St. Louis Cardinals: Cardinals make a series of moves late last night

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Luke Weaver #62 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the first inning at AT&T Park on September 16, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Luke Weaver #62 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the first inning at AT&T Park on September 16, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The St. Louis Cardinals took advantage of the commotion of Monday’s Home Run Derby to make a series of roster moves.

With all the commotion surrounding the St. Louis Cardinals and trade talk, the team took time on Monday to complete a series of moves to shake up the roster. While the moves were expected, it was still interesting to see the players on the move. These moves also have some implications in trade talks as well, but I’ll get to that later.

According to Derek Shore, @D_Shore23, the St. Louis Cardinals traded Todd Cunningham to the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash. In the same night, the Cardinals optioned infielder Alex Mejia and pitcher Luke Weaver to Memphis. The Cardinals activated Kolten Wong from the disabled as a corresponding move.

Interestingly, the Cardinals did not name a second player to be activated or brought up. Start the speculation wheel, but there are a couple of options the Cardinals could go with in the next couple of days.

As I mentioned, the Cardinals did not name another player in the moves made on Monday. You would have to think, since the Cardinals swapped an infielder for an infielder, the Cardinals will swap Weaver for another pitcher. The question, though, is who?

My guess is the Cardinals will most likely target a bullpen piece again, but this time in the form of Zach Duke. The left-handed pitcher has been in the news recently as he completes his rehab assignments. If you remember, Duke had Tommy John Surgery about eight months ago. Seeing him at the big league level would be incredible.

Duke would provide some boost to a bullpen looking for consistency. It will also help take the toll off Brett Cecil in the late innings. With Kevin Siegrist on the DL, Duke will slot in nicely as a lefty specialist alongside Cecil and Tyler Lyons.

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However, what if Zach Duke doesn’t get the call? This leaves the door wide open to many options.

I still think the Cardinals will go with pitching, so perhaps Siegrist is the one that returns from the DL. His rehab is on going, but could come to and end shortly.

I know this will sound crazy, but I am holding out some hope for the St. Louis Cardinals to give Harrison Bader a shot in the outfield.

While it is a move that makes no sense in terms of the current roster, Bader has lit up triple-A this year. Will it happen? Probably not, but can you imagine the hype surrounding his first game? Sign me up.

I’d like to revisit a comment a made earlier about trade talks. With the reported interest in Josh Donaldson, the St. Louis Cardinals find themselves in a peculiar position with the infielders they have on the field.

Related Story: Cards interested in Josh Donaldson

Paul DeJong continues to impress at SS, both defensively and offensively. I did ask for his call up months ago, but it’s nice to see him flourish in his role right now.

Luke Voit continues to make a name for himself at the plate, and he is an actual first baseman.

While he has seen more time at second recently, Matt Carpenter is still a valuable piece in the Cardinals lineup, especially at the top of the order.

Lastly, Jedd Gyorko is thriving at third base, when no one thought he would.

Kolten Wong’s return can only mean one thing: Infield Roulette. I don’t believe DeJong will be moved from SS any time soon. Luke Voit’s play at first is needed, and so is his bat. Voit should not be moved from first base at all. That leaves us with the Wong, Carpenter, and Gyorko fighting for spots in the infield.

Personally, because of Gyroko’s play at third and his offensive numbers, third base should be a lock to Gyorko. He has proven time and time again he can field the position clean enough. His hitting helps pace the Cardinals’ offense as well.

That leaves Carpenter and Wong fighting for time at second base.

Unfortunately, this is a serious problem for the Cardinals. It wont be an easy decision, but something must be done. This also leads us into the trade talks surrounding the Cardinals. Wong is certainly the better second baseman, but no one would deny Carpenter’s effect on the lineup. What do the Cardinals do?

Related Story: Josh Donaldson is a smoke screen

If the St. Louis Cardinals are seriously interested in Josh Donaldson, then you would have to figure someone on the current major league roster would have to go. While I don’t think the Cardinals are going to make a move for Donaldson, either Carpenter, Wong, or Voit will be heading to Toronto in a trade.

The more likely of the three would be Wong and Voit. The Cardinals wouldn’t give up both players in a trade for Donaldson, but one of them would have to move to unclog the roster jam in the infield. All three deserve to be starters on a major league roster, but unless something is done in St. Louis, the trio of players will be fighting for playing time on consistent basis.

Unfortunately, consistent play is what the Cardinals need most at the start of the second half.

Next: All-Star break podcast special

I’d like to take some time to promote a very special podcast episode the crew at Redbird Rants is doing this Thursday. We are bringing you a two-hour podcast episode to talk about the first half of the season and what to look for in the second half. We will be recording this episode LIVE for our readers and listeners. The episode will be from 8:30-10:30pm CT. It’s going to be a great show!