On Wednesday, many trade dramas were being played out over Major League Baseball as the 2019 Trade Deadline came to a close. Not to be outdone, St. Louis Cardinals fans got to have their own trade drama complements of John Mozeliak and the front office.
Aaron Sanchez, Nicholas Castellanos, Zach Greinke, and Shane Greene are some of the names that were traded on the July 31st Trade Deadline. There was much drama as the Trade Deadline entered its final day and postseason contenders were trying to fill needs at the last-minute. In fact, according to Astros GM, Jeff Luhnow, the transaction for Greinke was completed with about five minutes left before the four o’clock deadline. Where were the St. Louis Cardinals?
Not to be outdone, the Cardinals offered their own trade deadline drama, complements of infielder Jedd Gyorko, who had not played since June 7th. A trade of Gyorko would not normally reverberate across baseball like, say, a Greinke would. Nevertheless, when the Cardinals announced on Tuesday, the 30-year-old right-handed bat had been pulled from a planned rehab assignment and moved to the 60-day injured list, rumors did begin to fly across Cardinal Nation.
The rumors were further energized when Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch confirmed that Gyorko was healthy and hadn’t suffered another injury. With rumors of the Cardinals pursuing the likes of Greinke, the Mets Zach Wheeler, the Diamondbacks Robbie Ray, and the Rangers Mike Minor, a package including Gyorko, seemed to make sense to most fans.
Therefore, by Wednesday morning social media was exploding about the possible trade of Jedd Gyorko and what it would bring to the Cardinals. Would the trade include Harrison Bader or Tyler O’Neill? Possibly, would minor league standouts Nolan Gorman or Dylan Carlson be thrown in the package? Maybe Ryan Helsley or even Genesis Cabrera would be moved.
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However, at 3 p.m, when attempts failed to woo another team into a major trade, the Cardinals cut a deal with that sent Gyorko to the West coast. That’s when entire drama busted.
The St. Louis Cardinals sent Jedd Gyorko to the Los Angeles Dodgers for 30-year-old-out-for-the-rest-of-the-season left-handed reliever Tony Cingrani and 19-year-old minor league right-hander Jeffrey Abreu. And…the Cardinals threw in some cash to further sweeten the deal.
With that, the Cardinals pursuit of a top of the order rotation arm or a left-handed addition to the bullpen came to a sudden and frustrating end. Reaction across Facebook and Twitter to the trade moved from shock, disappointment, and eventually anger.
The Media wasn’t much kinder with criticism ranging from Dan McLaughlin on the Cardinal pregame show on Wednesday night to analysts from MLB Network Radio on Thursday.
This reaction from fans and media caused President of Baseball Operations, John Mozeliak, to come on the Fox Sports Midwest pregame show on Wednesday and try to defend the Cardinals lack of results. In essence saying, “we tried, but no one would make a deal we wanted.”
The disgruntlement from fans is not due just to the trade of Jedd Gyorko. With the play of Tommy Edman, Gyorko became expendable and most fans understood the roster issues. The displeasure from fans results from raised expectations, especially since the All-Star Break.
With the St. Louis Cardinals in a dead heat for the NL Central title with our antagonist Chicago Cubs, expectations had been raised the front office would address at least one team weakness by the Trade Deadline. The Jedd Gyorko news on Tuesday just further electrified those expectations.
Nevertheless, it didn’t happen and the Cardinals are going into the stretch run with the team you see. Instead of Mike Minor or Robbie Ray starting against the Dodgers next week, you have Michael Wacha. Instead of Zach Wheeler coming out of the bullpen, you have Adalberto Mejia.
The good news is the Cardinals will have Marcell Ozuna and Yadier Molina rejoining the team soon. Hopefully, their return will have a positive impact on the team like a major trade would. Ozuna’s bat and Yadi’s leadership will be sorely needed in August and September.
The Trade Deadline has passed and it’s time to move on from it. We have our team for the last two months of the season and…keep in mind, we are in first place.