St. Louis Cardinals: What to watch for at the GM meetings

ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 14: St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak (R) introduces Mike Matheny as the new manager during a press conference at Busch Stadium on November 14, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 14: St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak (R) introduces Mike Matheny as the new manager during a press conference at Busch Stadium on November 14, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images) /
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With a surplus of outfielders, the Cardinals could seek starting pitching or relief pitching help via a trade.

With all this talk of Stanton, it almost seems inevitable the Cardinals will move one or more of the young outfielders to make room for Stanton. The only questions to ask is who would go and to where? The team the Cardinals send their outfielders too would determine the return they are getting. We also have to assume one or more outfield prospects would head to Miami in a Stanton trade.

Earlier this year, reports had the Cardinals exploring a trade for Sonny Gray involving Stephen Piscotty. Just last week we saw reports suggesting the Oakland A’s were looking for young controllable outfielders and once again the Cardinals were brought up. The common thing in both reports is the Cardinals and A’s have mutual interest in certain pieces.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see more reports from this week’s meetings to once again kick the tires on a Piscotty move to Oakland. However, what would be the return for Piscotty? Personally, I think the only way the team gets better is to see if you can acquire a young starter. It might be difficult to do that given how Piscotty performed last year, but you have to bank on an off-year for the young outfielder.

Which of the starting pitchers would the Cardinals have interest in though? I think the obvious answer is Sean Manaea. The left-handed pitcher has plenty of upside to bring to the table for the Cardinals. Another name the Cardinals may be interested in is Kendall Graveman. I don’t think the Cardinals would have too much interest in Jharrel Cotton because of the lack of experience int he big leagues.

Another team the Cardinals could consider as trade partners is the Tampa bay Rays. Earlier this year, I made the case for trading for Jake Odorizzi. The right-hander has adjust well to the big leagues, and I believe could do well with a scenery change. I think the Rays could use some corner outfield help, especially in right field. It may make more sense for Randal Grichuk to head that way in this case.

Grichuk could serve as DH for the Rays on days he is not in the outfield. In return the Cardinals solid their rotation with a guy with similar stuff to Lance Lynn. Odorizzi has had some injury issues of late, but nothing that stands out as “stay away.”

Related Story: Trade for Archer

If the Cardinals were really bold they would make the case for a Chris Archer trade. I admit, I’d like to see it too, but I just don’t think the Rays would be willing to deal Archer for Grichuk and some other prospects. I think the Rays would want some more bang for their buck in that case.

Another team that may have some interest in the Cardinals outfielders would be the Kansas City Royals. The Royals will lose Melky Cabrera and Lorenzo Cain to free agency this year, opening a potential fit for the Cardinals. However, the Royals do not have any starting pitching outside of Danny Duffy. The focus may be more on their closer Kelvin Herrera.

Hererra, however, did not have as good of a season as we all have come to expect. Perhaps the change in role had something to do with it, but it would be an intriguing trade scenario in the case you can’t send an outfielder somewhere else. This might a last resort trade, but if the Cardinals bring him in to be your seventh inning or eighth inning guy, then it’s worth revisiting again.

One last place I think the Cardinals should at least make some dialogue is Seattle. The Mariners need some help in the corners as well, and they have a young right-hander in Edwin Diaz who could be the St. Louis closer for  years to come. One big connection would be the presence of Yadier Molina. Diaz and Molina are both Puerto Rican, and that connection could help fuel some trade interest.

Outside of that, Diaz is a hard throwing right-hander with serious upside. The Mariners already made a trade with the Cardinals this year for Mike Leake, so I wouldn’t find it completely out of questions for a deal to materialize. However, it will just depend on where the Mariners see themselves in the grand scheme in the American League.

Next: Mock winter meeting update

What are you looking for this week? Let me know in the comments below.