St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals as sellers at deadline?
The St. Louis Cardinals are at an impasse. One direction and they are competitors, the other they are sellers. June will decide.
Every year like clockwork the trade deadline comes around and every year the Cardinals are looking to make a deal to improve their team. This year the St. Louis Cardinals are at a crossroads. How the next month of the season goes will decide whether this team is a buyer or a seller at the deadline.
For most Cardinal fans the thought of being a seller is something no one has thought of. The Cardinals as a seller is something so difficult to comprehend for fans. For most fans, the Cardinals success has been such a ritual that they have been spoiled.
This year though, there is something different happening that fans may need to prepare for: the St. Louis Cardinals may be sellers at the deadline.
The question for Cardinals fans, what would that look like? When any team is selling it is the intent of that team to get younger and to make room for some of their younger players to see the field. The Cardinals are in a position that they could move some pieces and have other guys slide right in to take over the vacated spot.
If the Cardinals were to become deadline sellers there would be a few guys who fans could be sure would not be on the move. That would include guys who were just recently signed or signed a contract extension, such as Dexter Fowler, Yadier Molina, Stephen Piscotty and Carlos Martinez. The exception to this idea would be Kolten Wong.
Though Wong just recently signed an extension with the Cardinals for five years it would not surprise too many if he was moved. Wong has been an inconsistent piece for this team but has always had upside. The Cardinals could use some of that upside to potentially move Wong to a team in need of second base help.
This would clear the way for Paul Dejong to have a bigger purpose on the team going forward.
Fan favorites are always a tough one to see go at the trade deadline. If the Cardinals became deadline sellers it would be no different for them, but a guy who would make sense to move would be Matt Carpenter.
At 31 years old Carpenter wouldn’t exactly fit the mold the Cardinals would be looking to keep in an attempt to get younger. Carpenter could net a handful of prospects from a team in contention. Though his stats are not what you would expect from Matt Carpenter, the history of Carpenter as a batter and a leader on the team would help in any sort of trade negotiations.
Pitchers are a commodity; teams are always looking to fill needs on their pitching staffs. Playoff teams especially want a reliable guy to be able take the hill in a playoff series and hopefully bring home a win.
The Cardinals have an ultra-successful pitching staff so far this year, but not too many trade options. Carlos Martinez is the future of the team, Adam Wainwright is too old, Mike Leake’s contract isn’t trade friendly and Michael Wacha has too many question marks.
That leaves just one, Lance Lynn. At this time Lance Lynn is the stereotypical potential trade chip. He is a free agent at the end of the year and if the Cardinals aren’t going to make a playoff run this year, they may as well get some value out of him.
Lynn would be one of the most valuable trade assets the St. Louis Cardinals have and could net a couple solid prospects or even a fairly high rated prospect. The market for pitchers would decide his value. If a lot of teams are in playoff contention, there could be a bidding war for the services of Lance Lynn.
The Cardinals have a few other pieces that could be interesting to a contender. Tommy Pham being one and Jedd Gyorko the other.
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Pham is already in a position where he could at any moment be the odd man out for the St. Louis Cardinals. If a team was in need of a solid fourth outfielder or even a starter in certain cases, Pham could be that guy. He has shown that he can have consistent success at the plate, while also playing solid defense. He won’t bring in a haul of future pieces but he could in depth to a farm system that seems a bit top-heavy.
Jedd Gyorko may be one of the most interesting pieces for the St. Louis Cardinals if they were to become sellers. He is under contract though 2020 at a reasonable rate, considering the inflation that has been seen in free agent contracts.
He is also the most productive guy on this list. In 2016, in his first year with the Cardinals, Gyorko hit thirty home runs in only 128 games. So far this season, Gyorko has been the most consistent bat for the Cardinals, batting .316 with six home runs in forty-seven games. In fact, Dr. Miles suggested his high value just a few weeks ago.
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The hope for all fans is that this isn’t the case. The Cardinals as sellers just doesn’t feel right and will make for a long summer. But, if this team continues to take a dive throughout June than this is the type of thing fans may need to prepare themselves for.