We have all heard it by now. After Randy Arozarena’s heroic postseason performance for the Tampa Bay Rays, the St. Louis Cardinals lost the trade that netted them Matthew Liberatore and other prospects.
Adam Wainwright says not so fast.
“Liberatore People don’t now it yet. Just wait. That trade is going to work out just great for us,” Wainwright said, via Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. “Just fine. He’s super talented. Wants it. Asks tons of questions. Pays attention during the game. Fun to watch.”
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This is not the first time that Wainwright has sung Liberatore’s praises, and it continues a trend among Cardinals players and executives that suggest the young left-hander could be atop the franchise’s rotation long term. He was a large reason why the organization felt comfortable trading Arozarena, a talented outfielder buried on the depth chart, and ultimately pulled the trigger on the deal.
Of course, the organization has since said that they regret trading Arozarena and giving up on him so soon. But Liberatore should help ease that blow and when he eventually makes it to the majors, could quickly highlight the reasons why president of baseball operations John Mozeliak and other front offices around the league coveted Liberatore, both in the draft and via trade.
There are some scouts who believe that Liberatore could be one of the best pitchers in the majors before too long, presenting a skill set that includes a pitch mix that includes multiple above-average pitches.
It’s up to Liberatore to hone in on that talent and get to the majors. But from everything he has shown in the minors, as well as in spring training, that time may not be far away. Wainwright’s comments are the strongest indicator of that yet.