinals and whether I will love a trade from them this season.

To help me with this conundrum, we at Redbird Rants posted on our twitter yesterday a quick poll to see who you, our loyal readers, might have interest in the St. Louis Cardinals acquiring at this trade deadline.  Two names surfaced: Will Smith and Carlos Gonzalez.

Okay, I admit, I am intrigued by these names and will spend this time examining them.  Having said that, I must immediately admit that I have serious doubts that the St. Louis Cardinals are as intrigued by these names as I and others might be but let us look nevertheless.

To begin this examination, I’ll start with the player I feel is the least likely to be on the St. Louis Cardinals post the trade deadline: Carlos Gonzalez.  Contractually, Cargo is signed through 2017 and is owed $17MM in ’16 and $20MM in ’17.  This might be a compelling reason for the Rockies to find him a new home and equally might be a reason for the Cardinals to stay clear.

I mention the contract numbers as I just don’t see the St. Louis Cardinals taking this expensive dive without first admitting that Matt Holliday (whose contract has  $17MM option for ’17) is not returning on his option.  If this was the case then I could see the Cardinals having interest in Cargo as a likely replacement (Cargo is 30 while Holliday is 36).

Having said all of that, we must marvel at Cargo’s number (with the caveat that he has played in Coors Field which is remarked as a hitter’s park):

2012 ★26COL1355188915731522852056115.303.371.510.881AS,GG
2013 ★27COL1103917211823626702141118.302.367.591.958AS,GG
2016 ★30COL9135962114202205922885.318.367.552.918AS
9 Yrs10053730632109221136196613114319912.293.349.526.875
162 Game Avg.16260110217634632991851147.293.349.526.875

To account for Coors, here’s a look at his home/away splits:


Admitting that we are all enamored by his Coors numbers, and taking into account his away numbers, I ask the question would you hold the same interest in a player if their numbers were simply the .257/.313/.438 line?  I’m not so sure the St. Louis Cardinals see these numbers as worthy of the investment at the steep price it will cost.

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And speaking of cost, what would the Rockies seek in return for Cargo?  It is tough to imagine them not requesting the house for this flashy player especially in light of other teams such as the Dodgers holding interest.  In this light then, I beg that the St. Louis Cardinals bid (to run the price up) but not buy.

Let’s shift gears a little and look at the second name that surfaced through Twitter, Will Smith.  Smith, the relief pitcher with Milwaukee not the actor of Men In Black fame, could be the salve the St. Louis Cardinals need in their pen which hasn’t been the strongest piece this season.

For Milwaukee, Smith has pitched a total of eighteen innings this season and holds a 2.00 ERA.  These are his numbers:

5 Yrs17173.832101270.0259130115311012953.621.3338.69.8

Certainly impressive and could be an interesting left-handed reliever which is somewhat lacking in the St. Louis Cardinals organization at this time.  At this time, the Cardinals have only Tyler Lyons and Kevin Siegrist as their lefties in the pen with Dean Kiekhefer in the wings.  Lyons is the long man and Siegrist has been up and down so the addition of Smith would make sense.

Contractually, Smith is a free agent after 2016 so adding him to this season’s St. Louis Cardinals could be a rental unless the organization is ready to part ways with Siegrist at the close of this campaign (Siegrist is signed through 2016).

Comparing the two contracts, Siegrist is owed $539,000 and is arbitration-eligible at the close of the 2016 year.  Smith is owed $1.475MM and is arbitration-eligible at the close of the 2016 season.  Before making a comparison of contracts, let me toss up Siegrist’s numbers for this season:

4 Yrs1682.692027181.0125575416812153.351.1386.210.7
162 Game Avg.532.6968261421918527723.351.1386.210.7

Comparing the two on this season’s performance alone, would you take the less expensive Siegrist over Smith?  This is certainly something that the St. Louis Cardinals must consider.  Let me say this, I’d be fine adding Smith as a rental but nothing more.

Next: Holliday's Power Resurgence

What do you think?  Let me know on Twitter and share with me additional names who you would love to see the St. Louis Cardinals grab before the deadline is reached!