Brad Miller has been a bright spot for the St. Louis Cardinals this year, but with the season so up in the air, trading him for another asset might be best.
Ahh, the trade deadline. Here so soon. With just 25 games under their belt in 2020, the St. Louis Cardinals are faced with a tough choice to make on Monday, the 31st day of August.
As of Monday, the Cardinals sit at 12-13 on the year in second place in the NL Central behind the 20-14 Cubs. With just a game lead over the 15-18 Brewers, the Cards’ place in the playoffs seems anything but set.
Where the Cards are now shouldn’t go uncelebrated though. After 17 straight days off due to their COVID-19 outbreak, the Cardinals have played 20 games in 16 days without a single break. In these last five days or so of games, we’ve begun to see cracks in the team’s focus, but can you blame them?
In those 20 games, the Cardinals have had more than 10 rookies debut and have split the 20 games even down the middle. Like it or not, there is no rest yet for the weary Cardinals. Like it or not, a decision on whether or not to add or subtract to the roster via trade must be made Monday.
With such a small sample size, standing pat would make perfect sense. However, given the roster crunch the Cardinals are about to enter (48 names on the 40-man currently), subtracting a few names might make sense.
I don’t believe the Cardinals should go on a firesale, but if they were going to sell high on anyone, Brad Miller would be a good name to put at the top of that list.
Coming into the season, the Cardinals signed Brad Miller to a one-year/$2M deal to basically be a left-handed Jedd Gyorko. To this point, he has been exactly that. Playing third base, shortstop, and DH, we have seen Miller carry the offense like Gyorko did at times.
On the year, Miller has a slash of .302/.449/.528 with two homers and 11 RBI. Digging deeper, has a 166 wRC+ and a whopping 50% hard hit percentage.
As you can see, the rest of his peripheral stats are fantastic as well.
While Miller has been the team’s cleanup man over the last week, Miller is not going to perform at this level forever. With his slugging percentage falling over 100 points over the last seven days, we are already seeing signs of it right now.
That’s the thing with these Gyorko-type players. They can excel as a replacement player who gets around three starts a week. But as soon as they are ran out there every day, they get exposed and go cold.
For such a cheap player on a one-year deal, now is the time to pull the trigger on the sale.
“But Brad Miller has been one of our only guys on offense!” Yes, I know. However, he’s not a part of the longterm plan for the Cards and his stock is way up.
When you talk about “trimming the fat” from a roster, I wouldn’t put Miller in that group. However, does this offense really do that much worse without him out there? Miller’s time as the cleanup man is likely soon to be done. Paul DeJong has quietly come back very strong from the COVID-IL and will soon take that spot back.
The Orioles turned a minor league free agent deal with Tommy Milone into two players to be named later when they sent the lefty to the Braves on Sunday. When life gives you lemons, don’t mess it up by hanging onto them until they go rotten.
The Cardinals won’t be able to get anything huge in return for Miller, but a prospect with even a little bit of upside is better than letting Miller’s hot streak fizzle out and let him walk at the end of the year.
The Cardinals are in a playoff spot and punting on this year doesn’t make any sense. Trading away one small valuable asset could be the best way to capitalize on a difficult situation.