The St. Louis Cardinals have yet to make a move that will truly affect the major league team and with hours left, what are some last-minute thoughts?
Twitter can’t seem to update quickly enough. The Trade Deadline season is always a bit of a whirlwind where fans dream and dream of who their team’s newest player could be. It’s a white knuckle kind of feeling up until the 3:00 p.m. CT deadline to see what the St. Louis Cardinals can do to change the structure of the roster.
After last night’s Trever Bauer three-team blockbuster and the Marcus Stroman trade earlier this week, it’s been a bit of a light trade season, something that nobody wanted but was still predicted. As we saw coming, the market was flooded with buyers with so many Wildcard and divisions races so close, and they all seem to be going after starting pitchers.
With two of the bigger starters going to non-contenders (the Mets and the Reds), the top teams who are still looking for starters have an even smaller selection to choose from. That makes the Cardinals job today even harder, but it’s no excuse. As Derrick Goold said on 101 ESPN this morning, “There’s enough starting pitching out there for all the buyers” the choice is just on whether or not teams want to meet the asking price.
The Cardinals are now in first place, a place they haven’t been at the Trade Deadline in any of the past four years. As we barrel towards the deadline with every minute that passes, what are some last-minute thoughts on what the team looks like they may do with six hours (at the time of writing) left?
Jedd Gyorko is probably gone
If I had to hang my hat on one more trade that seems like it is for sure going to happen which is much too strong of a word, it’d be that longtime utility man Jedd Gyorko will be traded.
This first surfaced as a report that Gyorko had been held back from starting his rehab assignment as he has been working back from a lower-back strain. That was an odd first move, then the fact that he was moved to the 60-day IL furthers that. Moving Gyorko from the 15-day to the 60-day allows him to be traded. The 60-day IL sounds bad but as was mentioned, he’s a rehab assignment away from being acquired.
Gyorko is making $13M this year ($5M of which the Padres are paying) and has been hurt the majority of the year so his value is quite low, but if the Cardinals volunteer to pick up some of his salary for this year and next, a team wouldn’t mind taking a flier on a 30-year-old utility man who has shown 30-homer talent in the past.
Amir Garrett anyone?
This is a name that I hadn’t really thought of until a few days ago when the Cardinals had reportedly had scouts at the Reds games. Garrett was tried as a starter when he came into the league in 2017 but has blossomed as a hard-throwing reliever in the two years since. With a 2.21 ERA this year in 47 appearances with a bit of an inflated K/9 rate of 13.3, trading for Garrett might be buying high for the Cardinals, but he is near the top end of relievers the team could go after.
Not a free agent until 2024, Garrett would be a great compliment to Andrew Miller. The tough thing to break down is how willing the Reds would be to allow Garrett to go to a division rival, especially after they just acquired Trevor Bauer.
I have no idea what it would take to get Garrett, but given his fiery personality that we have seen in the past as well as his decision to start the brawl between the Reds and the Pirates last night, there has begun to be a cult following of him already. Many have said that the team needs some more fire in the locker room, Garrett would be a great guy to add that.
A starting pitcher or bust
Many fans, myself included are preparing for disappointment as we near the Deadline, mostly just because that is what we have come to expect this time of year. This year SHOULD be different. The Cardinals are among the bottom in the NL in starting pitching performance. They need someone to stabilize the bottom of the rotation at the very least.
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Don’t be mad if Mozeliak doesn’t go get Noah Syndergaard. While that is the peak of what the Cardinals could get, there are a ton of available pitchers who are better than the Michael Wacha/Daniel Ponce de Leon tandem. If though, the team doesn’t add a starter, it will be among the biggest letdowns the team has had in the last few years.
The need is so clear. The front office duo of Mo and Co seem more aggressive than they have been in years past, so it’s time to go get it done. My perfect starter would be Zack Greinke, but he isn’t liable to allow a trade here given his apparent dislike of St. Louis. Paul Goldschmidt might be able to help that, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
A Lance Lynn reunion? Sure! Giving up the farm for Syndergaard? Great! Acquiring Goldy’s old teammate Robbie Ray? Why not?! It’s not about who at this point. It’s about injecting life into a team that clearly is going to need it down the stretch run.
This is the year to go for it. Mo needs to allow himself to go outside his comfort zone and give up more than he knows he should for a player. If the prospects or players given up go on a tear later and this year’s Cardinals team makes the playoffs, then THAT IS OK. THE TEAM MADE THE PLAYOFFS BECAUSE OF CONTRIBUTIONS (assuming) FROM A TRADE. The calculus is not that difficult. If you overpay but the team makes the playoffs this year, it’s all worth it.
If the clock strikes 3:01 in the Central time zone and the Cardinals haven’t done anything, I’d expect a Twitter riot and maybe more. I have no clue how the team could call itself “all in” on 2019 and not add players more than the two dumpster diving relievers they have acquired already.