The Cardinals were very active in market talks during this years winter meetings, so which players could be finding their way to St. Louis for 2020?
The Cardinals have prioritized looking for a left handed outfielder to replace Marcell Ozuna, who departed via free agency. However, the club specified that they’d like to acquire this bat through trade so they can subtract from their current outfield glut and add a need at the same time. They’ve discussed a trade with the Rangers about one of Shin Soo Choo or Willie Calhoun, though nothing serious has progressed. They also discussed Nomar Mazara, but the Rangers opted to trade him to the White Sox. They’ve also checked in with the Dodgers about the availability of Joc Pederson, and the Twins about Eddie Rosario. No talks have progressed further there, either, however.
“I think if the Cardinals are gonna go get anyone from the trade market, either Calhoun or Pederson would be best. They show the most promise out of the full list of outfielders they are looking at,” senior Zach Russell said.
The team has also been active on the left handed starting pitching market. The club is uncertain of Carlos Martinez and Alex Reyes’ roles in 2020, but as of now assume that they are betting suited for the bullpen, leaving an open hole in the rotation plans. They’ve met with the agents of Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dallas Keuchel, and have said to prefer Ryu given his more recent success. The team has also been in trade talks with the Red Sox about David Price. However, with Price, the Cardinals would have to eat most of his enormous contract, which is the reason the Red Sox are shopping him. The team could acquire Andrew Benintendi alongside Price to lessen the blow, which is a frequent move for teams trying to dump bad contracts. Benintendi would fix the left handed outfielder gap as well.
“Price and Benintendi would both fit so well here, it’d be one of the most beneficial moves the team could make in my opinion,” junior Greyson Manor said.
The club has also checked in on two other markets, but to a lesser extent. They’ve shown interest in a few free agent relievers, but one in particular, Craig Stammen. Stammen spent 2019 with the Padres, and has shown success there, posting a 3.63 ERA. Stammen is a bit of an elder statesman as far as baseball goes however, entering his age 36 season, which could pose questions about his future. They’ve also looked into the foreign market, checking in on some of the players that have been posted this offseason. Specifically, left handed outfielder Shogo Akiyama. Akiyama will be a 32 year old rookie wherever he lands in the majors next season, but has put up good power and contact numbers through his nine year career in Japan.
While no moves were made at the winter meetings, it appears that the Cardinals have laid plenty of groundwork for future moves leading up to Spring Training in March.