Every offseason, the United Cardinal Bloggers have a roundtable discussion where folks ask questions and folks answer them. My question, which finished up the scheduled discussion, was last week and I posed the following to the group:
Who is the player most likely to get traded this offseason?
Now, as you read this, remember that it was last Tuesday when this question was asked. There was a bit of news that came out later in the day, a small thing like Lance Lynn being done for the 2016 season, so remember that wasn’t known when the question was asked.
Diane (Women Who Love Cardinal Baseball): I think Matt Adams will be traded away this off-season. His ship has sailed. Stephen Piscotty has proven that he can play first base, and he’s a better hitter too. The Cards have bench players that can fill in at first if Piscotty needs to relieve Holliday in the outfield. Perhaps Adams could be traded for a young catcher that can be trained by Yadier Molina to take over when he retires.
Jon (Redbird Dugout): I feel like it’s a toss up between Matt Adams and Lance Lynn. And I lean towards Lynn simply because of the depth at the starting pitcher position and the return power that Lynn may have thanks t his contract situation. Though I think I do agree that it should be Adams. I have been ready to move on for a few months now and hopefully Mozeliak feels the same.
Dan (St. Louis Sports Minute): Who is getting traded? Jaime Garcia. John Mozeliak picked up his option quickly without trying to restructure his contract into some more future oriented. I think the Cards are done playing Jaime roulette. Yes, he is a bargain if he makes 20 starts and pitches like he did in 2015 but the odds of that happening aren’t that great. I don’t think Mo can trust the guy and as he reaches 30 years old, it may be time to cut bait and get something in return for Jaime. He has a moderate salary in 2016 and an affordable option for 2017. Teams like that. I’m not in the “lefties are great” band like everything else. I think good pitchers are great and especially ones that offer more consistency than Jaime. If Mo wants to go big, he can go out and sign David Price and doesn’t have to trade anyone. For all the people pointing out Price’s postseason woes, look no further than Garcia. I’m not saying it is going to happen, but I think Mo shops Garcia and that option. Matt Adams (in favor) is also on the block and Lance Lynn (not in favor) could also be shopped.
Mark (RetroSimba): The Cardinals player most likely to be traded is Peter Bourjos. He doesn’t have a role with the team any longer, but could be of value to a club seeking an extra outfielder. Perhaps a return to the American League is in his future.
Steven (Redbird Rants): For me I think that there could be a couple deals made. Depending on what happens with Heyward, I could see Bourjos, Moss, Adams, and Lynn all get traded this offseason.
(This is about where the Lynn news broke, changing the focus of some.)
Ben (The View From Here): Well, I think it’s fair to say that Lynn won’t be traded now that he’s had Tommy John, but Adams or Jay will likely be on the trade block.
Jon: Is it too late for me to change my answer?
Matt (The Sports Fan Journal): Jon Jay is the most obvious candidate for that, although they would likely have to swallow a bit of the $6M plus he’s owed this year. There’s no place for him any more with the expectation of Grichuk playing an everyday role and the emergence of Tommy Pham. Peter Bourjos will be a non-tender candidate, so his presence moving forward is null and void. Jay carries a big price and doesn’t have a clear space, so it makes the most sense to deal there.
Josh (Pitchers Hit Eighth): Ouch, I thought someone was pulling a way too early birthday present on me… (Editor’s note: Josh’s birthday is April 1.)
Can’t see any pitcher traded now so have to think Adams makes a prime target to acquire an arm if the free agent market looks unappealing.
That could take time to develop, however, and getting anything back for Bourjos has to be job number one. I do wonder about Trevor or that agent of his making one final push to join the rotation as it seems every team has put closers on the market!
Josey (The Redbird Retreat): I’d say Jon Jay is definitely on the trade block. With Piscotty, Grichuk, Holliday, Pham, and (hopefully) Heyward, Jay would receive very little playing time. We may think it’s easy to just trade Jay, and I guess it may be. Who really wants Jon Jay, though? He’d likely have to be a small part of a large package deal. With the Reyes suspension and now Lynn’s surgery, trading a few pitchers for offensive help just doesn’t seem as easy of a thing to do as it did 48 hours ago.
Doug (Baseball Geek in Galveston): I think Matt Adams or Jon Jay. Both have provided value, but their stars have faded as we have much better options at those positions.
All those pieces would seem reasonable to be moved, though you have to wonder if you could find the other side of the equation, someone that wants to give something up for them. My feeling was Garcia was going to be dealt and possibly still could be if the Cardinals sign a big free agent, but it’s much less likely now. You wonder if someone like Tim Cooney wouldn’t be attractive in the right package, though. Thanks to everyone for participating!