The St. Louis Cardinals have been connected to a lot of different bats recently. Between Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado, and Mike Moustakas, there are some pretty pricey names in association with the Redbirds.
There might be a cheaper bat to be had from Detroit. Nicholas Castellanos might not have been available, but a recent season ending injury to Miguel Cabrera should put the Tigers in sell mode. That is where the St. Louis Cardinals potentially come in.
Before anything even looking into a trade, there is one question that needs to be asked: Is Castellanos better than Jedd Gyorko? If not, then there would be no point. It might not be the eye-popping name that everyone wants, but it could be the right move to make.
Castellanos or Gyorko?
If it were me talking, Castellanos without a second thought. But my word means nothing without numbers to back it up. Keeping in mind that it is a contract year, the Tigers converted outfielder is playing better than usual. At 26, some could argue that it is growth. Either way, this year might be all that matters unless he is extended.
A simple number comparison of the 2018 season points to Castellanos. His WAR is higher, his wRC+ is better, and a gluttony of other stats point to the same conclusion. Over a whole body of work, things tend towards Gyorko. There is more history of better years, not to mention Gyorko is a much steadier defender.
Conclusion, Castellanos this season could slide into the St. Louis Cardinals lineup and add some value. So, we proceed.
Cost of Castellanos
The Tigers traded J.D. Martinez fairly cheap last season in the same situation, and he will likely be pricier than Castellanos. He will, for sure, be cheaper than Manny Machado, Mike Moustakas, and Josh Donaldson. That cost might be what makes Castellanos the best option.
In my opinion, there is no use in selling the farm for a one year rental, even if it is Machado. The St. Louis Cardinals roster has enough talent to make a run without a star caliber player. That is why adding a lower cost, but still talented hitter like Castellanos is worth looking into.
Is It A Good Idea?
For as much as I like Castellanos, I don’t think it is a good idea. He is a good player, but he is not far enough above Gyorko to really matter. At this point, it would be dumping at least one top prospect to get a rental with a chance of extension. And unless that rental is Machado level, why bother?
I know I have been down about the idea of Machado, and I am. However, that is the level of player deserving of a rental. It is just not a rental that I believe the Cardinals should pursue. The team is in a lot better place, talent-wise, than they are playing. Something must be done to turn the team around, but selling the farm just doesn’t feel like the answer.
Trades are hard to come by. That is why bloggers do not make them. But the farm system of the St. Louis Cardinals is strong and the front office should want to hold on to that as much as possible. We shall see what happens as the deadline nears.