One of the top prospects for the St. Louis Cardinals is slugger Nolan Gorman. His upside is high, but his trade value could be too.
Understandably, this title has probably annoyed many fans of the St. Louis Cardinals. The farm system for the team has several highly regarded prospects and Nolan Gorman is one of them. He is currently in Triple-A with the Memphis Redbirds and already displaying his astronomical power. Why would trading him even make sense? Well, there are a few reasons why it could.
First, the Cardinals have Nolan Arenado at third base and assuming he doesn’t exercise his opt-out clause following the season, he will be under contract for the long-term. Gorman, after the trade for Arenado, focused on second base. By all accounts, he looks like he can handle the position.
That is when things get a little complicated. For the Cardinals, Tommy Edman is currently the second baseman and he’s off to a scorching hot start in 2022. Last season he stole 30 bases and won a Gold Glove, and while he certainly has positional flexibility, he seems to have taken a firm hold on the position.
Paul DeJong at shortstop seems vulnerable to losing his role if he struggles this season. In that scenario Edman can potentially shift to shortstop and Gorman can play second base.
There is also the DH, so Gorman can force his way onto the roster and into everyday at-bats if he keeps hitting. All of these are possibilities.
But here’s why Nolan Gorman could be an excellent trade chip for the Cardinals. The team also has prospect Jordan Walker who seems to be about as close to a “can’t miss” prospect the team has. Make no mistake, there is room for both in the long-term plans for the Cardinals. But the presence of Walker could make dealing Gorman sting a little less.
So far in the 2022 season, which is just beginning, the offense looks like a huge positive. Admittedly, prior to the ongoing Brewers series, the Cardinals had played the Pirates and Royals. So keep that in mind, too. Regardless the offense might be better than certainly I expected. The starting rotation, however, seems like it could be in need of reinforcements at some point. Maybe sooner rather than later.
Could Gorman be the headliner in a trade for a top pitcher? If the Cardinals keep playing as they have so far in the first week of the season, it could be time for the front office to step out of their comfort zone and do what they rarely do … which is make a significant trade deadline move.
In what is Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols’ final season, and a decade removed from their last championship, the front office should do what it takes to give the roster that extra boost and maximize the team’s chances in the playoffs.
As of now, that need would seem to be pitching. But the season is long and is only just starting. However, if the St. Louis Cardinals are in prime playoff position around the trade deadline, the pressure to make a significant move should be intense. Gorman might just be the biggest trade chip the team has to offer and it’s something the Cardinals should consider.