St. Louis Cardinals: Cardinal Nation must face reality

Nov 8, 2016; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Minnesota Twins general manager Thad Levine (left) and St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak during the MLB general managers meeting at the Omni Scottsdale Resort. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 8, 2016; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Minnesota Twins general manager Thad Levine (left) and St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak during the MLB general managers meeting at the Omni Scottsdale Resort. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

St. Louis Cardinals fans need to come back to reality when faced with the proposition of trading players on the Major League roster.

St. Louis Cardinals GM, John Mozeliak, has a very important decision to make in the next month. The team, for weeks now, is teetering on the edge of buying or selling at the trade deadline. At moments, the team has a foot on each side. However, just when you think the Cardinals will fall on one side, they jump right back to the middle.

The jumping back and forth is exactly what makes Mo’s job so difficult. It’s easy to say the team should buy or a sell, but what are the long-term and short-term costs? Surely, the average Cardinals fan knows this. Yet, I find myself perplexed over the recent comments I have seen over suggestions of some moves the St. Louis Cardinals could make at the deadline.

I’ll preface the rest of this article by saying most of the comments have been about selling certain players to other contending teams.

I recently wrote an article about the possibility of the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals being trade partners. The player the Cardinals would potentially trade is none other than fan-favorite, Matt Carpenter.

I won’t go into detail about why Carpenter would be a good fit in New York, but if you study the game, you would understand why I said what I said. It’s not because I think Matt Carpenter no longer has a place in St. Louis. The reality is baseball is a business.

Unfortunately, though, some Cardinals fans just don’t get it.

In the last week or so, I’ve been called crazy and asked if I was high. I’m neither one of those, but ask in return, to those same critics, are you that naïve? If you honestly think I want Matt Carpenter off the team, think again. Matt Carpenter is easily one of my favorite players on the team. Sure, he has made some mistakes this year, but he has done more good for the team than anyone else not named Yadier Molina.

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Don’t get me wrong. I understand why everyone was upset at my post. It truly would be a crazy thing to see Carpenter on another roster.

I don’t like it as much as the next person, but scenarios like that are the reality the 2017 St. Louis Cardinals find themselves in.

Here’s the thing, though. I wonder if the same people, upset with me about the Carpenter article, are as upset with the rumors of Lance Lynn, Trevor Rosenthal, and Seung-hwan Oh being traded.

Were they as upset as when the Michael Wacha trade rumors surfaced last year?

I’m sure most of you are as frustrated with the team as I am, but come back to reality with me. I consider myself a Cardinals optimist, but even I know the Cardinals are running out of time. It’s not me giving up on the team, it’s me being realistic. It’s me knowing, to improve you have to give up pieces. Know that baseball is indeed a business, and sometimes you play the market.

Trevor and I discussed this idea in our podcast last night.

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If you still don’t understand what I’m saying, just take a look at what the New York Yankees did last year. They traded Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs and received an enormous return for his services. The Yankees instantly upgraded their farm system at the cost of not making the playoffs.

The Yankees were smart enough to know which players were expendable on their roster. They flipped those players into prospects, and even re-signed Chapman. It’s not a hard concept to understand. If you’re a team with pieces, and the future is in doubt, don’t be afraid to move players.

Those kinds of moves are all about the long-term and short-term success of the team I spoke about earlier. My hypothetical situation isn’t as far-fetched as you think. If a contending team called the St. Louis Cardinals about Matt Carpenter, the Cardinals would be fools not to listen.

Again, it’s not because he doesn’t belong in St. Louis. It’s because we, as fans, demand success from the team. Sometimes moving a player, as well-liked as Carpenter, is the only way to sustain success.

Call me crazy all you want, but I guarantee you I’m not the only one who thinks this way. Fan-favorite or not, players are expendable for the right price. Lets say the Cardinals lose the next ten or fifteen games, is my article still crazy? Or is it you?

Next: Trade partners for the Cardinals

The best part of this is that these rumors are only hypothetical. I don’t really think the Cardinals will trade Carpenter, but I know it is a realistic possibility. I don’t like the thought of it, but if it were to bring in a prospect like Greg Bird, or another high graded prospect, you would have to listen.