With additional holes to fill on the roster, what prospects could be used as trade bait between now and the Trade Deadline?
With Spring Training just around the corner, it appears the St. Louis Cardinals' 40-man roster, for the most part, is set. According to President of Baseball Operations, John Mozeliak at this year's annual Winter Warmup, the franchise believes in the roster assembled.
Of course, some minor adjustments to the roster still could be made. But any major changes to the current roster appear unlikely.
However, as Cardinal fans, we know this will change. If not by Spring Training, certainly by the Trade Deadline in August. Injuries and subpar performances would impact the decision to upgrade the active roster.
What can the Cardinals offer? The Cardinals' farm system is now considered relatively deep. Although the Cardinals can be stingy with their prospects, this year there appear to be some who could be moved, without cutting too deep into the quality of the farm system.
Here are three prospects who could be packaged in a potential trade, either individually or together, to address any roster weaknesses.
The soon-to-be 26-year-old Luken Baker has been in the Cardinal system since being drafted out of TCU in the second round of the 20018 MLB draft. The 6-4, 280lb first base and designated hitter prospect has flirted just outside the top ten in the past but now is outside of the Top 30 prospects in the Cardinals system.
Baker has some of the best exit velocity and home run power in the Cardinal system. However, as he has risen in the Cardinal system, his strikeouts have gone up considerably, and his OBP, Slug, and OPS have fallen.
Finally, he is blocked from breaking into the Cardinal active roster anytime in the near future. With the 2022 NL MVP, Paul Goldschmidt anchoring first base, and the flexible Juan Yepez well entrenched on the active roster, Baker has nowhere to go. Nevertheless, if Baker could increase his contact rate, he could be a decent power bat off the bench for a major league club. This could make him an attractive part of a trade package.