The Cardinals have not made a big move at the trade deadline for a while, but what they have done has worked in the past. Is this the year we see a splash?
In 2009, the Cardinals made a huge trade, giving up prospects for a Matt Holliday rental. How did that work out? Well, Matt Holliday hit .353, with 13 home runs in half a season. So, pretty well.
In 2010, the Cardinals acquired Jake Westbrook. Not as flashy as Holliday, but a solid pickup. In 2011, the Cardinals strengthened the bullpen, and acquired Edwin Jackson. Since then, however, the only major trade the Cardinals have made was for John Lackey, who again outperformed expectations. Last season, Zach Duke provided bullpen stability, but not a huge splash was made.
Is this the season that the Cardinals make another Holliday-like move?
Even with the worst of projections, the Cardinals figure to at least be in the Wild Card race around the trade deadline. The team is unlikely to be far behind the pack, or far ahead of the pack, so expect some moves to strengthen the team for the final stretch. Who might be available?
The Cardinals have recently been linked to Jose Quintana, but with his contract he would require a huge investment from the Cardinals, likely involving Carson Kelly and Harrison Bader. If the Cardinals are in contention, though, that trade might be worth it.
Quintana, to me, is the most likely Starting Pitcher splash the team would make, though that all depends on how the first half of the season plays out. Alex Cobb could be another possibility if the Rays are out of contention by the deadline.
If the Cardinals starting pitching holds, however, the team might look for a lineup upgrade. The name that comes to mind is Brian Dozier, who the Redbirds have been linked to in the past.
I'll take the Brian Dozier interest as evidence the Cardinals know they need another legit bat. Which is good, because they do.
— Drew Silva (@drewsilv) December 26, 2016
While a trade did not happen this season, if Kolten Wong underperforms, and there is a hole in the lineup because of it, a Brian Dozier trade could very well happen. He would provide serious power in a position that does not typically provide it. While his 2016 campaign is not likely to be repeated, he is signed through 2018, and could add needed depth to the infield.
If the past few seasons are any indication, the Cardinals will likely pursue bullpen help. Siegrist and Cahill are solid lefties, but there may be need for one more. Sean Doolittle is a name that may be thrown around, but it is hard to expect which relievers on lower-tiered teams will be worth trading for.
On the right-handed side, the Redbirds will use Seung Hwan Oh in the closer role, but if he struggles, and Rosenthal continues his injury problems, the Cardinals may look for a top-tier closer to help them finish the season strong.
AJ Ramos is an under-the-radar closer that has put up impressive numbers the past few seasons, and with the Marlins projected to not compete for a playoff spot, he might make sense for the Cardinals to trade for.
So, the Cards will likely be in contention for the playoffs when the deadline rolls around. We’ll have to wait to see what new players we can welcome to the team. Let’s hope that it works out this year as well as it has in the past few.
Photo Credit: Jasen Vinlove -USA TODAY Sports