St. Louis Cardinals: Trading Lance Lynn is no surrender

llevin
ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 9: Lance Lynn #31 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch against the New York Mets in the second inning at Busch Stadium on July 9, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 9: Lance Lynn #31 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch against the New York Mets in the second inning at Busch Stadium on July 9, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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With only three days left in the non-waiver trading period, the St. Louis Cardinals have to decide whether trading Lance Lynn spells an end to this year’s season.  I say it doesn’t.

An opinion piece this week on a prominent St. Louis daily news platform suggested that dealing Lance Lynn meant a surrender by the St. Louis Cardinals of the 2017 campaign.  While I’ve written before that our sights ought not be set on this year’s finish, I strongly disagree that a Lynn deal is the fulcrum on which this season turns.

The author suggested that in subbing for Adam Wainwright this weak, Cardinals prospect Luke Weaver was “overmatched.” In the fourth inning of his outing, after a fairly comfortable first three innings, Weaver struggled and after a couple anxious walks, ultimately gave up a grand slam to J.D. Martinez.

But would you like to guess where Martinez stands among major-league leaders in OPS?  Here’s a hint: If you take away Bryce Harper, Aaron Judge and Jose Altuve, there’s no one else.

That’s right: Martinez, who the Arizona Diamondbacks recently acquired from the Detroit Tigers, is as good as essentially anyone from the plate this year.

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So while that might not mean that Weaver is totally ready, to extrapolate from his limited experience in that game that he’s incapable of slotting into the rotation is a fairly wild stretch.

The writer’s other point, that we don’t know if Waino is wholly healthy, is probably a better one. But we just traded away Marco Gonzales because of our supposed depth in pitching prospects, so the idea of bringing up Jack Flaherty or another starter for a few times through the rotation is hardly menacing.

Besides, to say Lynn is the difference on competing this year is a bit of an overstatement considering that the team is already relying on so many Memphis Redbirds and Springfield Cardinals for any success it’s having.

From the part-time stints of Magneuris Sierra, to the full-time contributions of Paul DeJong and Tommy Pham, to the recent call-up of Harrison Bader, the Cards have already banked their this-year success on our rapidly rising prospects.

And Lynn is supposedly the one on which a decision for competing this year is going to be based?

No, I reject the analysis completely.

It also seems strange to single out the Lynn deal as the basis for determining our 2017 status. For instance, our bullpen has been the most painfully deficient aspect of this year’s version of the Redbirds.

Why not say that a failure to trade for serious bullpen help is what will dictate our failure this year?

Or not going for a middle of the order bat, a lack that has been cited time and again?

It feels like it’s somewhat arbitrary to choose a Lynn deal as the linchpin.

While I personally think we ought deal Lynn if it objectively improves the team for the future, I don’t think that letting him go is the main difference point on whether we compete this year or not. That will largely be based on the exuberance and over-performance of the young’uns and any weakness shown by the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers.

Next: Time to move Rosie?

So if we get a healthy deal for Lynn, especially if he’s packaged with others to reach a more hefty bounty, by all means let it rip. And to say it will determine our chances for this season? I say, not so much.

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