With the trade deadline approaching, the St. Louis Cardinals could look to improve for the playoff push. Help might be right across the state.
This has been a crazy season. The St. Louis Cardinals have, to date, played around .500 ball. That’s not unique to them, as many teams in baseball have hovered around that marker so far. In a season with expanded playoffs where most teams will make the playoffs and even more will consider themselves in the playoff hunt, trade deadline sellers might be harder to come by this season. There is one team that will almost definitely be a seller, however.
The Kansas City Royals are currently 11-16 at the time of this writing and 6.5 games back in their division. They could look to trade away some pieces and they have some appealing names that could be under the radar adds for the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Royals have a trio of pitchers who might make sense for the Cardinals. Here’s a look at each of the three.
Danny Duffy is an established left-handed starter. His career ERA is 3.98 and he’s accounted for 18 WAR (wins above replacement). Duffy is 31 years of age and is signed through 2021 which would give the Cardinals another good rotation option for next season as well.
Jakob Junis is not a free agent until 2024, so he would be a more long-term add. He has been consistent, winning 9 games in each of his first three seasons. At age 27, his career ERA sits at 4.68. Junis is not a flashy add but he has upside and could fit in nicely at the back of the rotation and serve as depth.
Brad Keller would be the guy to get, but would the Royals trade him? He’s off to a 3-0 start with a 0.00 ERA in 2020. Like Junis, he’s under team control through 2024. He’s 25 and trending straight up. I don’t know if the Royals would trade him but maybe they consider selling high? Personally, I think he’s just scratching the surface.
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These three pitchers would offer the St. Louis Cardinals some upside and depth. Duffy would represent a more proven option and a shorter-term add, while the others would come with more control.
I would be satisfied if the Cardinals were able to acquire any of these three. I know what you might be saying … the Cardinals need hitting more than pitching. That’s absolutely correct. The offense needs a lot of work, and I think that’s probably going to need to be a priority in the offseason. If the Cardinals are able to pluck a bat at the trade deadline, that’s great. I just think it’s more likely they make meaningful changes to the offense in the offseason.
For now, it would make some sense for the Cardinals to explore adding pitching to help get them into the playoffs and hopefully make a deep playoff run. With a bunch of doubleheaders on the schedule yet to come, it just supports the argument that a team can never have too much pitching.
The trade deadline will be here in less than two weeks. Will the St. Louis Cardinals stand pat or be aggressive? Either way, it is sure to be interesting. If the team does look at add, they might not need to look far. Help could be right across the state.