With the July 31st trade deadline less than a month away, the rumors have picked up like they do every year. So, before we even delve into any of the rumors, what positions do the Cardinals need to make a move in, if any?
If John Mozeliak is thinking about making this trading season, it has to be in the bullpen. Once the biggest strength of the team, it is no longer. With Trevor Rosenthal‘s 2016 struggles (5.16 ERA), he has left his general manager in a really tough position. How much will the front office trust Rosenthal to regain his form this year and show signs of the dominant closer he had been the last two years when he led the league in saves? How much can they trust Seung-hwan Oh to be the closer the team needs?
Clearly, Oh has been one of the best relievers in the MLB this year. However, we tend to forget that he is already 33 years old and he hasn’t had a full MLB season yet. Do the Cardinals need to look at another reliever like Andrew Miller or Aroldis Chapman to bolster the back end up? That is for Mozeliak to decide.
The outfield core is probably one of the weakest around the league. Just look at this statistic.
Stephen Piscotty carries the OF average. 28/7/15/55 combined average is .237
Without #55 their batting average is a very sad .218
— MattLand, USA (@STLMattinals) July 7, 2016
3) 2nd Base:
All eyes right now are on Matt Carpenter. At the time of this article, no official announcement has been made about Carpenter’s oblique injury. If Carpenter is only out for a couple of weeks, the team should be fine in his absence. However, if he is out longer than a month, the Cardinals should make a move. Even with the Cubs recent struggles, the Cardinals have not gained any ground in the standings as they stay around 8-9 games back. If Carpenter is out for an extended amount of time, the Cardinals have to be aggressive in looking for a second basemen because Jedd Gyorko and Kolten Wong probably won’t help this team become a playoff team.
WHY DID WE GET RID OF ERIC FRYER? WHY DID BRYAN PENA HAVE TO GET HURT FOR THE SECOND TIME THIS SEASON? Yadier Molina’s getting old. It wouldn’t hurt (no pun intended) to get him a legitimate backup who doesn’t get injured every time out.
5) Third Base:
Now, we are officially reaching the trades that probably won’t happen unless the price is absolutely right. Jhonny Peralta is already 32 years old. Maybe the Cardinals should look at a long term option to inherit the position. Yeah, Carpenter should be the guy, but are we really going to make him keep flipping back and forth between 2nd and 3rd? Plus, its a much harder transition to move from 2nd to 3rd than vice versa. Who knows? Maybe keep Carpenter at 2nd..
6) First Base:
Matt Adams is 0-for-31 at Busch Stadium since hitting a HR in his first at-bat of the game against Houston on June 14. #STLCards
— David Wilhelm (@DavidMWilhelm) July 6, 2016
It seems as if everybody this side of the Mississippi River has played 1st for the Cardinals. If the price is right, why not get a legitimate option at 1st?
7) Short Stop:
Aledmys Diaz has proven that he is the short stop of the future. Therefore, shortstop is the second most indispensable position on this team.
8) Starting rotation:
This starting rotation is the most indispensable on this team. Sure, they haven’t been 2015 good, but they’ve definitely been much better in these last two months. I predict that they will have a REALLY good second half. Like carry this team to the post season good. Come on, Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Mike Leake, Jaime Garcia, and Carlos Martinez, who would you even trade? The Cardinals and the Cubs are the only MLB teams that have stuck with the same starting rotation this entire season thus far. Barring a major injury, I wouldn’t touch this rotation. Emphasis on major. For minor stuff, the Cardinals have plenty of internal options for spot starts.
Photo captured by Jeff Curry- USA Today Sports