The Cubs are clearly going all in on the 2016 season, giving up their top and 5th overall prospects for a closer that they cannot extend a qualifying offer to and has been adamant about wanting to test free agency.
Now 307 miles south, many Cardinals fans are wondering how is this trade going to affect them. Is General Manager John Mozeliak’s hand forced now? Does he have to match the Chapman trade with a Cardinals blockbuster deal in order to stay in the division race?
The Cardinals need a boast at the big league level and will take it from wherever they can. They’ve had the injury bug as of late, Brandon Moss, Matt Carpenter, and Jhonny Peralta all hit the DL with injuries. While their starting pitching has been solid, their bullpen has been shaky. Trevor Rosenthal has had a horrible season and has ultimately been relieved from his closer duties.
The Cardinals have been looking internally for help. They brought up Mike Mayers to the majors who got lit up in his debut. Sam Tuivailala, likewise, did not have much success when he had the opportunity. Alex Reyes and Corey Littrell have been excelling at the triple A level and could be given an opportunity at the big league level soon.
— Ben Frederickson (@Ben_Fred) July 25, 2016
With 7 games back of the division title, and 5 teams competing for 2 wildcard spots, the Cardinals need to improve their roster. They have several trade chips that they could part ways with including Peralta and Kolten Wong. Both player’s trade value is the highest now. Wong is 25 years old and can play second base as well as all the outfield positions. He has struggled tremendously at the plate and has not become the player that the Cardinals projected him to be. Teams who are rebuilding would love to acquire Wong who is under contract until 2022.
Peralta can also accumulate a lot of value. He lost his starting shortstop job to Aldemys Diaz when he was on the DL for the first half of the season. Peralta is under contract through the 2017 season at a bargain of $10million. He can play all the infield positions. He’s struggled this season at the plate for the Cardinals but has proven in the past that he is a big time player.
The Cardinals can only trade either Peralta or Wong but not both. They do not need both players and will be better off down the stretch if they acquire a bullpen arm or another starter than keeping one of them on the bench.
Mozeliak is known for his under the radar moves that result in a big payout. Lets hope that he can do the same in 2016.
Photo Credit: Noah K. Murray – USA TODAY Sports