It isn’t an unheard-of thing for an organization to trade their manager as part of a package to land a player. The St. Louis Cardinals might be wise to think of this solution this winter.
The St. Louis Cardinals look to be busy this winter acquiring players to help in many ways. The team has no need for starting pitching but does have need for a center fielder, does have need for an impact bat or two, and does- now thanks to the injury to Zach Duke– have the need for pen help.
Here’s a wild idea: trade manager Mike Matheny. This has been done before to help a team and this might be exactly what is needed this winter. Yes, Matheny has been good for the Cardinals and has held things together but hasn’t yet produced a World Series for the best fans in baseball. Matheny will enter the final year on his contract in 2017 and while the rumors have surfaced that he might be extended, a trade might be better.
Let’s examine a few examples of team’s trading their managers. One of the greatest and more recent examples of this was when the Red Sox traded for then-Toronto manager, John Farrell. This benefited both clubs in the immediate time following the trade and continues to impact both teams today.
Other examples include Ozzie Guillen who was traded in 2001 from the White Sox to the Marlins. Lou Piniella was traded from Seattle to Tampa. In 1976, Chuck Tanner managed the Oakland As for one season and then was traded to the Pirates for a catcher. The great Gil Hodges went from the Washington Senators to the New York Mets in 1967.
My favorite manager trade took place in 1960 when the Cleveland Indians sent their manager, Joe Gordon, to the Detroit Tigers. They made this trade because the Tigers had someone the Indians coveted: the Tiger’s manager, Jimmy Dykes. This manager-for-manager trade was the first and only time that managers were traded one-for-one. This example and the ones above show that manager trades do happen.
So, where does this leave the St. Louis Cardinals? Ready for this? I think the Cardinals should shop Matheny to someone like the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies are absent a manager and are looking. The Cardinals need an outfielder- preferably a center fielder- and could solve this need from the Rockies.
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What if Matheny could go to the Rockies in a deal for Carlos Gonzalez and/or Charlie Blackmon? What if the Cardinals could sweeten the deal by sending someone like Matt Adams or an arm or two and add someone like a player from a third team? The Cardinals are friends of three team deals and perhaps this could be the way to land someone like Dexter Fowler?
Here’s my thinking of how this might go down: the St. Louis Cardinals send Matheny and Adams to Colorado (this assumes the Cardinals make something happen with Moss or Holliday), Colorado sends Gonzalez to Chicago, Chicago (who we assume has locked-up Fowler) sends Fowler to St. Louis. I know, I know, this is a crazy idea but now is the time to dream of something like this, right?
Should the Cardinals find someone to take Matheny and should the Cardinals decide that Matheny is worthy as a trade piece, who would replace him? I have always been a huge fan of Jose Oquendo and I’m so very frustrated with the way the organization is using him of late. I would love to see him have the opportunity to replace Matheny.
I doubt that Oquendo will ever get the chance to replace Matheny so long as Matheny remains within the organization. I’m not sure why but Mozeliak has a major man-crush on Matheny and is blinded to the greatness that is Oquendo. Perhaps moving Matheny would allow Oquendo to rise.
Look, let’s be honest here: the idea of trading Matheny is far-fetched to be sure but I love playing in hypothetical scenarios. Would you trade Matheny away? Would you take Matheny if you were a club seeking management? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and thanks for reading!