Cardinals: 5 most valuable trade assets this offseason
By Josh Jacobs
#1 – Nolan Gorman
Nolan Gorman should carry the most value in trade conversations with other clubs, and may be the key piece in getting a major move done for St. Louis.
In just 43 games in Triple-A Memphis this year, Gorman slashed .275/.330/.585 with 16 HR and 26 RBIs, slugging his way all the way to St. Louis. He did not tear it up while he was with the Major League club this year, but he did look good, as at just 22-years old he posted a .721 OPS with 14 HR and 35 RBI.
Gorman has the potential to be a major power bat for years to come. Even after slowing down during his last stretch with St. Louis, the 2B/3B was still on pace for around 26 HR in a 162 game season, and did hit 30 HR across the two levels in just 132 games. Gorman can change the game with one swing of the bat, and it’s not fair to assume he’ll continue to have the same struggles he did this last year.
Gorman’s high strikeout rate is concerning, and he is not a natural fit at second base. But neither of those things should prevent him from being on the Cardinals roster in 2023 if they see him as a major bat in their lineup moving forward. The reason he ranks number 1 here is that his bat could be the key to getting a star at a different position of need, and the club has options at every other position he’d fill.
Brendan Donovan deserves to be starting everyday and could easily slot in at second base. Gorman could be the main DH, but the club has options there as well, and it’s probably not the best use of their resources to not play him everyday in this stage of his development. Could he transition to a corner outfield spot? Sure, but again, the club has an abundance there unless they trade from that depth.
Gorman appears to be the most valuable piece that the Cardinals have that they could send in a deal this offseason. If it means bringing in a star catcher, front line starter, or guaranteed impact bat, it could for sure be worth it. If the right deal is not there though, Gorman should take steps forward in his development and be a major contributor in 2023.