Darren S.: Why did the St. Louis Cardinals not get a contract extension done this offseason or during Spring Training with Seung-Hwan Oh? His contract is up after this season.
According to Derrick Goold, Oh is the St. Louis Cardinals next priority after Yadier Molina’s contract situation is figured out. While extending players often happens during the offseason, it is very likely that Oh’s contract negotiations will be pushed to the season. This shouldn’t be a huge distraction, since the negotiations are primarily between the front office and the player’s agent.
That said, I wouldn’t expect the St. Louis Cardinals to hurry into an extension. Oh had a fantastic year, which has brought with it high expectations for this season. Relief pitchers are already extremely volatile, and efforts like his 2016 campaign are difficult to repeat. Additionally, teams now have a full year of video on Oh. The Cardinals probably want to see how he responds this year before committing longer term.
There is also a rumor floating around (though I haven’t found a link) that Oh might want to see more of the country. His original two year contract guaranteed he’d be able to test free agency. If he really does want to spend future seasons in a different city, then it’s unlikely the Cardinals will retain him beyond 2017.
@sol_paco: If they extend Yadi, should they consider moving Carson Kelly if that’s what it takes in July to get a difference maker like Jose Quintana?
There are a few assumptions at work here, most importantly that the St. Louis Cardinals are in position to buy near the trade deadline. I expect that to be the case, but there’s plenty of situations where the season goes down the wrong path. Notably, the starting pitching has plenty of injury concerns, and dipping too deep into starting pitching depth generally isn’t ideal for success.
Back to the question, though. They definitely should consider moving Kelly (or Alex Reyes, or Luke Weaver) if that’s what it takes to land someone who makes a difference down the stretch. While it’s significantly harder to win the World Series as a Wild Card team, anything can happen once you’re in the playoffs.
Catching prospects like Kelly don’t come around too often, which is why he’s on many fans’ “untouchables” list. He’s been groomed by the organization to take over for Molina, though that transition is still probably at least two years away.
But if he was the centerpiece to get Quintana? I’d work to get that deal done. Quintana has quietly been the 8th best pitcher over the last three years, accumulating 14.6 fWAR. He’s averaged more than two hundred innings per season with a 3.29 ERA and 3.19 FIP. Further, he’s under a team friendly contract through 2020.
The St. Louis Cardinals roster is in a sort of transitional period, but it is still built to win now. Jose Quintana heading the staff alongside Carlos Martinez makes the rotation one of the best in the National League.
I wouldn’t trade Kelly for a half-year rental, and I might not trade him for 1.5 years of a starter. I would, at the very least, consider moving Kelly for 2+ seasons of a top thirty starting pitcher.