Finally, and my personal favorite, Evan Longori.
For the last couple of weeks, I have personally advocated for Longoria to become the starting third baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals. He is the prototypical third baseman. Solid defensively, and huge upside offensively. Plus, he sits on a team that isn’t going to be contenders.
Here are his splits:
Most of his at-bats have come out of the third and fourth spot in the lineup. Although those two spots are similar in numbers, I actually believe he does better out of the fourth spot. His average is nearly twenty points higher. His OBP is higher as well as his slugging.
Longoria has the type of bat capable of producing a high volume of power to drive in the rest of the Cardinals that hit 1-3. Longoria isn’t that bad at either at getting on base for those behind him.
He is the type of impact bat that the Cardinals have been missing in their lineup for some time. If the Cardinals do go out and get him, the lineup’s first four hitters would as impressive as the Cubs’ first four hitters.
Defensively, much like Frazier and Donaldson, Longoria would represent a slight upgrade. He is tied with Frazier with a career .716 RZR. While Donaldson is the most difficult of three to acquire via trade, Longoria is by far the better player over Frazier. Longoria has produced a positive defensive runs saved over his career and will continue to do so.
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What will it take to get him:
If you are looking at the three players I have mentioned, the most difficult to get is probably Donaldson. Second would be Longoria, and third Frazier. However, Longoria’s over all value in respect to offense and defense make him the prime target for a team like the Cardinals.
A couple of factors will play into this one as well. The first is the relevance of the Rays. They have done some trading to bring in certain piece, for instance Logan Forsythe for Jose De Leon. Yet, they kept remaining players as if they were still fighting for contention.
Time will tell, but if the Rays fall out of the race early on and by June completely out then they are most likely selling. Their top prize will no doubt be Longoria, so what will it take to get this deal done?
Like Donaldson, pitching will be high on the list and also an infielder is most likely ready for MLB action. I believe that if the Cardinals are serious about remaining competitive, they might need to take the chance on a player like Longoria and deal out MLB ready prospects.
So far the Cardinals offense has not produced very many runs. Their batting average is a major concern. Some of their players have had some bad luck with balls batted, but the team has also seen a lot of strike outs. If the Cardinals are in contention and in need of an offensive and defensive up grade, I think they will go after one of these three at the trade deadline.