Why the St. Louis Cardinals Won the Harrison Bader Trade

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 24: Harrison Bader #48 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a double during the eighth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium on June 24, 2022 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 24: Harrison Bader #48 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a double during the eighth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium on June 24, 2022 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NY – JULY 31: Jordan Montgomery #47 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Yankee Stadium on July 31, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – JULY 31: Jordan Montgomery #47 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Yankee Stadium on July 31, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

St. Louis needed what Jordan Montgomery can provide more than Bader

This narrative is known by everyone in baseball: the St. Louis Cardinals desperately needed starting pitching.

The club’s defense and baserunning is elite, and while Bader played a major role in that, they have plenty of that from other players as well. Bader was no slouch at the plate, but he was not a true difference maker, which would have easily kept him in St. Louis past this deadline if he was.

Bader is likely out until September with his foot injury, meaning St. Louis could at best hope for a few weeks of production at best the rest of this season.

Montgomery, in the ultra competitive AL East, had an ERA of 3.69 in 114.2 innings of work for the Yankees this season, and provides an immediate upgrade over the club’s patchwork rotation. Montgomery is also under team control for 2023, meaning St. Louis now has another affordable option next season.

Montgomery and fellow newcomer Quintana now give the Cardinals a five man rotation, even without Jack Flaherty and Steven Matz, that can compete each and every game. Guys being used in the rotation and move back to the bullpen, strengthening that in the process.

St. Louis has struggled to live up to expectations the last two seasons due to their lack of pitching depth. If one or two guys goes down, the club goes into a tailspin. Now the Cardinals have at least seven experienced major league starters to choose from, and multiple different young arms to trout out as needed.

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