March 20, 2023
A trade between Blue Jays and Cardinals that could work for both sides

A trade between Blue Jays and Cardinals that could work for both sides

The Blue Jays could use a lefty and the Cardinals need a catcher. Could there be a trade match between the two clubs this winter?

Since I can’t help myself, I’m already thinking about how the Blue Jays could do better this offseason, and I know I’m not the only one. I’ve already written a few articles about some general thoughts on the work Ross Atkins and the front office have ahead of them, including one where I talked about what I consider to be an off-season checklist. Today I want to talk about how to take care of some of these items with a massive trade idea if the Blue Jays can keep up with the St. Louis Cardinals this offseason.

The Cardinals have had a strong year, led by the MVP-caliber performances of veterans like Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, and with the latter already having the last five years and 144 million on his contract, you know they plan to it to try and fight the immediate term. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if the Cards made an aggressive move to plug the hole Yadiier Molina will leave on the roster with his retirement, and the Blue Jays have a couple of backstops that fit the description could.

Admittedly, the trade idea I’m going to propose is a little too clean for most MLB deals. It’s rare that you can trade two top league players for two others, especially when they’re all young and talented. However, we know from the Blue Jays franchise history that this is certainly possible, and this would represent a more understated, modern version of the trade of Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez for Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar that took place in December 1990.

Anyway, remember this is mostly for fun so don’t look to me if you don’t like this idea.

Get Blue Jays:

Cardinals get:

  • Gabriel Moreno
  • Santiago spine

If you’re already scoffing at the suggestion, allow me to do my best to break down why I think it actually works for both parties, although I have to admit it would go a long way, a neat little one to have two for two so get around.

It would be a huge win for the Blue Jays as they would convert their enviable depth of catch into a significant boost in two other areas of the roster. Edman is a capable midfielder who can field at either shortstop or second base, and as a switch hitter with a ton of speed, he would be a capable option to hit near the top of the lineup to help build the relentless Right hand attack. I don’t think the Cardinals will be keen on letting the 27-year-old go, but I think they appreciate the value of catching top players as much as anyone, and you have to sacrifice something to bring back a player like Moreno . However, including Espinal in the deal helps soften the blow in midfield and he will have four years of arbitration eligibility compared to Edman’s three years of remaining contract control.

As for Carlson, the 24-year-old didn’t have a great campaign for 2022, otherwise this trade idea might seem a bit far-fetched. He averaged .236/.316/.380 in 128 games played, with injuries playing a role earlier in the year. If we look at what he did during his first full MLB season in 2021 when he finished third in Rookie of the Year picks, it’s easier to see the appeal of the former first-round pick when he came in for 3 .8 bWAR was good. Of course, his ability as a midfielder would be what the Blue Jays would be really interested in taking some pressure off of Springer, and his ability to take a shot would be another added bonus, especially if he can slash .266/. .343/.437 again with some pop like he did in 2021.

You might be wondering if the Cardinals would actually be interested in something like this. Running this trade idea via, here’s what’s looking pretty good, identifying Moreno as the most valuable player:

That said, I’ll admit there may be a little bias here and that trading Edman and Carlson could be more than the Cardinals are willing to do. On the Blue Jays side, I’d certainly be willing to throw in another minor league or two to get the deal across the line, and maybe someone like a Spencer Horwitz type would be enough to bridge the gap. However, we also can’t discount the Cardinals’ value if they get another catcher in Moreno worthy of the franchise in this deal, and I’m confident it would at least tempt them to make plans about the Forging Molina era beyond in St. Louis. However, it wouldn’t be a huge shock if they also wanted to trade Kirk for Moreno in a deal with a frame like that, or maybe even ask for a bigger third piece.

For the Blue Jays, their lineup could have a look that goes something like this:

1-George Springer (RF)
2-Tommy Edman (2B)
3- Vladimir Guerrero Jr (1B)
4- Bo Bichette (SS)
5- Alejandro Kirk (DH)
6-Matt Chapman (3B)
7- Lourdes Gurriel Jr (LF)
8- Dylan Carlson (CF)
9- Danny Jansen (C)

As I’ve written in a few other articles this off-season, I expect at least one of Teoscar Hernandez or Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to trade over the winter, largely due to their pending free agencies after the 2023 season ends, so don’t be don’t think I left them here, or guys like Whit Merrifield and Cavan Biggio. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if any of the last four names also addressed the cardinals, which could open up different avenues for trade talks.

With three catchers more than talented enough to be No. 1 in most major leagues, the Blue Jays are in a strong position this offseason, at least as far as the trade market is concerned. I’m sure the Cardinals aren’t the only team that might call, but if they do, there might be more than a few trade ideas that need to be discussed between the two clubs.

#trade #Blue #Jays #Cardinals #work #sides

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