Cardinals Rumors: St. Louis again linked to top starting pitcher
The St. Louis Cardinals have once again been linked to top starting pitcher Frankie Montas, who feels like a sure thing to be traded.
With Jack Flaherty going on the Injured List for a second time, and it being unclear just when he will return, the St. Louis Cardinals are going to be in the market for a starting pitcher. It was true even before Flaherty was injured; it’s a virtual lock right now.
Before Flaherty was placed on the IL, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com mentioned the Cardinals as one of the top fits for Oakland A’s right-hander Frankie Montas. Among the other teams he listed include the Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Montas will be traded. It’s only a matter of where he ends up at this point. And yes, the Cardinals do make sense on paper; they need another high-end starter and Montas is signed cheaply through 2023. He’s posted a 2.70 ERA and struck out over a batter per inning in his last eight starts. Paired alongside Adam Wainwright and Miles Mikolas, along with Flaherty and Steven Matz (when each returns), and the rotation suddenly looks like a strength.
The problem is that acquiring Montas will require the Cardinals to part with Nolan Gorman, Matthew Liberatore or Jordan Walker. And it’s unimaginable that president of baseball operations John Mozeliak would part with any of them, considering 1) Gorman is their long-term second or third baseman; 2) Liberatore is their top pitching prospect and someone they want to build around; and 3) Walker is viewed as their best prospect since Oscar Taveras.
Of course, Montas will be debated internally amongst Cardinals executives. With a need in the rotation and Montas being the clear No. 1 starting pitcher available, they will surely check in to see what it takes to acquire the right-hander. But unless Mozeliak changes his M.O, he won’t part with any of his top prospects to acquire him.
But it sure is intriguing to think about.