Kapler: Cardinals ‘should go after David Price’

Getty Images

Getty Images

Two key losses for the St. Louis Cardinals in July opened the door for two specific moves to happen before the July 31 trade deadline.

First was replacing catcher Yadier Molina, who will be sidelined until at least September with a sprained thumb. General Manager John Mozeliak filled that void by signing veteran free agent A.J. Pierzynski before Saturday’s game.

Next, and perhaps the toughest, task will be finding a starter to replace Michael Wacha, whose shoulder injury will keep him out until September at best and the remainder of the season at worst.

Jake Peavy, a potential target, was dealt to the San Francisco Giants earlier this week. The Cardinals’ main target, David Price, remains on the block.

Former Major Leaguer and current Fox Sports MLB analyst Gabe Kapler said the Cardinals can still win the National League Central Division without Molina and Wacha, but said the club should do what it can to land Price.

“I believe the club should go after David Price,” Kapler said. “I believe the Cardinals have a really good opportunity to acquire David Price because of who they have to offer back in return and because of their Triple-A depth, particularly at the outfield position. Obviously, if they made a move like that I think it would propel them to the front-runners in the division.”

A week and a half ago, it seemed as if Price being traded was a sure thing. But with the Rays winning their ninth in a row Saturday night, they’ve catapulted back into playoff contentions. Tampa Bay is now 6.5 games out of the lead in the American League and 3.5 back in the AL Wild Card heading into Sunday’s games.

They very well could have played themselves back into keeping Price around for the remainder of the season to make a playoff run. Without Price, there is no playoff run.

The Cardinals do have plenty of outfield depth, all the way from Triple-A (Randal Grichuk, Tommy Pham, Stephen Piscotty) to the lower levels (Rowan Wick). The Rays may demand Oscar Taveras be included in a trade as well, and it’s unclear right now as to what Mozeliak plans to do with either Taveras or slumping Allen Craig. The general sense is that Mozeliak sees Taveras as a big part of the future for the Cardinals, and a logjam in the outfield could mean moving Craig is that much more appealing.

The Cardinals’ scouting department is undoubtedly compiling a list of potential pitching targets, but Kapler said Price is the one true difference maker on the market.

“While he’s not a bat, he’d have a more substantial impact for any club that’s looking for a bat,” Kapler said. “I don’t believe that real strong, powerful impact bat is really on the market publicly. He might be behind the scenes, I just don’t know who he is.

“It’s sort of like the addition of a pitcher to prevent runs is greater than the value of a guy who may or may not produce big upside as it relates to producing runs going forward for the Cardinals.”

The Cardinals are still in good shape to make the playoffs, but this is a year in which some sort of a deal needs to be made in order to solidify that.

Kapler agrees.

“I think the Cardinals are a playoff team,” he said. “It’s just a question of how formidable of an opponent they are at that point, how healthy they are and did they make an acquisition.”

Editor’s note: This is Part Four of a four-part series of my conversation with former Major Leaguer and current MLB analyst Gabe Kapler.

Follow @HighSock_Sunday on Twitter.

  • Buddhasillegitimatechild38 July 27, 2014, 6:19 pm

    Kapler os right about Price being a true difference maker who would be worth what comparable pitchers have been traded for in previous deadlines but this deadline has already proven insanely expensive and Ian Kennedy would likely be reasonably priced from being undervalued, hopefully the Cards go there unless they can get Price at the cost he would have been at in previous deadlines

  • famousmortimer July 28, 2014, 1:33 am

    Given the Rays record, they aren’t trading anyone. That ship has sailed.

  • T. R. M. July 29, 2014, 9:52 am

    Can the Cards acquire Price without giving up Taveras? The cost control and the potential bat that Oscar offers still looms large in the organizations long term plans. Matt Holliday isn’t getting any younger and Craig is a paradox at this point. If the Cards deal Taveras that just means spending money on a big free agent bat in the next couple years, who that is I don’t know. The savings and potential of Taveras I feel outweigh that option. A deal for Price means a big expenditure on pitching and big expenditure on a bat in the future as well. This doesn’t fit the Cards MO so unless Price can be obtained without Taveras I don’t see it happening. I would love to see it David Price with the birds on the bat but I really don’t feel like it is likely.

Next Post:

Previous Post:

Please share, follow, or like us :)

Subscribe to The Conclave via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 16.3K other subscribers