St. Louis Cardinals: Goldschmidt’s impact on the Cardinals depth
Ah yes, the most polarizing player on the St. Louis Cardinals roster. I would like to disclaim this section by saying that I believe Tyler O’Neill (or Bryce Harper) should start in right field instead of Fowler, and I would want Fowler off the team if does start solely for that reason alone.
Coming off a miserable season in St. Louis full of under-performance, injury struggles, and criticisms all around, you would think Fowler would be the top candidate to trade in any circumstance.
However, you have to stop and think for a moment. Do we honestly believe that Fowler will have a repeat of his 2018 season? Because I just can’t see that happening.
As a matter of fact, I would be shocked if his 2019 stats were closer to his performance in 2018 than 2017. With the injuries and the fact that the 2019 numbers he put up are clearly outliers of his career, it is unreasonable to assume at this point that he is the player he was in 2018.
Even with all of this, it still seems pretty ridiculous to trade Jose Martinez and not want to trade Fowler. However, the difference between the two is what they would command on the market.
The reason I am so high on trading Martinez is because of the potential value that he can be exchanged for in return because of his niche in the AL. On the other hand, Fowler is a huge and expensive risk for teams, which may make it difficult to trade him.
I know that my fellow writer Rob Chagdes recently proposed that the Cardinals could trade Fowler for a name like Wade Davis, but I am a bit less optimistic. While Fowler’s career numbers are solid, they aren’t stellar, so there’s not much attractive upside for teams to look forward to as a starter.
On top of that, Fowler isn’t cheap like Martinez, nor does he have an expiring or team friendly like Gyorko. These are both valuable assets to have as a trade piece, and Fowler’s production isn’t enough to get much without them.
On the other hand, Fowler can potentially serve as the left-handed bat off the bench for the St. Louis Cardinals. While his overall numbers haven’t been great, a number that is appealing of his is .883, Fowler’s OPS as a left handed hitter in 2017.
This can make him a decent commodity off of the bench as a left-handed batter should the Cardinals not be able to find one this offseason. Fowler’s experience and patience at the plate can be put to good use batting in limited quantities, which can make him far more valuable than anything thew St. Louis Cardinals can hope to get from Fowler in a deal.