St. Louis Cardinals: Time to move on from Giancarlo Stanton

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 29: Giancarlo Stanton
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 29: Giancarlo Stanton /

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox were rumored to be the strongest two clubs pursuing the great Marlins outfielder but the tides seem to have changed. It is- quite simply- time to move on.

The St. Louis Cardinals received the same news that the other MLB clubs received on Tuesday monring: Giancarlo Stanton would reportedly veto a trade to the Cardinals and/or Red Sox. Additionally, rumors have escaped that the asking price in prospects for Stanton is outlandish and prohibitive for any club.

A few quick glances at this tell me a couple of things. First, Stanton is saber rattling and showing his position of strength. I don’t put much stock in the “I will veto” jargon as  this goes against his other claims that he wants to play for a team who wins (not that the 2017 St. Louis Cardinals were a convincing bunch in this regard).

Second, I equally do not put too much weight into the Marlins front office insisting on such a high prospect quality and count. Can you blame them? They have the most coveted player on the market this winter; why not ask for the entire farm? Here’s why I don’t buy it: I believe the Marlins are pushing for great offers rather than low-ball offers and saying what they did will run off anyone who is only marginally interested.

So where does that leave the St. Louis Cardinals? I don’t think the Cardinals are out of play here but it certainly indicates to me that even playing around with a trade idea might die in the 11th hour (veto power). Moreover, the prospect package might- in fact- be too great for the Cardinals to wager even though they have the farm system to support such an offer.

Plain and simple, then, the time has come to recall the reconnaissance vessels and dispatch them elsewhere.

First, up: Tampa. I think the St. Louis Cardinals need to immediately start barking up Tampa’s tree. Reports have surfaced that Tampa is willing to listen on almost everyone.

Many of us here at Redbird Rants have already talked about these names. We’ve espoused the St. Louis Cardinals going after Chris Archer. We’ve suggested that Jake Odorizzi might fit well at the back end of the rotation. Hell, we’ve even toyed with the Alex Colome name.

Here’s what I would ask from the Rays:

  • Kevin Kiermaier– Here’s your consolation prize to not getting Stanton. Kevin is an impressive 5.1 WAR player who manned center field at the ‘Trop. His 2017 slash line was .276/.338/.450. So while Stanton batted a slash line of .281/.376/.631 illustrating his great oWAR, Keirmaier is a much better defender closing the 2017 campaign with a 2.5 dWAR.
  • Alex Colome- Here’s your 2018 closer, Cardinals Nation. I believe this is the name that should take all the focus. That said, his 47-save 2017 will require a haul in return but will be completely worth it.

Here’s what I would offer from the Cards:

  • Randal Grichuk– Grichuk batted .238/.285/.473 so Kiermaier would be a marked improvement over Randal. Why would the Rays even have interest in him then? Control and cost-savings. Grichuk is under team control through 2020 and faces his first arbitration year in 2018. Kiermaier, on the other hand, has long team control as well (through 2022) but costs much more: $5.67M in ’18 and rising to as high as $12.17M in ’22.
  • Jack Flaherty– The Rays are looking to rebuild and will be seeking someone who they can insert into their rotation and have him learn from the great Chris Archer of whom they said they want to build around. Why not Flaherty then? The young arm has great promise, low-low cost, and has essentially run out of options with the Cardinals.
  • Two other minor leaguers. I’m not sold on the names here but this would essentially be a 4-for-2 deal with four Cardinals going to Tampa and the two names above coming to the Cards. The Cardinals would take on more payroll while the Rays would get players ready for development at low costs.

Some of you may be questioning why I didn’t include Archer or even Odorizzi in the list of asks above. Here’s why: I don’t want either of them. I certainly don’t want Odorizzi because I believe him to be Mike Leake 2.0 and I think the Cards should avoid that. And I don’t want Archer thanks in large part because of the dramatic asking price (assumed).

More from Redbird Rants

Rather than looking to the Rays as a solution to the rotation, I think the St. Louis Cardinals need to once again dive into discussions with the Oakland A’s. In Tito’s slideshow this week (see next post link below), he reminded us all that the Cardinals and A’s have discussed sending Stephen Piscotty to the west coast. This is perfect and needs to happen yesterday.

I like Tito’s suggestion that the St. Louis Cardinals ask in on Sean Manaea. This young left-handed arm is projected by MLBTR to pitch 153 innings in 2018 and carry a 10-9 record. But those assumptions are at The O.Co Stadium. I wonder if Manaea, with the Cardinals, would see a better uptick than those numbers? Worth the shot, honestly.

Both Manaea and Piscotty are free agents to be in 2023 (like that rhyme?). Piscotty- a bit more proven than Manaea- carries the heavier contract but I believe this helps with the 1-for-1 trade or the Cardinals could even ask for player to be named later in the deal. I would not be upset about that.

When I look at the options above, I am so much more excited about these possibilities than hitching our ride to the one and only Giancarlo Stanton. Having said that, however, I will be overjoyed if Stanton mans RF in 2018. But… but, I only want him to come if he wants to join the Cardinals– no sense in having another Jason Heyward situation in RF again.

Next: What to watch for at GM meetings

Am I crazy? What other options would you recommend the St. Louis Cardinals shoot after? Let me know on Twitter and thanks for reading!