St. Louis Cardinals: Three (mostly) realistic trade targets for 2020

MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 20: Matt Chapman #26 of the Oakland Athletics poses for a portrait at the Oakland Athletics Spring Training Facility at Hohokam Stadium on February 20, 2020 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 20: Matt Chapman #26 of the Oakland Athletics poses for a portrait at the Oakland Athletics Spring Training Facility at Hohokam Stadium on February 20, 2020 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images) /
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OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 18: Matt Chapman #26 of the Oakland Athletics prepares to bat during the game against the Kansas City Royals at Ring Central Coliseum on September 18, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 18: Matt Chapman #26 of the Oakland Athletics prepares to bat during the game against the Kansas City Royals at Ring Central Coliseum on September 18, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /

Trade 3: Matt Chapman

Now before you click off of the article because of how crazy the idea sounds, I encourage you to read through why I have Matt Chapman, arguably the most underrated superstar of our game, listed as a trade target.

First, why would Oakland even consider bringing their franchise superstar into trade talks, right? Like my teammate, Ben Remis wrote on Thursday in regards to a Chapman trade, Oakland is going to continue to run into financial problems as they look for an alternative from their current home, the RingCentral Coliseum.

Plus, with the additional financial issues that the coronavirus is bringing upon companies all over the world, it may become increasingly difficult for franchisees in smaller markets to pay their superstars.

And I do mean superstar. Among the everso talented third base group, Chapman ranked third in WAR (6.1) while also slugging for stellar offensive numbers. In 2019, the 27-year old displayed a 125 wRC+, .848 OPS, and .354 wOBA. While crushing 36 home runs, Chapman was able to drive in a career-high 91 RBI’s. Those already impressive numbers will just continue to rise as the third baseman is just entering his prime.

Chapman’s game doesn’t stop on the offensive end, either, as he is widely recognized as the best defensive third baseman in all of baseball. Yes, even better than the much talked about, Nolan Arenado.

In 2019, Chapman’s 14.8 UZR put him atop all third baseman with Arenado (10.3) in second. Oh, and get this. Chapman posted an astounding 34 DRS, also first in the major league’s, and nearly doubling Arenado who had 18. Chapman (14) did finish second behind Arenado (17) in OAA, but that is clearly a much smaller gap than the previously mentioned stats.

With the struggles last season from Matt Carpenter and the uncertainty of what position Tommy Edman will play in 2020, third base is currently one of the Cardinals’ biggest holes. So if Matt Chapman is ever available in the trade market, St. Louis would be crazy not to pounce on the opportunity to bring in one of the games’ premier stars.

Next. 20 states and their best-ever Cardinals players. dark

With many of St. Louis’ National League foes improving over the offseason, it will likely take some new faces and mid-season acquisitions if the club wants to set themselves apart and appear in their first World Series since 2013. There are several attractive options for Mozeliak and company, and if any of the aforementioned names pop up in trade talks, I would be surprised to not see the Cardinals engage in conversations. We’ll see how they play their cards.

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