Just two games back in the central division, it’s clear that the St. Louis Cardinals need a spark. Possibilities include both pitchers and hitters, and there’s little doubt in most minds that the Cardinals may go after each. Five players the Cardinals may go after include:
Martin Prado(3B, 2B, OF)- Prado offers versatility in the field, something as respected and wanted within the organization as the Cardinal way. Prado’s name surfaced earlier in the season as a trade candidate for many teams facing problems both offensively and defensively, but wasn’t receiving the attention he has of late due to poor numbers. He’s picked it up lately, boosting his average up to .280 to go along with 5 HR’s and 42 RBI’s. Getting Prado may take more than the Cardinals are willing to give up, however, as the Diamondbacks seem reluctant to let such a versatile player go.
David Price(SP)- After going on a long winning streak and climbing to just 4.5 games back in the wild card, the Rays seem as though they may hold on to the much sought after Price. However, they still remain well out of the division race and five teams remain ahead of them in a race for the second wild card spot. Getting Price may cost the Cardinals a large part of their future, including Oscar Taveras, but the move may be worth it if their able to keep Price, Wainwright, and Wacha for the future.
Cliff Lee(SP)- The aging southpaw may be cheaper and more available than Price, and he’s still a decent number two when healthy. Lee returned recently, giving up 9 earned in just over ten innings, but could be help down the line when he shakes off the rust. Despite the miserable return, his ERA on the season sits at 3.78 and he and manager Ryne Sandberg believe he will have more success once his arm strength returns. Lee could be a short term fix for an organization stacked with future rotation talent.
Jon Lester(SP)- Lester may be a long shot for the Cardinals, but with his contract negotiations on hold, and the Red Sox lackluster performance on the season, Lester remains a possibility for most teams with rotational needs. Rumors have the Dodgers courting the leftie with Matt Kemp being the speculated player returning to the Red Sox. It will take a large offer for the Cardinals to land Lester, but, like Price, he would give the Cardinals a dominant top three for seasons to come, assuming they are able to sign him long term.
Adrian Beltre (3B)- Beltre is a player that, despite his star power, plays with intensity and ferociousness every day. Along with the obvious offensive and defensive ability he brings, Beltre brings a veteran leadership with him and could bring a seemingly lacking clubhouse together. Beltre will definitely cost the Cardinals a large package and is only signed through the 2015 season, but he continues to produce at age 35 and would allow for the more season Matt Carpenter to move back to second base, where his statistics look even better.
Star players Troy Tulowitzkiand Giancarlo Stantonare among other names Cardinals fans have been clamoring about, but it’s extremely doubtful that the Cardinals would be able to execute such trades. James Shieldshas also surfaced recently, but the Cardinals interest in the Kansas City Royal seems uncertain. Another prospect, which may be a safer and cheaper consideration, is LHP John Danks, who has struggled this year with a 4.40 ERA, but would add depth to the rotation.