Fire Sale Trade Possibilities (Part I - The Groundwork in Idealistic Form)


When this article is all said and done, I would absolutely love to have some audience participation in either the comments section or on Twitter or Facebook. Let's dig in.

The website Baseball Trade Values (BTV) has a really cool trade value tool. If you haven't checked it out yet, you definitely should. I do not know how accurately it calculates trade values nor do I know how often it updates it's values. For this exercise, I will be taking their currently listed (as of my research) values as gospel, to make this easier. I will be using MLB Pipeline's top 100 prospect list as well as their top 10 by position lists and pretending that they are absolutely definitive (as they are also not), just to make this exercise easier.


If the Cardinals were to go into full on Fire Sale mode - as in not contending again until 2022 - BTV has the following veterans worth the following median value in trade (note, those with negative values take a lot more to trade or you have to eat money!):


Paul Goldschmidt $59M excess value

Miles Mikolas 34.8

Matt Carpenter 19.2

Carlos Martinez 14.4

Kolten Wong 11.1

Jose Martinez 10.6

Marcell Ozuna 8.9

John Gant 6

Drew Robinson 4.7

Giovanny Gallegos 1.6

Michael Wacha (-0.6)

Dominic Leone (-1.2)

Andrew Miller (-3.7)

Jedd Gyorko (-6.7)

Brett Cecil (-21.8)

Dexter Fowler (-32.9)


I will also look at potential trades for the following relievers with very little listed trade value (read: approximately zero) because relievers often get moved at the deadline for far more than they are worth.:


John Brebbia (0+)

Tyler Webb (0+)

When I went to look at the top prospects available, I assumed that the Cardinals would not be able to get anyone in return that was listed both in the top 100 AND on a list of top 10 at their position, just to make things a little more fair and not go after the best players in the world for a list of players that are mostly struggling their tails off. So these are the players that are either 1) in the top ten of their position but not in the top 100, or

2) in the top 100 prospects pool but not a top ten prospect at their position.


Here's the list of players that I am coming up with that the Cardinals could potentially trade for given those parameters. I'm going to group them by team to better help us sort out what the Cardinals could potentially get in value.


SAN DIEGO PADRES (82.0)

Luis Patino (SDP) - RHP #40 - $26.4M excess value - ETA 2021

Michel Baez (SDP) - RHP #71 - 12.8 - 2020

Logan Allen (SDP) - LHP #75 - 15.1 - 2019

Xavier Edwards (SDP) - SS #89 - 11.9 - 2022

Josh Naylor (SDP) - OF/1B #91 - 15.8 - 2019


SEATTLE MARINERS (74.7)

Justin Dunn (SEA) - RHP #67 - 14.1 - 2019

Logan Gilbert (SEA) - RHP #68 - 11.6 - 2021

Justus Sheffield (SEA) - LHP #74 - 25.2 - 2019

Julio Rodriguez (SEA) - OF #87 - 12.9 - 2022

Shed Long (SEA) - 2B (#10 at 2B, not top 100) - 10.9 - 2019


TORONTO BLUE JAYS (68.7)

Nate Pearson (TOR) - RHP #41 - 22.4 - 2020

Jordan Groshans (TOR) - SS/3B #84 - 20.4 - 2022

Eric Pardinho (TOR) - RHP #99 - 16.5 - 2021

Cavan Biggio (TOR) - 2B/OF (#6 at 2B, not top 100) - 9.4 - 2019


TAMPA BAY RAYS (64.2)

Brent Honeywell (TBR) - RHP #54 - 22.9 - 2020

Shane Baz (TBR) - RHP #93 - 14.8 - 2021

Nate Lowe (TBR) - 1B (#4 at 1B, not top 100) - 16.8 - 2019

Nick Solak (TBR) - 2B/OF (#9 at 2B, not top 100) - 9.7 - 2019


LOS ANGELES DODGERS (60.2)

Dustin May (LAD) - RHP #51 - 34.1 - 2020

Will Smith (LAD) - C/3B (#9 at C, not top 100) - 26.1 - 2019


MINNESOTA TWINS (59.2)

Brusdar Graterol (MIN) - RHP #50 - 25.5 - 2020

Trevor Larnach (MIN) - OF #94 - 19.5 - 2021

Jordan Balazovic (MIN) - RHP #100 - 5 - 2021

Brent Rooker (MIN) - 1B/OF (#5 at 1B, not top 100) - 9.2 - 2019


CLEVELAND INDIANS (46.6)

Tristan McKenzie (CLE) - RHP #34 - 22.7 - 2019

Tyler Freeman (CLE) - SS/2B #86 - 17.3 - 2021

Bobby Bradley (CLE) - 1B (#10 at 1B, not top 100) - 6.6 - 2019


ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (39.8)

Jon Duplantier (ARI) - RHP #60 - 16.9 - 2019

Daulton Varsho (ARI) - C (#6 at C, not top 100) - 22.9 - 2020


BALTIMORE ORIOLES (38.7)

Grayson Rodriguez (BAL) - RHP #53 - 14.5 - 2022

Yusniel Diaz (BAL) - OF #90 - 24.2 - 2019


DETROIT TIGERS (35.7)

Franklin Perez (DET) - RHP #62 - 8.2 - 2020

Isaac Paredes (DET) - INF #83 - 19.1 - 2019

Jake Rogers (DET) - C (#10 at pos, not top 100) - 8.4 - 2020


NEW YORK YANKEES (34.6)

Estevan Florial (NYY) - OF #47 - 19.9 - 2021

Jonathan Loaisiga (NYY) - RHP #97 - 14.7 - 2019


KANSAS CITY ROYALS (32.9)

