Cardinals receive: RHP Tyler Glasnow
Rays receive: UTL Tommy Edman
Back in October, I had both Tommy Edman and Juan Yepez as one of my packages for Glasnow, but I think a straight swap actually makes more sense, and I could argue the Rays should eat money here as well.
The Rays, even with Wander Franco's future looking bleak, still have plenty of top prospects who are middle infielders. But having a guy like Edman in their infield can give them a stabilizing force as those guys develop, and he can also play a really solid center field for them as well. The Rays value guys who can play all over the diamond, and Edman fits that bill.
In typical Rays fashion, this is also a move toward the future, as Edman is under team control through the 2025 season. He's set to make approximately $6.5 million in arbitration this year according to MLB Trade Rumors, which is a bargain to pay for all of the things Edman can provide Tampa Bay on the field.
From the Cardinals' perspective, losing Edman would be hard, as that's putting a ton of pressure on Masyn Winn to run with the shortstop job, but I think he can handle that. Sprinkle in the face that Donovan can play there in a pinch and Thomas Saggese is knocking on the door of an MLB debut, and I think it's a risk worth taking. As for center field, Lars Nootbaar can start there every day, Dylan Carlson provides depth there, and it's likely that we see Victor Scott II take over out there in the very near future. I interviewed Scott II on my podcast the "Noot News Podcast" recently, and he seems like a guy who's ready to break out in a big way for St. Louis.
Having Edman's salary off the books in this deal means the Cardinals are only bringing in about $18.5 million in added salary in this deal, even without the Rays eating money. I do think it is possible the Rays would need to eat some of that deal to get Edman, which could make the incoming money closer to $15 million. With the Cardinals expected to have about $55 million to spend before non-tenders and trades this offseason, that leaves them with between $36.5 million and $40 million to spend on their other needs, with room for that number to grow by another $10 million to $15 million through other moves.
I'm not going to be quick to trade Edman this offseason, but I also wouldn't let him get in the way of acquiring a top-end pitcher. The goal is to keep as much of the position player talent as possible on this roster, but he is the most expendable out of their regulars from last year, and with Saggese and Scott II coming to St. Louis in the near future, I don't think they need him as badly as some make it out to seem.