Although the Redbirds have been on a hot streak lately, in order to be the best, adjustments have to be made. A Bleacher Report article from Monday argues that the Cardinals should lay low and not make any adjustments. I disagree with this assertion for several reasons. The Cardinals missed many crucial trade opportunities that could have helped them lead the majors by now. At the beginning of the year, it was clear that the Marlins wanted to trade Giancarlo Stanton (an offensive powerhouse) in exchange for a pitching booster. The Cardinals had and still have all of the arm-power needed for their rotation. The Cardinals lacked what Stanton could offer, but they passed. A trade of Lance Lynn or even Shelby Miller for Stanton would have been a massive victory. In order to bolster their offense, the Cardinals might start looking at a few standout players. I like their chances with Philadelphia.
1) Jimmy Rollins (Phillies, Shortstop)
Why? Power and name recognition. He is a little old (35) and has 15 years in the MLB.
Notable Statistics: The .247 Batting average is probably his biggest weakness. He has 8 homeruns in 65 games this season compared to 6 homers all of last year. He played 160 games last year making him a durable choice for the ever changing Redbird infield.
Can the Cardinals get him? Probably: if offered I would project a 60% chance that the Phillies seriously make a deal with the Cardinals. It’s no secret that the Phillies want to trade Rollins. And, although originally loyal and unwilling to be traded, Rollins retracted his statement yesterday according to ESPN and clarified that he is open to being traded. Rollins is hungry for another World Series ring. The Cardinals have appeared in the NLCS three consecutive times which may help Jimmy see the light.
The Cardinals could trade a number of players for Rollins. It all depends on what Philadelphia wants. With our scant offensive production of homeruns, Rollins could be a game changer for the Redbirds. Trading Rollins for Bourjos and cash would be a steal a potentially massive trade for the Cards.
2) Chase Utley (Phillies, Second Base)
Why? Ability to get on base. He is the same age as Jimmy Rollins and has 11 years in the MLB. Chase Utley can get on base which the Cardinals desperately need.
Notable Statistics: .301 Batting average is a major selling point this year. However, over his career his average has ranged from .258 and .332 not counting his rookie year when he only played in 43 games and fewer than 140 at bats.
Can the Cardinals get him? Maybe. I would say it’s 50/50 that he would be seriously looked at if the Cards made an offer. It seems even more unlikely that, if the Cardinals look for a mega-trade with Rollins and Utley in the mix, the Phillies would even consider. It would probably best to offer less for Utley than Rollins because of Rollins’ sheer power.
3) Starlin Castro (Chicago Cubs, Short Stop)
Why? It’s time to reignite the flames of the Cards/Cubs rivalry. Castro is young and ready to play ball. The trade would give the Cardinals another weapon in the beat-down that is the current “rivalry.”
Notable Statistics: Batting average in 2013 was .247 (meaning he let down the Cubs). Batting average in 2014 is .287. Castro is on the rise and the Cubs need quantity of decent players over quality.
Can the Cardinals get him? Not likely. The Cardinals could trade some big players for Castro and would have to sacrifice a few of their arms. Garcia could go to the Cubs or any number of the young arms in the farm league. I would even be comfortable if the Cardinals traded Tavaras for him, although that would probably insight riots. Realistically, if the Birds give the Cubs two reasonable pitchers for Castro, they might play ball. With the Cubs’ win/loss record ranging from 75-87 to 61-101 since his arrival on the MLB team in 2010, Castro will be looking for a team that can get him to the post season… or even just a winning record.
In all honesty, the Cardinals probably will not make any major moves before the trade deadline in six weeks. That being said, it is fun to try to project what moves could shake the slow offense. The Cards have no shortage of pitchers though. It seems reasonable for them to want to trade bit of their pitching talent for a few more runs.