It is no secret that the Cardinals have an interest in Mike Moustakas. The left-handed power hitter from across Missouri could bring some more pop to the infield. Paul Dejong is already set to return, and with that, brings a boost to the troubled infield. Yairo Muñoz has done well covering for Dejong, but doesn’t seem to have the seasoning from the minors that he needs to be an everyday player. When looking at some issues in the Cardinals lineup, this trade is one that we can afford. Mike Moustakas could be one answer to solve some of the Cardinals major issues from the first half of the season. The trade possibility is there and there is already speculation that the Cardinals are going make a move. Already showing interest in Moustakas in the past, they have renewed that interest recently.
Tommy Pham has been one of fans concerns lately. With no hits in his last 25 appearances, he was the player that is “betting on himself” this season. Unfortunately, his performance is not what it needs to be. Worse still, he shows few signs of trending back to where he should be. Tommy had some real potential when moving to center field, but his defense has seemingly disappeared. Often he seems to either have it all together, or not at all. This slump is getting hard to watch, and to some degree it looks as if he may have stopped caring. With his smaller contract for this year, Pham needs to find his rhythm to solidify his position. Betting on yourself can be good, but that 2017 performance is starting to look like a one-time bust.
Another player to consider is Jose Martinez. There is possibility that the Royals organization may want him back, and his bat would be worth a lot on a team who could use him. Seeing him at first base can make one nervous. His defensive numbers have looked awful. Often it looks as if his foot leaves the bag before the ball is in his glove. His natural position is in the outfield. The offense he brings is needed in the lineup, finding his fit has been a topic all season. The Cardinals are currently considering moving him to the outfield. This would mean first base is open and needs to be filled. Martinez mistakes costs us baserunners, and with our bullpen it means more runs. But his presence in the middle of the lineup has been really great to see.
A Possible Trade for Moustakas
Mike Moustakas is an interesting piece. He is a plus defender with a dWAR at 0.4 and would be a solid player on the left side of the infield. What really stands out is his offense. For a third baseman, he has an oWAR at a +15. The Birds need to get someone who can push the offense into gear, and Moustakas could be that guy.
Here is a possible trade that seems fair. Tommy Pham for Mike Moustakas- straight up. Pham is oozing with potential and is open to signing a bigger contract, and is at a massively modest cost at the moment. This opens up center field for Harrison Bader who is a better defender, and gives him the chance to play every day. It also takes the risk of Pham out of the Cardinals equation
The organization would also need to look at the domino effects of this trade. Moustakas would push Carpenter out of third base. Both players deserve to play every day. Carpenter could potentially move back to first. This would mean that Martinez can move back to right field, and Bader moving to center. Fowler would become a utility outfielder until he proves he is worth more in the lineup. This brings an increase in defense to the infield, and with Paul Dejong set to come back soon puts the infield in a great place. It also rewards Bader’s all-around performance so that he isn’t fighting with Fowler for playing time.
Looking at Players that Should Stay
Kolten Wong is making a Gold Glove case in 2018. While not playing every day, his glove is noticed when it is present. His offense is lacking, but perhaps his defense makes up for it. He is inconsistent but batted nearly at .300 a year ago. Wong needs to improve but isn’t worth a trade right now. Maybe he needs more playing time, but could share second with Gyorko
Greg Garcia is the utility player the Cardinals need. He has earned his spot defensively with some dazzling plays, and come clutch batting as well. He is not an everyday starter, but he can pitch as we have seen as well. Ok, so he is not a great pitcher either but sports a 0 ERA which is cool too. the point is he can fill gaps when players are injured. Greg has also proven to be great at coming off the bench and delivering. Garcia is a player that needs to stay doing exactly what he has been doing.
Gyorko could potentially move. He has been great at third and short as well. Being able to play every infield position is a big deal. Those skills may make for a good trade piece.
Pitching has been up and down, but you could move a pitcher if the deal with Kanas City was right. Luke Weaver could be seen as a lot of value, but not in a Moustakas trade. A trade elsewhere may be a possibility, but the rest of the starting pitching is solid enough to stay. In the event that we wanted to engage the idea, a multiple team trade could also become an option with buyers and sellers deciding their positions.
Dexter Fowler and Oscar Taveras
It is really unfortunate that the impact of losing Oscar Taveras has had on the season. Oscar had been compared to Albert Pujols, and nobody had looked as promising since Pujols got his call up. Just imagine the impact a player of that caliber could have on this organization. There was so much excitement and awe surrounding the young outfielder. Now the team has to fill the gap left by the death of the star prospect. After losing Oscar, the front office went and signed Jason Heyward. The attempt to fill a massive void only met with disappointment as he signed with the Cubs. Now, in the past few years that position has been filled by Heyward, Piscotty, Grichuk, Bader, Martinez, and Fowler and nobody seems to be the perfect fit. Fowler being the biggest disappointment as of late.
If a trade with Fowler somewhere was possible, I believe that some salary could be eaten to off load him. Giving him a choice to be a utility outfielder, or drop his no trade clause may force him to make a choice. Fowlers contract is too big to hold onto him, and to DFA him would cost a lot as well. Right now, he is holding back the team and seems to have lost his excitement for the game. Fans are tired of seeing his lazy approach in right and underperformance at the plate. His role needs to be defined for him until something changes.
The Cardinals have interest and have questions that need answers. What will be done before the trade deadline? Mike Moustakas may be a move we are all waiting for. If John Mozeliak is really as upset as he says, hopefully it means something is going to happen.