St. Louis Cardinals: The Jarrod Dyson Deal That Could Have Been

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Cardinals were said to be in talks for the former Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson.  The aging speedster, however, ended up being moved to Seattle for pitcher Nate Karns.

A link between Jarrod Dyson and the St. Louis Cardinals really heated up (as most offseason rumors do) during the Winter Meetings.  It was an interesting idea to say the least.  Many were pushing for a big blockbuster move at the time, and a 32 year old player who has never been a full-time starter surfaced as a possibility.

Personally, I was a huge fan of the idea.  Dyson brings speed and defense with only one year left on his contract.  That would allow the St. Louis Cardinals to spend their cash next year when the new CBA free agency rules kick in.  It seemed to be a brilliant strategy.

Enter the Dexter Fowler signing.  That should have calmed down the Dyson talks because of the fact that a move for an outfielder was made.  To an extent, the hot stove was cooled, but there was still an idea to try and add some depth to the outfield– an idea examined by Zach Gifford here.

At 32, Dyson may have his first chance to secure a starting job in the Mariner outfield.  The fact that he hasn’t started has not hindered his value to an organization, however.  The press release about the new acquisition said that since 2012, Dyson is tied with Ben Revere for stolen bases at 156.  In the same span, Dyson is second in the majors with an 84.8 percent success rate.

This begs the question: Should the St. Louis Cardinals have tried harder to obtain Dyson?  I think so.  Dyson gives more options to the Redbirds off the bench that would have been a stride in the right direction to compete with the Chicago rivals.

Dyson could have been an upgrade for Tommy Pham as an outfield backup.  In about 130 more at bats, the newest Mariner hit .278 to Pham’s .226 batting average.  Sabremetrics agree, setting Dyson’s WAR at 3.1 which is much higher than Pham’s -0.1 WAR for the 2016 campaign.

Based on the price tag the Mariners paid for Dyson, he was very attainable.  Nate Karns showed a flash of brilliance last year going 5-1 before back problems derailed his promising season.   At 28, Karns has a career 14-9 record with a 4.41 ERA.

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Talk of moving Matt Adams for Dyson in a player for player deal was one option.  Purely based on WAR that would have been a good move, as Adams posted a 0.7 for the 2016 campaign, but overall that leaves a hole behind Matt Carpenter at first.   Probably not the best idea.

If the Royals wanted pitching then the St. Louis Cardinals could have shipped off the seemingly injury-prone Michael Wacha.  But with the right handed pitcher still so young the Royals would have most likely owed a debt of more than just Jarrod Dyson, even with the question marks surrounding Wacha’s health.

John Mozeliak always seems to have a plan, so if Dyson was not in it then we will wait to see who is, but Dyson was certainly an intruiging idea.  A deal would have been beneficial for only one year to St. Louis, but that one year rental would have opened up options for the 2017 offseason.

Next: 5 Possible Free Agents

At this point, Cardinals fans will never know what could have been with Dyson backing up the outfield at Busch Stadium. What do you think? Will Pham be serviceable enough that Cardinals Nation will not miss this potential pick up?