St. Louis Cardinals Rumor: Indians interested in Pham, Grichuk

PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 27: Outfielder Randal Grichuk
PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 27: Outfielder Randal Grichuk /

Two St. Louis Cardinals’ outfielders, alongside Lance Lynn, are the center of trade rumors heading into the last couple of days before the trade deadline.

The trade rumor carousel was live and well last night, as multiple teams made acquisitions. However, the St. Louis Cardinals were not one of those teams. What seems to be an increasingly frustrating trade deadline for the Cardinals, continues to be compounded by the amount of rumors surrounding the team.

For some time now, most of us knew the St. Louis Cardinals would shop one of their outfielders. However, I think most of us were sold on the fact it would only be Randal Grichuk on the market.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Disptach reported the Cleveland Indians scouted outfielders Tommy Pham and Randal Grichuk. For some of us, it might be a shock to hear Tommy Pham’s name associated to another team, considering what he has done for the Cardinals this year.

Grichuk, on the other hand, continues to be a staple in trade talks. Here at Rebird Rants we have discussed Grichuk in trades before so I don’t think anyone would be surprised to see him on a different team come next Monday.

Could the Indians use someone like Pham or Grichuk?

I took a look at the Indians’ roster this morning and did a double take when I saw the Indians outfield. The Indians have an outfield currenty of Michael Brantley, Brandon Guyer, and a platoon of Austin Jackson and Bradley Zimmer.

Brantley, plagued with injuries last season, is really the only formidable outfielder the Indians have. This season he is batting .301 with eight home runs and forty-eight RBI in left field. However, Brantely is a shell of the player he was two to three years ago. He is having a productive year, but I think the Indians expected more power.

Guyer, the Indians’ right fielder, is holding the spot of the injured Lonnie Chisenhall. Brandon Guyer is hitting a meager .222 with a single home run and twelve RBI. As the Indians await the return of Chisenhall, Guyer’s production is not exactly helping the Indians.

In center field, the platoon of Austin Jackson and Bradley Zimmer has been somewhat productive. Jackson, hitting .327, serves as the right-handed split in the Indians’ platoon. Zimmer, hitting .281, serves as the left-handed split. However, the Indians are still looking for some more power out of their outfielders.

That being said, it makes perfect sense for the Indians to be interested in Pham and Grichuk. Both outfielders show the ability to hit for power. Tommy Pham has been the most consistent, and best, player for the St. Louis Cardinals. Grichuk, while sitting on a mountain of potential, has only shown glimpses of what he can do while in St. Louis.

Regardless of who the Indians trade for, the question is what can the Cardinals get in return for Pham or Grichuk. In our recent podcast when discussing a trade with the Indians, Trevor Hooth made a pretty good point about the Indians not having many prospects left after trading for Andrew Miller.

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The St. Louis Cardinals will have to figure out what value either Pham or Grichuk have to the Indians. If I had to guess, I think the Indians would value Grichuk more due to his age and potential. While Pham isn’t as young as Grichuk, this season has shown Pham can play at the major league level consistently.

There is no way of knowing who the Cardinals will deal but here is a list of names the Cardinals should look at when considering moving either player.

1. Nolan Jones-3B: According to MLB Pipeline, he grades as a above-average third baseman with the physical size to hit for decent power. He also grades well in hitting so there is potential for good average. Defensively, he has good hand and a good arm.

2. Yandy Diaz-3B/OF: Diaz is a Cuban defector who has seen great success since coming to the United States. Pipeline has him primarily at the third base position. Unlike Jones, Diaz is currently in triple-A. Offensively, Diaz offers more contact over power. Defensively, he ranks well in both fielding and arm strength, better than Jones.

3. Aaron Civale-RHP: While Civale is still developing, he is known throughtout the Indians’ system with some of the best pitch control. He is projected to be a starter, but also has the pitch arsenal useful in the bullpen.

Will the Indians actually move any of these guys? It’s certainly possible. The one thing that will push the Indians to making a deal is the fact the Kansas City Royals have already made a move to bolster their team. With the Royals only two games back of the Indians, the Indians would be wise to consider a move either Pham or Grichuk.

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Now that the Nationals are no longer considering the Cardinals’ outfield, thanks to their trade for Howie Kendrick, the Indians are in the driver’s seat as far as I’m concerned.

The one thing that would stop the St. Louis Cardinals from completing a trade is the division standings.

If the Cardinals find themselves a game back of the division by the end of this weekend, it will be increasingly harder for the Cardinals to deal Pham, and possibly Grichuk.

As I mentioned, Grichuk is the most likely to go be cause of the return he will receive. However, you also have to consider the fact Stephen Piscotty is coming back from injury some time soon as well. Piscotty will slot into Right field upon his return and that will leave either Pham or Grichuk as the odd man out.

If the Cardinals are in the race still, expect that man to be Randal Grichuk.

Next: Lynn a good fit for Boston

The St. Louis Cardinals and Cleveland Indians have been trade partners int he past, this year will most likely be no different. I would expect the Cardinals to trade Grichuk by Sunday night heading into Monday. I just hope the return is worth the potential of Grichuk.