December 09, 2015

#Cardinals trade Jay for Gyorko: I agree

Jedd Gyorko: Put on
that Cardinal red
A mid-level trade popped up Tuesday morning at MLB's winter meetings, before the really big stuff hit the fan, and I think it's a decent one for the 2016 version of the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cardinals yesterday traded outfielder Jon Jay to the Padres for second baseman/utility infielder Jedd Gyorko plus cash. That makes him cost $26M over four years.

Compare that to what the Cubs just shelled out for free agent second baseman/utility infielder Ben Zobrist, nearly a decade older, and, primarily playing a high-aging position in baseball, surely on the decline

Meanwhile, Gyorko can play (albeit defensively challenged) short as well as second and third, which definitely gives the Cards some infield aid for next season.

Sounds like Jhonny Peralta, whom the Cards thought wore down during the stretch last year, will get a few more days off in 2016. Gyorko could give Kolten Wong the quasi-platoon at second that Mark Ellis never delivered in 2014. And Matt Carpenter gets some rest options, too.

All for less than half of Zobrist's $56M over those four years, and without his no-trade clause, either. So, a B-roll Zobrist for $30M less. (Which, in turn, is another $20M less than Fangraphs proprietor Dave Cameron nuttily thought Zobrist was worth.)

Plus, the Cardinals have adopted defensive shifting more than the Padres. They may not make a silk purse out of Gyorko's glove, but they may soften the iron.

Heck, with Peralta's contract having been frontloaded, it might even leave the Cards open to rolling the dice on trading him.

That said, this is no excuse for not resigning Jason Heyward, no matter what some dumber Cardinals bloggers, or a Post-Dispatch columnist, may claim. And, stop parroting GM John Mozeliak, y'all. He's good, but not a genius.

The team has shiny new TV contract money, and, if it buys out his option, only one more year to pay Matt Holliday, too. (And, yes, that idea, the buy-out, should at least get consideration, unless Holliday agrees to turn that $17M in 2017 into no more than $25M for 2017-18, and maybe learns how to hold a 1B glove on occasion, while he's at it — if he can.)

As I noted last week, a middle infield upgrade like this was No. 4 on the offseason agenda as I see it. Heyward, or some close equivalent on the everyday player side, was and is No. 1; another starting pitcher No. 2, and seriously addressing the long-term need at 1B is No. 3.

If Heyward is not resigned, and no other major outfield addition is made, then Stephen Piscotty can't be a part of the 1B solution, and Tonmy Pham can't be a major part. The likes of Redbird Rants, under dumb bloggers, don't seem to get this. If Heyward's gone without a major replacement, with Jay being gone now, Piscotty is one of your three OF starters and Pham right now  is your first OF bat and glove off the bench.

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