MLB Insider explains why St. Louis Cardinals could pursue Frankie Montas
MLB Insider Jon Morosi explained why the St. Louis Cardinals could pursue Frankie Montas. On the surface, it makes a lot of sense. But…
On Tuesday morning, Jon Morosi of MLB Network tweeted that Oakland A’s star right-hander Frankie Montas was a fit for the St. Louis Cardinals after another excellent performance on Tuesday night: a seven inning, two earned run performance with five strikeouts and zero walks against the Houston Astros.
It brought Montas’ season numbers to a 3.20 ERA, 71/15 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 64.2 innings. It certainly puts him in the conversation as one of the best starting pitchers in baseball this year. But why does Morosi think Montas is a better fit for the Cardinals than other starters? Let Morosi explain:
“The Cardinals, when you consider that Adam Wainwright is in the final year of his deal, you think about what their rotation is going forward as well,” Morosi said on MLB Network. “You look at Montas being a good fit for 2022 and 2023.”
Morosi is exactly right. Unlike most starting pitchers that will be traded in the coming months, Montas is signed through 2023, meaning that the Cardinals would have him for 1.5 seasons. That’s appealing to front offices, especially considering the price it will take to acquire Montas, and could make one team more willing to part with premium players to acquire him.
Which is where I think the fit between Montas and the Cardinals loses steam. President of baseball operations John Mozeliak has always been hesitant to part with his top prospects – he was adamant about not doing so in the Nolan Arenado deal – and it’s hard to envision him changing his mindset for Montas. Especially since a Montas deal will likely cost the Cardinals one of Nolan Arenado or Jordan Walker.
Mozeliak has been clear that he envisions both Gorman and Walker being foundational pieces in St. Louis for years to come. Perhaps he can swing a deal without including any of them. But with a long list of bidders surely to be in on Montas, it could very likely be what prevents him from coming to the Cardinals at the trade deadline.