Former MLB scout Bernie Pleskoff believes the St. Louis Cardinals should pursue a Lars Nootbaar trade with the Cleveland Guardians.
The trade chatter surrounding the St. Louis Cardinals has centered around Paul DeJong, with the chances of a deal happening before Opening Day being slim to none.
So, in an effort to perhaps bolster the Cardinals’ internal pitching depth, former MLB scout Bernie Pleskoff believes they should trade outfielder Lars Nootbaar to the Cleveland Guardians.
To be clear, this isn’t Pleskoff wanting the Cardinals to sell low on Nootbaar. He is wanting the Guardians to buy low on Nootbaar, believing the 24-year-old outfielder has potential to be a quality major-league player. From Pleskoff:
“It is Nootbaar’s bat that most intrigues this writer. It is his ability to make consistent hard contact with a measured swing that are most intriguing. And to this scout, he has tremendous upside as a hitter. There is more power waiting to be released. His slight leg kick trigger puts his swing in motion from the left side of the plate.”
If I’m the Cardinals, Nootbaar is not a player that I consider trading unless the deal is too good to be true. While his numbers in 58 games last season – .239 batting average with a .739 OPS, five home runs and 15 RBI (0.7 WAR) – don’t jump off the screen, the Cardinals expect him to continue to get better. Besides, he’s young, has upside and is signed at a very reasonable price long-term.
It would not surprise me if Nootbaar’s name comes up in more trade rumors for those exact reasons. But as a No. 4 outfielder, the Cardinals can do a lot worse, and his upside and contract make him a valuable commodity — both to St. Louis and perhaps the other 29 teams in the league.
Which is why the Cardinals should hold onto Nootbaar, but also pick up the phones if another team comes calling. You never know what might be offered.