St. Louis Cardinals: Over-loaded 40-Man Shopping Begins
In the wake of the Brett Cecil signing on Saturday, the St. Louis Cardinals now face an over-loaded 40-man roster.
The St. Louis Cardinals made a splash on the hot stove on Saturday with the signing of Brett Cecil. While this was a great addition for the Cardinals in the face of the Zach Duke loss, Cecil’s addition means the 40-man roster now sits at 41 men, which is simply a no-no.
What should the Cardinals do now? There are many theories as to what is at play. Many in Cardinals Nation believe a trade is imminent otherwise the organization would likely have done something to the 40-man prior to the rule five protections.
Read this as the following: the Cardinals have something up their sleeves or else they would have moved someone other than allowing Tim Cooney to be free-for-the-taking. Cooney might have been on his way out, in all honesty, but just allowing him to get snatched seems- to me at least- to indicate that something more is coming.
So where do or where should the Cardinals start in making space on the 40-man? Per Ken Rosenthal, and posted on MBLTR, the Cardinals are reported to have been shopping Michael Wacha. Will other teams find value in Wacha?
While 2016 was a down year for Wacha, all St. Louis Cardinals fans remember his outstanding performance in the postseason of 2013 wherein he received the NLCS MVP. Let’s look at his stats:
|162 Game Avg.||13||8||3.74||36||193||184||80||18||61||167||3.60||1.269|
…and his postseason career stats:
|3 Yrs (5 Series)||4||3||4.08||7||35.1||24||16||7||16||38||1.132|
Wacha was drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft and he will turn 26 in July of 2017. While 2016 was a rough year for Wacha on the mound, his previous years could really entice a team looking for a back-of-the-rotation starter who could well be a middle-of-the-rotation starter.
Also, while his three years of postseason experience aren’t exactly stopping all presses, a team focused on reaching the postseason who might have a great number of younger players, could really benefit from the experience that Wacha brings.
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So, wait, why do these things NOT apply to the St. Louis Cardinals? It appears that the organization has already mentally moved on from Michael Wacha as they have made it clear that he will- if still with the team in 2017- move to the bullpen. The team is finished with Wacha as a starter.
To the credit of the organization, there are warning signs that Wacha is fading. This belief is thanks to what the coaching staff has caught in his motion, his injury history, and his being completely over-worked by manager Mike Matheny. While the Cardinals are often thought of as the redemption/reclamation team, Wacha likely needs to depart to find his reclamation.
If Wacha is being shopped, why not others? Why not Jaime Garcia who is somewhat similar to Wacha. Let’s look at Jaime’s stats for comparison sake:
|162 Game Avg.||14||10||3.57||35||200||198||79||18||58||161||3.56||1.283|
|3 Yrs (5 Series)||0||3||3.94||7||29.2||33||13||4||12||26||1.517|
If you were GM of a MLB team, would you take Wacha or Garcia? Their numbers are similar and each have earned three years of postseason play. The major difference (aside from handedness) is age. So the question remains, Wacha or Garcia?
Push these aside and I believe that the following names might also be shopped and/or on their way out the door: Trevor Rosenthal, Tyler Lyons, and Luke Weaver. These are just on the pitching side of things too.
Of these, I’d be okay watching Rosenthal find value elsewhere but I’m not crazy about losing Lyons or Weaver. That said, Lyons and Weaver have great value and could bring something wonderful to the Cardinals.
At any rate, the 40-man roster is too full today. Something must be done and I have a feeling the tracks are rumbling for a big train coming that will land the Cardinals one player for at least two departing players. There are plenty of scenarios ahead but, at any rate, someone is surely going to find their way off the 40-man soon.