Too Many Outfielders…

The other night, when me and Dan Buffa (whose main site, Dose Of Buffa, can be found here) did our monthly podcast, he brought up an issue that I have thought about in the past, but haven’t recently. As you can guess from the title, that issue is that the Cardinals have too many outfielders.

Currently we have Matt Holliday, Jon Jay, Peter Bourjos, Randal Grichuk and Jason Heyward o the roster, with Stephen Piscotty developing in the minors, among others.

So what do we do?

If Heyward leaves in FA, that frees a spot, but I’m hoping they re-sign him, or we’ll have rented a good player for one year in exchange for a good pitcher (Shelby Miller) who will give the Braves many good years. In short, the trade will be a disaster if we don’t re-sign him.

There’s of course Holliday, but he’s still productive as well as being under contract for next year (with a team option for 2017).

That leaves CF, which is where the battle between Grichuk, Jay and Bourjos is mainly being waged.

I like the idea of four OF’s, and even five doesn’t bother me, as long as the two extras bring something different to the table. Six, however, is too many (and as I said, there’s Piscotty too.)

So who do we keep? Grichuk is young, emereging player currently having success in the bigs. He has a .269 average with eight homers, five triples and 12 doubles, which help give him a .545 slugging percentage.

Then we have Bourjos, a speed/defense guy who might contend for a gold glove if he played CF regularly. His bat isn’t as good as the others, but his game complements Grichuk’s nicely, and he makes a great defensive substitute for CF and LF late in the game.

Finally there is Jay. He’s been a good hitter in the past, but is struggling this year with a .223 average and little power (which he never had much of anyway). In addition, he doesn’t have Bourjos’ speed or defense.

In the end it seems obvious, Jon Jay is the odd man out. The argument could be that he needs a change of scenery, as he’s done well in the past but having to fight two other players for a job on a daily basis this year could have affected him.

As to what to get for him, Dan mentioned 1B, and that does make sense, though it’d be a short term thing, and I’d hate for Jay to rebound elsewhere and all we got to show for it was a rental. With our depth though, it wouldn’t sting that bad.

That’s my two cents. As always, thanks for reading.

  • Buddhasillegitimatechild38

    I disagree with multiple things here and they all tie in with how to value trades. For one, Miller is a pretty decent pitcher by several measures and is young and cheap but if you look at his peripherals his ERA this year is a mirage. He’s still been very good but not great. Secondly if we get only one year of Heyward (plus a comp pick which isn’t much but is something) that’s what we traded for, seeing him up close or getting a leg up with a negotiating window was likely a small part of what the Cardinals wanted but after Ocsar’s death and every RF option panning out horribly last year they had a black hole to fill in RF until Piscotty was ready or one of the other RF options emerged, that’s what they traded for and in a win now window with an aging core that makes perfect sense. We Also have a couple more years of Jordan Walden after he gets healthy. Walden is very good, Jenkins is not. I still want to resign Heyward but only because he is really good.

    There’s not such thing as too much of a good thing on your team in baseball, it’s ok to have tons of good OF, that said with our position of depth shifting from pitching to the OF after the Miller-Heyward trade and our black hole now being 1B (Adams was never really that good anyway and we may not pick up any more than a rental either way) we likely trade an OF for a helpful rental. The point of a trade is not to ensure you always win the value war, who cares if Jay leaves and rakes, you trade whomever you get the most value back from (vs value to you, that includes playing time, fit in roster, overall performance, cost and when your window of opportunity is) That is likely Jay as he is likely well regarded (assuming the wrist injury didn’t tank his value) but could be Bourjos or Grichuk, we’ll see, we likely shop Jay first, but we never need to throw something away because we have too much of it, whether it’s a good approach in life or not (I think highly of charity myself) it is a horrible approach to asset management in a competitive zero sum environment.

    Also I know you published this ust before Pham came yup and played a big role in the last 2 wins but it’s not like Pham being really good was a secret until just now or that it’s a SSS mirage (I know he won’t ISO .500 but he also won’t BB 0% of the time. he’s not a 200 wRC+ guy but he’s really good) As someone who was banging the Pham drum for a while now, he would be bad to trade as we would liley get little to no value for him and he is really good but he is certainly someone to mention in our awesome OF depth.

    I don’t mean to sound so harsh, I love the Conclave, I like many of your articles and it’s hard to churn good content out day after day, I’m also 3 days late on reading this, but this is citing RBI’s and insisting on a 9 year contract extension for Holliday short of being written by Ruben Amaro, Jr., it’s an entire article on how to poorly evaluate trades and assets

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