December 10, 2018

Two possible Cardinals trades?

The first is pretty straightforward. The Indians have indicated that Cory Kluber and possibly Trevor Bauer might be available via trade. Carlos Carrasco had also been mentioned earlier but he's now off the market with a contract extension. Also, the Bauer possibility seemed more speculation by other teams than anything hard from the Tribe as he still has two years of arbitration control. The resigning of Carrasco, fairly cheaply, means that the team might move Kluber, though.

(Update, Dec. 18: MLBTR says the Indians are still open, at least on Kluber.

Update, Jan. 7, 2019: I would be OK without Bauer; Deadspin reminded of his MAGA-type nuttery.)

The Cardinals, with their own Paul Goldschmidt trade, discussed by me here, have some room to deal now.

Jedd Gyorko is superfluous with the presumed move of Matt Carpenter to third. Jose Martinez has a great bat plus a stone glove and so is ideally an AL DH guy, and the rise of Tyler O'Neill means outfield room is needed, at least if he's ready for a full-time role. I'm not saying Gyorko plus Martinez swing the deal by themselves, but, it's a start.

(That said, MLB Trade Rumors reports on Jan. 3 the Cards are, according to Ken Rosenthal, less and less likely to trade Martinez this year. Let him DH in interleague games in AL parks, cut Goldy a day off every two weeks and play once a week at a corner OF spot [more if unfortunately necessary] and you get him, what, 150-200 ABs and limit his glove damage. Given that he's a year away from even entering arbitration, makes sense, if he's not a part of any good trade talks.)

This lets the Cards have another arm to help move beyond Adam Wainwright, unless he has a major rebound in 2019, and to decide more how much to pay Miles Mikolas and Michael Wacha a year from now. (Any contract the Cards give Wacha should be cash-low and incentive-high based on his injury history.)

I don't know who besides Gyorko and Martinez would make a package, but it's worth further thought. I would be willing to include a pitcher back as long as its not Mikolas, Carlos Martinez or Alex Reyes, and not the hottest of minors prospects.

For Cleveland, they could use Jose Martinez this year as a corner outfielder, since Melky Cabrera's a free agent not likely to be resigned unless as a cheap fourth OF, and Michael Brantley (who may be resigned?) is also a free agent. Martinez could mix this with first baseman and DH. They could then, a year from now, buy out Edwin Encarnacion's option for 2020 and let him walk, while rebuilding their outfield.

(Update, Dec. 17: Brantley has reportedly inked a deal with the Astros.)

Should a trade like this come off, or even if not, I don't think Derrick Goold has the correct Cardinals lineup by batting order.

Assuming Kolten Wong is injury-free and mentally rejuvenated on a full year free of Mike Matheny micromanaging him, I put him at the top of the lineup. Harrison Bader (if he cuts his strikeouts) second. Carp, another lefty, is third. And he needs to get a mindset. Goldy is in cleanup. Yadi fifth. That gets you L-R-L-R through the first four spots. Of course, it's righty-heavy after that. (Yes, a certain Bryce Harper would fix that, but I don't see that happening. Michael Brantley would also fix it. So would Nick Markakis, but I think he had an Indian Summer year last year.) Another option is shoving all the above people up a spot and dropping Marcell Ozuna somewhere in 2-5, but then slotting Wong no lower than sixth. Or dropping him to eighth and if Dexter Fowler is still here, putting him in one of the top three slots as a switch hitter IF he reverts to 2017 or earlier.

Speaking of ...


The second trade, that I've seen suggested elsewhere? A salary dump swap. Fowler goes back to the Rockies for Wade Davis. Salaries are just about dead even. Both might benefit from change of scenery, and the Cards are still in the look for a closer.

Rockies might have a hole to fill. Would be tough for Dex to move past Gerardo Parra and Charlie Blackmon, but the free agency of Carlos Gonzales leaves right field open. David Dahl has looked decent for them in cups of coffee in 2016 and a partial season in 2018, but they might still want another outfielder.

That said, if that trade happens? Geez, we're a righty-heavy team at the plate.

And, it very well could not happen. Mo says he's OK with Fowler as his starting right fielder.


Winston Smithee said...

Okay, Indians made moves since this was writ. They're not likely to trade topline pitchers now because of those. Possibility they could still use Martinez -but if it were up to me, I would re-up Melky, whom as you point out, won't be an expensive sign.

Gadfly said...

Winston, agreed that the Tribe is less likely to move these pitchers now; if they do, their "ask" has surely increased. There's not much in the way of starting pitching left on the market, so, the Cards could go looking to offer these trade chips for a left-handed bat instead, or for a starting pitcher with another team.

Socrates Curve said...

If I were Cleveland I’d want-
Harrison Bader
Dakoda Hudson or Nolan Gorman
Plus Johan Oviedo.
Swap Kipnis for Gyorko

Gadfly said...

I'd be willing to do the deal with O'Neill instead of Bader. Especially if you want Gorman.

And, per my body copy, the Cards have no need of a Gyorko or an older, more expensive, lower quality version of him in Kipnis. (Not only is his contract less, but the Padres are paying part of it.) Greg Garcia and Yairo Munoz are both available as utility infielders in St. Louis already.

So, to counter? O'Neill, Hudson, Oviedo and Martinez. You can keep Kipnis and we'll keep the cheaper Gyorko.