Brady Singer (KCR) - RHP #45 - 15.4 - 2020

MJ Melendez (KCR) - C (#7 at C, not top 100) - 12.3 - 2021

Nick Pratto (KCR) - 1B (#6 at 1B, not top 100) - 5.2 - 2021


NEW YORK METS (29.2)

Ronny Mauricio (NYM) - SS #82 - 25.4 - 2022

Anthony Kay (NYM) - LHP #95 - 3.8 - 2020


HOUSTON ASTROS (28.4)

Corbin Martin (HOU) - RHP #48 - 15.8 - 2019

JB Bukauskus (HOU) - RHP #98 - 12.6 - 2020


TEXAS RANGERS (27.1)

Hans Crouse (TEX) - RHP #63 - 12.6 - 2021

Cole Winn (TEX) - RHP #65 - 14.5 - 2021


MIAMI MARLINS (24.6)

Monte Harrison (MIA) - OF #85 - 16.2 - 2020

Isan Diaz (MIA) - 2B (#8 at 2B, not top 100) - 8.4 - 2019


PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (21.3)

Adonis Medina (PHI) - RHP #77 - 21.3 - 2020


PITTSBURGH PIRATES (20.7)

Travis Swaggerty (PIT) - OF #64 - 20.7 - 2021


SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (20.6)

Heliot Ramos (SFG) - OF #56 - 20.6 - 2021


ATLANTA BRAVES (18.9)

Bryse Wilson (ATL) - RHP #73 - 18.9 - 2019


WASHINGTON NATIONALS (18.7)

Luis Garcia (WSH) - INF #61 - 18.7 - 2021


LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM (18.1)

Jahmai Jones (LAA) - 2B (#7 at 2B, not top 100) - 9.8 - 2020

Matt Thaiss (LAA) - 1B (#9 at 1B, not top 100) - 8.3 - 2019


MILWAUKEE BREWERS (16.6)

Brice Turang (MIL) - SS #92 - 16.6 - 2022


COLORADO ROCKIES (14.6)

Grant Lavigne (COL) - 1B (#7 at 1B, not top 100) - 6.4 - 2022

Tyler Nevin (COL) - 1B/3B (#8 at 1B, not top 100) - 8.2 - 2020


BOSTON RED SOX (11.7)

Bobby Dalbec (BOS) - 3B (#8 at 3B, not top 100) - 11.7 - 2020


OAKLAND ATHLETICS (7.3)

Sheldon Neuse (OAK) - 3B (#10 at 3B, not top 100) - 7.3 - 2019

Of the teams listed above, in order, let's list them as buyers, sellers, or unsure:

By my estimation, that cuts it down to just 12 of the 26 teams listed above willing to make deals with the Cardinals - potentially on players the Cardinals would most desire. Those 12 teams (and subsequently their prospects) are the ones that you saw listed in blue in the prior section.

If the Cardinals are able to sell off ALL 18 of the pieces listed at the top of this article this trade deadline or this following winter, here is what would be left in the cupboard that you would expect to be able to produce something in 2022 - 3 seasons from now. Remember, we're calling 2019-2021 a wash. When I list them below, current MLB players (in bold) with at least one year of service time will have listed how many years of control will still be on their contracts as of 2022. MLB Pipeline's top 30 Cardinals prospects that are on the below lists will have listed the ETA to MLB listed and they will be in order of best to worst (again, both per MLB Pipeline):


Starting Pitchers - Jack Flaherty (2), Dakota Hudson (3+), Alex Reyes (1), Genesis Cabrera (2019), Griffin Roberts (2020), Connor Jones (2019), Johan Oviedo (2022), Jake Woodford (2019), Austin Warner (2020)


Hybrid Starter/Relief Pitchers - Ryan Helsley (2019), Scott Gingery (2021), Evan Kruczynski (2020)


Relief Pitchers - Jordan Hicks (2), Mike Mayers (2), Junior Fernandez (2019), Seth Elledge (2020)


Catchers - Andrew Knizner (2019), Ivan Herrera (2023)


First Baseman - Luken Baker (2021)


Second Basemen - Ramon Urias (2019), Max Schrock (2019), Nick Dunn (2021)


Shortstops - Paul DeJong (2 years + 2 options), Edmundo Sosa (2019), Tommy Edman (2019)


Third Basemen - Nolan Gorman (2022), Eli Montero (2020), Malcom Nunez (2022), Evan Mendoza (2020)


Left Fielders - Tyler O'Neill (3+), Justin Williams (2019), Conner Capel (2021)


Center Fielders - Harrison Bader (2), Dylan Carlson (2020), Lane Thomas (2019)


Right Fielders - Jose Martinez (1), Jhon Torres (2022), Randy Arozarena (2019), Wadye Ynfante (2021)


Utility - Yairo Munoz (3+)

To me, the second basemen of the group seem like the weakest links for position players - or the left fielders after O'Neill. The remainder of the outfielders can cover the backup spots, and Tommy Edman or Edmundo Sosa could become that starting second baseman instead of one of those listed.


Without additions, that starting pitching group needs an upgrade. I would definitely target that in trades if I were the Cardinals. I would also target a first baseman who can mash and middle infielders in trades as well.


So looking back at the list of prospects above for P, 1B, 2B, and SS is the key to me. I wouldn't dismiss an OF they think can really play or a catcher to back up or split time with Knizner since Herrera doesn't seem like he'll even be ready by 2022.

After reading this, what would you do if you were Michael Girsch and John Mozeliak and you were set with the task of having a fire sale to get ready for the 2022 season and were given the parameters above to work with?

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