St. Louis Cardinals: Lets help the Indians replace depth
By Matt Graves
The St. Louis Cardinals’ frequent trade partner, the Cleveland Indians, just dealt a top catching prospect for bullpen help. Why don’t we help them replenish their catching depth?
The St. Louis Cardinals need more arms to trust in the bullpen. Any casual fan knows that and other teams are making moves on their bullpen needs. Earlier this summer, I wrote here about how the Cardinals should go after the San Diego Padres’ closer Brad Hand. Sadly, either the Cardinals weren’t interested in him or the classic second place finish happened and Hand was traded to the Cleveland Indians.
The Indians pulled off a great deal and got both the set-up man Adam Cimber and Closer Brad Hand from the Padres and gave up top catching prospect Francisco Mejia in return. Hey! The St. Louis Cardinals have a couple of those!
Mejia was ranked by MLB.com as the number one catching prospect in the league (only ahead of Carson Kelly) and was also the Indians’ number one prospect. The St. Louis Cardinals could’ve and maybe should’ve been in on this deal offering either Kelly or Andrew Knizner.
Kelly probably could’ve hauled the same package even though his major league stints haven’t been glamorous. Kelly has been great of late in AAA with a .286/.365/.438 line and still holds a ton of value: he is 23 and has through-the-roof potential.
The Indians now have a catching deficit
The Indians current catcher is the 30-year-old Yan Gomes who, while a solid defensive catcher, has no successors in the waiting with Mejia gone. There are no catchers in the Indians’ top 10 prospects and the need is there now.
Hey! We still have our guys! The Indians need a catcher, we need bullpen help.
With the two new arms in the bullpen for them, there is a slight overload of arms especially with Andrew Miller about to return. Their closer right now is the 29-year-old righty Cody Allen and I think he would be an attractive option for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Allen is a free agent after the season, but with 142 career saves and 20 this season, he would help the St. Louis Cardinals get another veteran arm for Mike Shildt to trust. Allen has a fantastic slider and has used it to average more than a strikeout per inning and he would be a good candidate to sign for a 2-3 year deal after the season.
The Indians and the St. Louis Cardinals have been trading partners four times in the last eight years and the need on both sides is too obvious to ignore. With the catching depth the Cardinals have, it would not hurt them to give up Knizner or Kelly for a proven arm. Yadier Molina has discovered the fountain of youth and Knizner and Kelly will be 26 when his deal is up in 2021. Why not pull the trigger while their value is high?
Cody Allen would fit the mold of a classic Mozeliak trade deadline deal and would truly help the Cardinals for the rest of the year. What do you think of the Cardinals doing this deal? Thanks for reading!