St. Louis Cardinals: Oscar Mercado trade was a mistake

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Oscar Mercado #74 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses for a portrait at Roger Dean Stadium on February 20, 2018 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Oscar Mercado #74 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses for a portrait at Roger Dean Stadium on February 20, 2018 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

The St. Louis Cardinals traded their prospect outfielder at the trade deadline and I am not happy about it.

The St. Louis Cardinals announced near the trade deadline that they had traded center field prospect Oscar Mercado to the Cleveland Indians. Was the return worth the give?

The St. Louis Cardinals received CF prospect Conner Capel and RF prospect Jhon Torres. Two for one is normally a good get, but having given up the speedster who was showing real life, to me, just doesn’t feel like a win.

Let’s take a look. First, let’s look at Mercado who- to me- was the center fielder of the Cardinals future.

Register Batting
201419-1.3Johnson CityAPPYRkSTL602742454155913252672037.224.303.306.6097548010
201621-1.8Palm BeachFLORA+STL125506442509523102733204471.
Minors (6 seasons)Minors56424292181328550101142919819077172384.252.316.351.667766334114212
All Levels (6 Seasons)58625312268337573106142920919677186402.253.318.350.668794364114222
Rk (2 seasons)Minors102460408598914543938113776.218.298.306.604125411040

This amazing prospect came up through the ranks as a short stop but then quickly adjusted his game to embrace his Willie McGee-type speed to guard the large field in center for the Memphis Redbirds.

The numbers above do not tell the whole story. By the eye test, Mercado was comfortable in the field and at the plate and was finding his way with the bat. Additionally, Mercado could fly. Let me tell you that I’ve watched him fly from first to home on what normally would be a simple station-to-station single.

Let’s turn our attention to the “gets” from this deal. These are the batting numbers for the two outfielders coming to the St. Louis Cardinals from the Indians:

Register Batting
201720-1.3Lake CountyMIDWACLE119492439731082272261151043108.246.316.478.79521064240
All Levels (3 Seasons)24310288991422214413281184023103200.246.324.417.7413751176131

…and the RF player…

Register Batting
201818-1.5Indians 2ARIZRkCLE2711199162730416301124.273.351.424.7764251000
All Levels (2 Seasons)813372834174103951743965.261.359.413.772117108071

So, it appears that an almost-MLB-ready CF earned two very low players. Maybe I’m missing something here but I’m just not seeing the return on this investment.

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I am not happy with this transaction and I’m left scratching my head. Perhaps the organization is going all-in on Harrison Bader (which I do not mind), committing themselves to Dexter Fowler through his contract, and making sure that Marcell Ozuna has the chance to prove his money’s worth.

Oh, and there is Tyler O’Neill… and Adolis Garcia. With all of these names flooding in the outfield, I just don’t see the addition of these two outfielders unless the organization is planning larger moves requiring a larger stock of prospects.

I guess time will tell but I’m just not thrilled with saying goodbye to Oscar Mercado and I believe the St. Louis Cardinals made a mistake on this one.

Pham to Tampa. dark. Next

I worry about the future of this organization based on this decision today. That said, go Cards!