The St. Louis Cardinals are 53-52, 8 games in back of the Cubs, and 5 games back in the Wild Card standings. While their season isn’t necessarily over, it hasn’t been good by any stretch to this point. There are some Cards fans who believe the team could add a player or two at the deadline, and maybe make a nice run. There are others who believe this team is hopeless and they should sell everything they can. I believe that neither of those is the best course of action, and they should do a combination of buy and sell. What the hell does that mean? Well, let me lay it out for you:
– Sell off some older talent (Fowler, Martinez, Carpenter, etc.)
– Acquire players to get some new life and rebuild
This team is not as bad as the Royals or the Orioles, and with a few tweaks it could be back in contention next season. One area that needs desperate improvement is the bullpen. With a decent bullpen they could be 10 wins better than they are right now. That is where the buying comes into play. I believe we should add a younger, controllable bullpen arm in some capacity. Someone like Raisel Iglesias from the Reds, or another player of similar ability. The Cards have an excess of young, starting pitching talent and could use a very good bullpen arm. There are a going to be a number of good/great relievers we could acquire in the offseason as well:
– Zach Britton
– Craig Kimbrel
– Andrew Miller
– Kelvin Herrera
– Jeurys Familia
All players that would give the Cardinals a vastly better bullpen than the collection of subpar arms they currently have.
Players I would consider trading:
– Matt Carpenter – hot hitter whose value might never be higher.
– Jose Martinez – bad defense, great offense, good fit for the DH role of an AL team
– Tommy Pham and Dexter Fowler: Older players who can attract teams, and the Cards could get something of value for Pham, not sure about the struggling Fowler.
I think moving some players and bringing new guys in at the deadline and in the off-season could be just what the team needs to return to their usual status as one of the best teams in baseball year after year. We have talent and good future pieces, both buying and selling can allow us to see what we have in 2018 and actually look to compete in 2019 with a better group and a healthy team.