The price to acquire Max Scherzer figures to be steep, but it could cost the St. Louis Cardinals prized infielder Nolan Gorman. Is it worth it?
The St. Louis Cardinals continue to be connected to Max Scherzer, this time by Bob Nightengale of USA Today, who adds that the two sides are a “perfect fit.” But Nightengale later added that the Cardinals “could easily package top third-base prospect Nolan Gorman ” to facilitate a trade.
Acquiring Scherzer would not only save the Cardinals rotation, but it would vault them into a different level just as Nolan Arenado did. Scherzer and Jack Flaherty (once he returns off the injured list) would form arguably baseball’s best one-two punch in the rotation. Those two, combined with Adam Wainwright and Kwang-hyun Kim, would set the Cardinals up to have one of the best rotations in the postseason.
But is it worth parting with Gorman? I’m not so sure.
First, the Cardinals have been hesitant to part with any of their top prospects via trade. They were mindful of doing that in the Arenado discussions, even with the star third baseman being under contract for multiple seasons. It’s highly unlikely they would consider it for Scherzer, who is a free agent at the end of this season, and it’s hard to see president of baseball operations John Mozeliak parting with Gorman.
Gorman, of course, is a third baseman. But he practiced this spring at second base and could be the long-term answer at the position, with Tommy Edman perhaps shifting to the outfield when Gorman eventually makes it to the majors. He has 40+ homer potential and combined with Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt, could form the best infield trio in baseball.
Losing a player like that for potentially two or three months of Scherzer is a risk. A big risk. There is a chance, of course, that Scherzer would re-sign with the Cardinals this winter, considering that his family lives in St. Louis and he is originally from this area.
But if acquiring Scherzer means losing Gorman, I don’t know if I would do it. And I certainly cannot see Mozeliak, who has built this Cardinals team to be a sustainable winner, parting with a potential cornerstone player for two months of Scherzer. It’s just not in his M.O.