St. Louis Cardinals: Trade Chances for Cardinals Prospects

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As the season winds along, trade rumors will start to swirl around and some top St. Louis Cardinals prospects may be involved.

As the season rolls on there seems to be more and more reason for the St. Louis Cardinals to make a move. As of today the Cardinals are on the outside looking in. If the Cardinals are going to make the playoffs it is very likely a trade will need to happen. When considering trading partners, the same requests will keep popping up: prospects.

Any team looking to make a trade will have to be willing to part with prospects. While the St. Louis Cardinals do not have a deep farm system, they do have a few very interesting pieces. It is far from usual for John Mozeliak to make a trade involving a top prospect, but in a season that could mean back-to-back years without the playoffs drastic choices may have to be made.

The first prospect who comes to mind is a fairly obvious one. After Yadier Molina signed an extension just before the start of the season, the path to the Majors for Carson Kelly remained foggy. After a tumultuous start to his career as a catcher in the minors, Kelly has launched up prospect rankings and continued to impress with his bat and defense.

Kelly, in a package, could fetch quite a return. Some, if not most, consider Kelly to be the top catching prospect in baseball. Not too many teams have been blessed with a player like Yadier Molina. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, there does not seem to be a plan B behind Kelly when it comes to the heir apparent to Molina.

Unless Mozeliak is blown away, it is unlikely that Kelly is moved around the trade deadline. Given Molina’s age and the lack of a plan-B, Kelly seems to be one who will need to stick around; even if that means he has to cool his heels in Memphis longer than he or the fans may want him to.

A name St. Louis Cardinals fans are quite familiar with is next on the list. After suffering a lost season in 2016, Marco Gonzales appears to be back on the right track. Unfortunately for Marco, in his absence the Cardinals have seen other pitchers perform well enough to be higher on the pecking order.

If there is a consideration in trading Marco, there has to be an understanding that his value is far lower than it was two seasons ago. A shoulder injury is always serious for a pitcher and in Marco’s case there is a previous history with the same injury. With the success of Luke Weaver and what appears to be a breakout season for Jack Flaherty, Marco becomes a bit more dispensable.

Marco would have to be included in a package to potentially bring a star to the Cardinals. But for a player like Yangervis Solarte, who I mentioned in a previous post, Marco would make sense. The likelihood of Marco being moved is far higher than a guy like Kelly’s potential to be moved.

The final player we will look at is Harrison Bader. The Cardinals already have a full outfield and as we saw there is another minor league outfielder who seems to be higher on the totem pole.

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After Magneuris Sierra got the call, seemingly because he was on the 40-man and Bader was not, he did not disappoint. This led to Cardinal fans wanting to keep Sierra with the major league club going forward.  Bader already had a few blockades on his way to the majors, Sierra just adds another.

Bader is a top-100 prospect with the ability to play multiple outfield positions on a team that is not in desperate need of his services. Of the top prospects for the Cardinals he seems to be the most likely and easiest guy to move. If Bader is traded, Sierra can fill his role in AAA and keep his path to the majors progressing.

Bader is the type of prospect who can be a key piece in a deal that brings in a game-changing player. If the Cardinals are going to bring in the Josh Donaldson, Evan Longoria type players that fans love to talk about, trading a guy like Bader will be the first step in the process.

Furthermore, considering what teams like the White Sox have gotten in recent deals, Bader would be a piece- not the sole player- going in that type of deal but he is the type of player who gets that conversation started.

Next: Five Cardinals story lines

Prospects are a commodity. Not every team is lucky to have even one player in the top-100. Mozeliak does not trade prospects lightly and he will more likely move a lesser prospect or two before trading a guy listed above. But if the Cardinals plan to compete for a playoff spot, a move involving one or two of these guys may be necessary.

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