Things have been about as bad as they could possibly be for the St. Louis Cardinals this season. Could it get any worse?
If Mark DeRosa was in charge of the club, he'd vote yes. In a conversation with Brian Kenny on MLB Network, DeRosa presented his case for why the Cardinals should entertain training Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, and Willson Contreras.
""I'm walking up to Nolan Arenado and I'm entertaining the idea of, if it keeps going south, do you want to stay, or, do we want to potentially put you out there? You and Paul Goldschmidt. You and Adam Wainwright, Willson Contreras, because you have Gorman, Winn, Walker, Donovan, Edman, and you go sign some pitchers.""- Mark DeRosa
Brian Kenny agreed with Mark DeRosa that this was the best path forward for the Cardinals
DeRosa had made the same argument in an earlier segment of the show, but I was shocked to hear Brian Kenny back DeRosa up with this idea. They talked further about the ages of Arenado, Goldschmidt, and Contreras, and how the Cardinals could clear over half of their salary by trading those pieces off.
I'm gonna be honest, I get why national media presents that narrative and thinks it could be a path forward, but not only do I think it's extremely unrealistic, but I also think it's borderline malpractice to consider, at least at this point in the season.
Sure, if the wheels fall off this wagon even more and the Cardinals don't just look hopeless for 2023 but look like they are in need of a major rebuild, then you look down these paths. Capitalizing on the value of an Arenado, Goldschmidt, and even Contreras now will fetch you more value than any time after this deadline.
The Cardinals could rock with a young core of Jordan Walker, Nolan Gorman, Masyn Winn, Tommy Edman, Lars Nootbaar, Brendan Donovan, Dylan Carlson, Ivan Herrera, and other young position players in their system. They can regroup this offseason and allocate major dollars to other players, especially pitching, to shore up this roster. They could do all of that.
But what they could also do, and what they should do, is keep the two MVP-caliber players they do have, keep developing this young core, and also spend this offseason when they have big dollars coming off the books already. They do not have to trade their stars to do that.
Sure, it would strengthen the farm system significantly, but is there really a better value in free agency than $25 million for Paul Goldschmidt next year? Arenado makes $35 million, but he's still just 32 years old and is beginning to look like himself again.
I don't see a roster blow-up coming, but who knows? Maybe things do get bad enough that the Cardinals' front office must consider this.