St. Louis Cardinals: Should the Cardinals Upgrade at Third Base?

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Mar 11, 2017; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak signs an autograph for a young fan before a spring training game against the Atlanta Braves at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2017; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak signs an autograph for a young fan before a spring training game against the Atlanta Braves at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports /
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St. Louis Cardinals
Apr 13, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Josh Donaldson (20) hits an RBI double in the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

First up, Josh Donaldson.

The 2015 AL MVP has been easily one of the most productive players over the last couple of seasons. So how can he fit into the Cardinals lineup? He has been hitting third in the Toronto Blue Jays’ lineup recently, but that doesn’t mean he can’t hit fourth for the Cardinals. His ability to hit in either place in the order offers the team flexibility should Carpenter sit or Mike Matheny shuffle the lineup a bit.

Here are his splits in the place he bats in:

The way his career has panned out is very similar to Piscotty’s. Donaldson is arguably better out of the second spot in the order. Most of his at-bats have come from the second spot, but he has also dipped into the clean-up role as well. From the clean-up spot he shows a good average and good power numbers to call for a possible move for him

Defensively, Donaldson would represent an upgrade at the third base position. Although his career RZR is .744, which would give him a poor rating, it certainly is better than both Peralta and Gyorko’s awful ratings.

Although he is currently injured, Donaldson has been able to amass a .875 RZR, which would be considered above average. He may not be a gold glove talent at third base, but the main goal is to improve the defense at the corner.

What would it take to get him:

In order for the St. Louis Cardinals to make a run at him, a couple of things need to happen. The first being a rough year for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cardinals are relevant in June. The Blue Jays are currently last in their division, but have the talent to climb out of the basement. However, should the Blue Jays falter, they may consider moving the third base man in return for a good amount of prospects.

Which brings me to my next thing to bring Donaldson in: which prospects will the Cardinals be willing to part with? At the moment the Cardinals have an abundance of outfield talent and pitching prospects. It’s likely the Blue Jays would target one or two prospects from that area, possibly each area. Also in consideration would be interested in an infield prospect as well. I doubt DeJong would fetch such a player like Donaldson, but Wisdom might alongside other top flight prospects.

Although this deal probably doesn’t get done, it’s certainly an enticing thought. To have Piscotty, Carpenter, and Donaldson as your two through four hitters is as good as the better lineups in the MLB now. A lot has to go the Cardinals way, but always consider your options.

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