Pablo Lopez would be a boon for the St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are supposedly interested in Pablo Lopez, who would greatly upgrade the team’s rotation.
It’s no secret that the St. Louis Cardinals are looking at outside options for pitching help, and according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals have an interest in the Miami Marlins’ Pablo Lopez, who would be a strong candidate to not only patch the rotation, but to give it a jolt.
The Marlins possess pitching in spades, led by former Cardinal Sandy Alcantara. Their offense is sputtering, though, making the Cardinals a logical trade partner.
Lopez wouldn’t be the typical Cardinals starter in 2022, at least not in terms of strikeout rate. The Cardinals prioritize getting ground balls and relying on their superior infield defense. While Lopez does have an above-average ground ball rate at 49% for his career, he is much more whiff-oriented than the current Cardinals starting crop, with a 25.5% strikeout rate.
Lopez is under team control through the 2024 season, giving him a much friendlier contract for the Cardinals than that of another prospective acquisition, Frankie Montas of the Oakland Athletics, who would be a free agent after 2023. He would also cost less than someone like Luis Castillo, whom the Reds would be unlikely to surrender to a division rival anyway.
Of course, a trade for a solid pitcher like Lopez wouldn’t come cheap. The Cardinals could likely stand to part with an outfielder, as their farm system is rich in outfield talent. Tyler O’Neill might be a good place to start with offers, as he is also under team control through the next two seasons with an affordable $3.4 million contract.
The Marlins would likely ask for a decent prospect as well, and Alec Burleson is about the right level in my mind to make it work. Indeed, the trade analyzer at Baseball Trade Values makes a Lopez for O’Neill and Burleson trade appear quite balanced, at 47.20 going Miami’s way vs. 45.70 in the Cardinals’ direction.
I think Lopez gives the Cardinals the most bang for their buck regarding the available pitchers at the deadline. While many fans are clamoring for more offense in the form of Juan Soto, pitching is what the Cardinals need right now. A Lopez deal would be right up their alley.