With news of the St. Louis Cardinals making the closer’s role a top priority, the search for a big bat continues on this off-season.
Earlier this morning, I wrote about the McKernan Show’s conversation with John Mozeliak. In that particular piece, I focused on the addition of a new closer to the organization. Mozeliak went on to say the team will more than likely find its new closer outside of the organization. Whether that is through trade or free agency, it’s clear the St. Louis Cardinals do not feel entirely comfortable with all in-house options.
However, there was a surprising bit of information from the quote that perhaps prompted a second quote by Mozeliak regarding the search for an impact bat.
In his dialogue about a new closer, Mozeliak referred to the search for a new closer as the top priority this off-season. I think maybe the show picked up on that particular section of the quote and connected the dots to the search for a new bat. Later on in the conversation, Mozeliak said this about the search for an impact bat:
"From Mozeliak on #STLCards on @tmckernan's question re: search for impact bat: An impact bat is right there with closer as a priority.— The McKernan Show (@McKernanShow) October 19, 2017From Mozeliak on #STLCards on @tmckernan's question re: search for impact bat: An impact bat is right there with closer as a priority.— The McKernan Show (@McKernanShow) October 19, 2017"
I think it’s safe to say the St. Louis Cardinals haven’t abandoned any plans to find an impact bat, but, as always, who is that bat going to be?
Well, Mozeliak offered another clue into his plans as to who that bat just might be:
"From Mozeliak on impact bat (continued): The impact bat will most likely be brought in via trade.— The McKernan Show (@McKernanShow) October 19, 2017From Mozeliak on impact bat (continued): The impact bat will most likely be brought in via trade.— The McKernan Show (@McKernanShow) October 19, 2017"
Now, I would assume this doesn’t rule out exceptions, but this is a start. For the most part, we are already aware of some of the big names being flashed around St. Louis. The likes of Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson are perhaps the biggest of names, but we also shouldn’t forget
All those names appeared in some form throughout the course of this last season in trying to make the St. Louis Cardinals a better ball club. However, do the names just stop there? Since we already know of those names, who else would the Cardinals consider at he moment to trade for that is an impact bat?
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Well if we take at the serious need of the Cardinals, I think it’s safe to say right field, first base, and third base are top priorities in terms of a bat.
If I had to place them in terms of greatest need, I would say right field, third, and then first.
We have seen the prospects for the outfield and third base before, but what about third base? One name, I think the St. Louis Cardinals should consider is Jose Abreu.
Abreu isn’t as flashy as Donaldson or Stanton, but he is no slouch either. Abreu has a career .301 batting average since his debut in 2014.
Couple that with an average of thirty-three home runs and 108 RBI a year, Abreu would fit nicely with the St. Louis Cardinals. According to Fangraphs, Abreu was responsible for a 138 wRC+ in 2017, which was good for fourth among all first baseman.
More importantly, Abreu is still eligible for two years of arbitration starting in 2018. Should the St. Louis Cardinals consider this move, Abreu would come relatively cheap in terms of the other names mentioned, but would help set them up for a possible run at Manny Machado in the future.
The obvious question will be how much will the White Sox want for Abreu. Considering what they were able to get for Jose Quintana, Adam Eaton and David Robertson, I would hope it would slightly less than those packages, mainly due to Abreu’s age and length of contract left. The obvious ask would be for starting pitching, and I’m not sure the St. Louis Cardinals will want to sell pitching for a guy with two years on his contract.
Don’t get me wrong, if the St. Louis Cardinals can land Stanton, then I am all for it. Like I said, the priority first should be in right field. However, if the Cardinals don’t see the fit or don’t want to empty the farm system, then other options should considered. Abreu makes sense to me if all those other options are exhausted.
If the St. Louis Cardinals cannot land any of the big names, should they consider jose Abreu? Let me know in the comments below.