The Cardinals and Marlins are perfect partners for an Ivan Herrera trade

Memphis Redbirds v Lehigh Valley IronPigs
Memphis Redbirds v Lehigh Valley IronPigs / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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Cardinals get a young starter, Marlins get multiple lineup pieces

St. Louis Cardinals receive: LHP Jesus Luzardo or RHP Edward Cabrera
Miami Marlins receive: C Ivan Herrera, OF Tyler O'Neill, and OF/1B Juan Yepez

It's really had to assess the value of starting pitchers in this year's market, as well as the value of guys like Tyler O'Neill and Juan Yepez with how the Cardinals have treated them this season. Still, I think this is a helpful framework, even if there would need to be adjustments to it.

Here's where I see Miami being interested. For as much as a premium, as there is on pitching, there is also one on catchers. Look around the league, how many teams are looking to part with good catchers? They do not become available often, especially ones with as much control as Herrera. It's a gamble for Miami for sure, but the same can be said for St. Louis.

O'Neill, for as rocky as the last year has been for him, is still a guy with immense potential who has put together a top-10 MVP-caliber season. Given a change of scenery, I think it's fair to at least expect him to be a great defender with streaky offensive numbers. It's a valuable piece for any team, and he has the potential to be so much more than that. Juan Yepez still has so much of his career ahead of him, and will likely become a mainstay in some team's lineup that gives him a chance. It just seems like the Cardinals are not going to be that team.

O'Neill makes a great platoon partner with Jesus Sanchez and provides another option for their outfield that lacks depth, Yepez can fill in at first base where the Marlins have struggled production-wise, and Herrera fills their major hole at catcher. Getting three quality starters, with two having a ton of club control, is a huge win for Miami.

For St. Louis, they part with one valuable asset in Herrera, and frankly, sell low on O'Neill and Yepez in order to take a crack at improving their current and future rotation.

Luzardo is 5-5 this year with a 4.17 ERA in 77.2 innings pitched, but his 10.3 SO/9 and 3.58 FIP are very encouraging. He ranks really high in average fastball velocity, whiff percentage, walk percentage, strikeout percentage, and chase rate as well. This is the kind of pitcher the Cardinals need to gamble on and may be worth giving up even more in this deal for.

Cabrera is in a very similar spot as Luzardo, having a 5-4 record with a 4.29 ERA and 4.13 FIP while striking out 11.4 batters per nine innings. His fastball velocity, whiff percentage, strikeout percentage, chase rate, xBA, xSLG, and curve spin all look great this year as well.

Obviously, their ERAs are not ideal, but with each of them being age 25, it's the kind of gamble the Cardinals need to start making on pitching. The Cardinals would then have one of Cabrera or Luzardo and Libertaore on very affordable deals in their rotation next year, Mikolas making just $16 million next season and plenty of room to add an expensive arm in free agency or through trade while maintaining rotation depth.


I believe both the Cardinals and Marlins would benefit from talking similar packages, but with how thin the starting pitching market is looking to be, it may require the Cardinals to pony up more. But having such a valuable catching prospect should give them a leg up in negotiations.

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