Cardinals: Trade negotiations reveal who the Cardinals value the most
By Josh Jacobs
St. Louis cannot afford to let go of the wrong young talent again
This front office has made a lot of shrewd moves when it comes to major trade acquisitions. Outside of the Marcell Ozuna trade (which at the time was a celebrated move), the club has typically come out on the winning side of their big moves (see Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado). One area they really can be critiqued though is how they have let go of young players who would go on to be very productive major leaguers somewhere else, especially their outfielders.
Randy Arozarena and Adolis Garcia are the two names that stand out most as former Cardinal outfielders that they deciced to part with. Arozarena was sent to Tampa Bay in the Matthew Liberatore trade, and Garcia was sent to Texas for cash considerations. Both have gone on to be very productive outfielders and would arguably be upgrades in the current St. Louis outfield.
Between Nootbaar, Carlson, Gorman, Donovan, Tyler O'Neill, Jordan Walker, and even guys like Juan Yepez and Alec Burleson, the Cardinals have a wealth of young bats they could commit to. The crossroads they face here is that they cannot afford to commit to the wrong young bats this time around. If they believe Nootbaar and Donovan are more valuable than guys like Gorman and Carlson, great, just don't be wrong here. If the Cardinals trade away from this pool and those guys go on to out perform the remaining young bats, there will be real questions raised about the Cardinals talent evaluation and development process.
The encouraging sign is that the Cardinals seem willing to deal from thier young talent pool to improve the club if the right deal is there. Guys like Gorman and Carlson are highly valued in baseball, and could bring back an impact arm or bat if the Cardinals decide to make a move. Continue to monitor the Cardinals closely when it comes to the trade market.