The St. Louis Cardinals have so many decisions to make this winter, and one is very clearly to evaluate what their starting pitching will look like. As part of this process, they will examine the future of bright young starter, Luke Weaver, and whether his true value to the club is as a rotation member or a trade chip.
If the team retains Luke Weaver, he will be entering his third year with the St. Louis Cardinals. Weaver showed a marked progression from his first showing in 2016 to his more substantial one in 2017. Despite only starting two more games this season than the previous one, he almost doubled his innings and lowered his ERA by almost two runs per game.
Notwithstanding a couple of blowups in his last two starts which raised his ERA from the low 2s to the high 3s, the Cards were notably impressed by the overall performance of the young Weaver. Many pundits believe he will join Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha and possibly Adam Wainwright as part of the rotation if he remains here.
But should he? Our contributors Dan Campbell and Larry Levin have different perspectives about where Weaver’s value best lies, and about his upside potential as a starter. Dan makes the argument for maximizing Weaver’s potential worth to other clubs by including him in a trade package if it gets something more valuable for the team’s 2018 success.
Larry, on the other hand, thinks that the Cardinals would do well to secure Weaver as part of the upcoming season’s climb back to the playoffs. After reading their dialogue, feel free to weigh in on your views about Weaver’s true value.
LARRY: Dan, you and I have some different views about how the St. Louis Cardinals should maximize Luke Weaver’s talent. Why don’t we start with your take on who Weaver is as a pitcher — what do you think of his performance to date, where is he in his growth curve, and how does he compare to other pitchers you’ve seen in a Cardinals uniform over the years?
DAN: Thanks, Larry. Will the real Luke Weaver please stand up? We are gonna have a problem here. Larry acts like he’s never seen this pitcher before, but the St. Louis Cardinals had a dynamic young pitcher just like Luke Weaver.